Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

Red Sox will visit White House

100 Comments

Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the 2018 World Series champion Red Sox have been invited to the White House and have accepted the invitation. A date has not been determined yet, but Abraham says that the visit could take place before the start of the regular season.

Championship teams almost without fail visit the White House the following year to be officially recognized. However, Boston’s visit was less certain as manager Alex Cora is from Puerto Rico and he criticized President Trump’s tweets pertaining to Hurricane Maria. Trump claimed that the death tolls being publicized had been exaggerated. Cora said, “To be tweeting about 3,000 people and being efficient, it’s actually disrespectful for my country. We see it that way. I know he probably doesn’t feel that way.”

Cora added, “I respect him. He’s the President of the United States. But I don’t agree with a lot of the stuff he says about us.”

Carlos Beltrán didn’t visit the White House with the Astros after they won the World Series in 2017. Beltrán, too, was criticial of the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria. Carlos Correa also skipped the visit to work on bringing aid to people in Puerto Rico. José Altuve, from Venezuela, did attend, but he didn’t look happy at all to be there, understandably.

It’s not known which members of the Red Sox, if any, will opt out of the visit. We do know at least one guy who’s going to be there: Heath Hembree. He told TMZ Sports in October, “Hell yeah! I f-ck with Trump!” When asked what he liked about Trump, Hembree responded, “Everything!”

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
Getty Images
2 Comments

Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.