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Mookie Betts won't be joining the Red Sox at the White House

Mookie Betts won't be joining the Red Sox at the White House
Mookie Betts played a big role in the Boston Red Sox's World Series championship but won't take part in the team's White House visit. (Elise Amendola / Associated Press)

American League MVP Mookie Betts won’t be joining his Boston Red Sox teammates in celebrating their World Series championship with President Trump at the White House.

Betts told the Boston Globe of his decision Saturday night after the New York Baseball Writers’ Assn. of America dinner, where he was presented with his MVP award. He did not elaborate on the decision, other than to say he had put some thought into it.

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“I won’t be going there,” Betts said. “I decided not to.”

Third baseman Rafael Devers has said he will not take part in the visit as well, and several other members of the team — including Eduardo Rodriguez, Xander Bogaerts and Eduardo Nunez — are undecided, according to the Globe.

Manager Alex Cora, a Puerto Rico native who has been outspoken in calling for Trump to do more in the wake of Hurricane Maria, initially said he would participate after the team accepted the White House invitation late last year, but he has since indicated he is back on the fence about it.

The visit was originally planned for Feb. 15 but was rescheduled for May 9 because of the partial government shutdown.

“Like in the past, it's an invitation,” team president Sam Kennedy said in December. “It's not a mandatory, command performance. It's an opportunity for these guys to get the recognition they deserve for a world championship.”

Last week, the Golden State Warriors, who were not weren’t invited to the White House following their 2018 NBA title, visited with former President Obama instead. Earlier this month, Trump hosted college football’s national champions, the Clemson Tigers, at the White House for a fast-food feast.

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