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Sportress of Blogitude

Red Sox to visit White House at start of spring training

The Boston Red Sox will visit the White House at the onset of spring training to celebrate the team’s World Series title, team president Sam Kennedy told the Boston Globe on Tuesday.

Kennedy indicated the plan is for the team to travel together from Fort Myers, Fla., to Washington, D.C., on Feb. 15 and return the same day. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report for spring training on Feb. 12, although other players are not scheduled to arrive until five days later.

“We thought an earlier visit rather than waiting until later in the year made the most sense,’’ Kennedy said.

The Red Sox are also planning to take advantage of the trip to D.C. to visit Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Kennedy added the team anticipates “a healthy representation of ownership, executives, coaches and players” to attend the White House ceremony, but attendance is not mandatory.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who previously had criticized Donald Trump over comments about his native Puerto Rico when the President minimized the death toll from Hurricane Maria, has previously pledged not to be a distraction during the visit.

Whether to accept an invitation extended by the Trump White House has become at times a difficult decision for some organizations due to the ongoing, polarizing political climate.

Trump throughout his presidency has made critical comments concerning certain issues in the sports world, which has inspired some organizations — or individual players — to decline championship ceremony invitations.

Trump has also rescinded previous invitations to championship teams or declined to extend one in the first place. Several teams of course have attended such ceremonies without incident or controversy, however.

The Red Sox announced in December that the organization had accepted the White House’s invitation to celebrate the team’s championship. Tuesday’s announcement merely formalized the plans.