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Red Sox Postpone White House Visit Due to Government Shutdown

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The Boston Red Sox announced Friday they are postponing their planned visit to the White House due to the government shutdown.

President Donald Trump originally planned to honor last season’s World Series champions on Feb. 15, which is three days before the first full-squad spring training workout.

Pitchers and catchers are due to report to spring training in Fort Myers, Florida, on Feb. 13. Now, instead of them flying to Washington and then heading back for the first full workout on Feb. 18, the entire team will stay in Florida.

With the Red Sox not scheduled to play the Washington Nationals this season, the team will instead make the visit when its visits Baltimore and the Orioles in early May.

“After consulting with the White House and Major League Baseball, the Red Sox have rescheduled their visit to the nation’s capital to May 9 when the club is in Baltimore,” a Red Sox representative told MLB.com’s Ian Browne.

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The Red Sox play at Baltimore from May 6-8 and then have a scheduled off-day May 9 before returning home to take on the Seattle Mariners.

The team made the announcement Friday a few hours before Trump and congressional Democrats agreed on a deal to reopen the federal government for three weeks while talks on the budget and border security continue.

Last week, Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said the team was uncomfortable with the idea of celebrating at the White House while so many government employees were out of work.

Coincidentally, just one day before the Red Sox announced their intentions as the defending World Series champions, the defending NBA champions were also in Washington as the Golden State Warriors played the Wizards.

The Warriors didn’t receive an invitation to the White House after stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant spoke out against the idea of visiting Trump in 2017.

Before their game on Thursday night, they met with former President Barack Obama at his office in Washington.

Another recent champion, the Clemson Tigers of college football, visited White House last week and were served fast food paid for by the president amid the government shutdown.

The Red Sox Foundation, along with the Boston Bruins’ Foundation and Celtics’ Shamrock Foundation, made a $75,000 donation to help support Massachusetts Coast Guard service members affected by the shutdown.

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The Coast Guard was the only branch of the military that was still on duty without pay.

Do you think the Red Sox will repeat as World Series champs?

The Red Sox’s 2018 was arguably the most successful in the 118 seasons in franchise history. Not only did they claim their ninth World Series, but they also won a franchise-record 108 games.

The regular season lasted 186 days from start to finish, and Boston held at least a share of the divisional lead for 173 of those days.

The Sox then breezed through the postseason and never lost more than one game in any single series. They defeated the Dodgers 4-1 in the World Series with midseason pickup Steve Pearce being named MVP.

The 2019 regular season for the Red Sox will begin March 28 as they visit Seattle to take on the Mariners.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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