Sportress of Blogitude

Cubs to pay second visit to White House, player reaction mixed

The Chicago Cubs on Wednesday will pay a second visit to the White House, less than six months after originally doing so to celebrate the team’s World Series title.

The visit is being touted as an informal private tour as opposed to the traditional ceremony where a championship team is hosted by the President. It’s unclear whether or not a visit with Donald Trump is on the itinerary. Yet, it’s clear the event is prompting mixed reactions, with some players saying they will opt out of the visit.

Cubs skipper Joe Maddon on Tuesday spoke at length about the visit, which comes with the team in D.C. for a four-game set with the Washington Nationals.

Maddon, in his comments, made reference to the notion that the visit is “out of respect to the Ricketts family,” who own the Cubs and have connections to the Trump administration. But the Cubs manager stressed it’s an honor just to visit the White House.

“So when you get a chance as a citizen to get to go to the White House, you go,” Maddon said, via CSN Chicago. “I think you go. Whether you like the person that’s running the country or not — out of respect to the office itself — you go.

“I don’t agree with all the other banter that’s going on right now, because I have a different perspective.”

Maddon made the clear distinction that Wednesday’s visit is “not as ceremonial as the last one was, going there as the World Series champions,” and reiterated the tour is “more based on the Ricketts family relationship.” He added he does not “have any rules to begin with” concerning whether or not players go on the tour.

Several Cubs players have weighed in on whether or not they’ll attend. Of the 22 players surveyed on the topic Tuesday by the Sun-Times, 10 said they intended to skip the tour.

All things considered, the Cubs’ second visit to the White House — after hastily scheduling the original visit before Barack Obama left office —  reinforces the notion that the issue of whether or not championship teams decide to visit the Trump White House will continue to be a major topic of conversation.