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Red Sox to visit White House on February 15

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The Boston Globe reports that the World Series champion Boston Red Sox will visit the White House on February 15. Team president Sam Kennedy said that he expects “a healthy representation of ownership, executives, coaches and players” to attend the ceremony, but said it is not mandatory.

Which might lead one to ask whether manager Alex Cora, who has been highly critical of President Trump, plans to attend. The answer, which he first gave back in December: yep. His intention, he said, is “to represent 4 million people from back home the right way when we go there,” meaning Puerto Rico.

Obviously trips to the White House to meet the president are a longstanding tradition for championship teams. Trump’s rhetoric, policy positions and overall style, however, have made such visits anything but routine over the past two years. The Golden State Warriors chose not to attend, after which Trump claimed to have disinvited them. So few members of the Philadelphia Eagles planned to attend that the White House canceled the event.

No word on whether the Red Sox will be served food.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.