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Carlos Beltran won’t visit White House with Houston Astros

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Just after the World Series, the Houston Astros announced that, yes, they will visit the White House if invited to honor their World Series championship. As expected, however, at least one member of the club will not go: Carlos Beltran.

Beltran said that it was a matter of wanting to spend time with his family and wasn’t about President Trump or politics specifically, but folks can be forgiven if they don’t buy that entirely given that Beltran has been vocally critical of the administration’s hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Here was Beltran yesterday, talking about that disappointment:

“There’s no doubt that I’m disappointed. I’m not the only one. There’s a lot of people disappointed. We haven’t (gotten) some benefits. Being part of the United States, you expect to at least get the same benefits when tragedies like this happen. The fact that we haven’t (gotten) those, yeah, it’s a disappointment.”

Beltran may not be the only Astros player not to make the trip to the White House. Just after the World Series third baseman Alex Bregman said he’d follow whatever two of his teammates decide, saying “I’m going to do whatever Carlos Beltranand Carlos Correa do.” Correa is not yet on the record, but it would not be at all surprising if he, a Puerto Rican native like Beltran, did not follow Beltran’s lead for similar reasons. Bregman, for his part, has been sharply critical of Trump in the past on other matters.

Earlier this week, multiple members of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, including Chris Long, Malcom Jenkins Torrey Smith said they’d skip their team’s White House visit as well. Long, along with two dozen other players, also skipped the visit last year when he was a member of the Patriots.

The Red Sox to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment

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The Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.

Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.

Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.