World Series Champions the Washington Nationals on Monday visited the White House following their victory over the Houston Astros. As President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and the team stepped out to address the crowd gathered on the South Lawn to honor their sports victory, the team’s catcher, Kurt Suzuki whipped out his red MAGA cap and put it on. The angry left went nuts.
Until recent years, the honor of sports champions being extended an invitation to come to the White House and enjoy a visit with the president was just a nice tradition. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most athletes to rub elbows with the president and continue to bask in the glory of victory. Then, as with all things, politics seeped in. Now athletes use the White House invitation to score political points. This didn’t begin with President Trump’s election. I remember it happening to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, too.
The media elites and anti-Trump personalities, along with many Democrats, took great pleasure in the sight and sound of President Trump being booed as he arrived at Game Five of the World Series in Washington, D.C. There were countless videos on social media posted by baseball fans capturing the spectacle on their smartphones. This happened on the same day President Trump announced that the American military killed the leader of ISIS. That announcement was criticized by the ugly left – Trump delivered the news to the world in his own style and that triggered them. So, the opportunity to show their displeasure with Trump in person was an added bonus that night.
Most of the team accepted the invitation to visit the White House. Eighteen of the twenty-five players on the World Series roster were in attendance. Trump proclaimed the day as “Washington Nationals Day.” Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez were there. Principal owner Mark Lerner was the only member of the ownership group to attend.
Players not attending included National League MVP candidate Anthony Rendon, outfielders Victor Robles and Michael A. Taylor, and pitchers Joe Ross, Javy Guerra and Wander Suero. Reliever Sean Doolittle was the first to make headlines with his refusal to accept the invitation. He and his wife work with Syrian refugees and military veterans and support gay rights so that was his excuse. It is standard boilerplate complaints that would have been used against any Republican president. The virtue-signaling left is quite predictable.
The ceremony on the South Lawn opened with the White House band playing “Baby Shark,” which has been an anthem of sorts for the Nats’ championship run. Trump then took the podium to say a few words.
“Throughout this season, the Nationals captured the hearts of baseball fans across the region and across the country,” Trump said. “America fell in love with the Nats baseball … that’s all they wanted to talk about. That, and impeachment. I like Nats baseball much more.”
Trump recounted the Nationals’ now-infamous 19-31 start to the season, Max Scherzer’s All-Star performance and Kurt Suzuki’s walk-off, three-run homer in the Nats’ 11-10 win over the Mets on Sept. 4.
At that point, Suzuki took the podium at Trump’s behest.
“I love you all,” Suzuki said, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat. “I love you all. Thank you.”
Ryan Zimmerman presented Trump with a personalized white Nationals jersey with the number 45. That is a standard gift from a team to the president – any president. As he presented the jersey, Zimmerman said, “We’d also like to thank you for keeping everyone safe in our country, and continuing to make America the greatest country to live in the world.” The left lost its mind on social media.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 4, 2019
Baseball players make it so hard to like baseball. https://t.co/EWI6OSA7Sf
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) November 4, 2019
A CNN anchor looks downright depressed over the joyful celebration.
CNN has the sads Kurt Suzuki wore a MAGA hat at the White House and Trump made an impeachment joke pic.twitter.com/KDDMu4l01Q
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) November 4, 2019
[Leaps off of Nats bandwagon so fast he breaks leg landing on the ground] https://t.co/GZSd0A9m4j
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) November 4, 2019
They will never love you, Kurt Suzuki. They will never love you. Enjoy the hug and the delusion. Whatever makes you feel great.
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) November 4, 2019
This was kind of funny:
Are Kurt Suzuki and Donald Trump reenacting the scene from Titanic? https://t.co/W8mxBxAGg9
— Ian Scheuring (@IanScheuring) November 4, 2019
Back to our elite betters:
Very sad. I love Kurt Suzuki as a player. But he wore a MAGA hat to the White House, so I will not cheer him. Not quite as bad for Ryan Zimmerman, but his praise for Trump is hard to take.
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) November 4, 2019
Making a political statement by declining an invitation from the White House is neither bold nor brave. Observers will not change their political opinions over any public figure’s bad manners. The office of the presidency should have the respect of every American whether the person holding the title is respected or not. Man up and show up to the people’s house. No one who stayed home was missed.
I’ll end with this tweet from the leader of the “muh principles” Republicans. It must be difficult living out in the wilderness, being so broken by Donald Trump.
How great would it be if, at this afternoon's celebration on the Mall, Ted Lerner announced that the Nationals had decided as a team to respectfully decline President Trump's invitation to the White House?
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 2, 2019