Several Astros players said they would make a trip to the White House to visit Donald Trump and celebrate their World Series Title.
Several Astros players said they would be willing to make the trip to the White House to visit President Donald Trump and celebrate their World Series victory.
A number of players were asked about the customary celebratory visit at the team's pre-parade press conference on Friday.
"In our country, it stands for a lot, it means a lot to a lot of people," World Series MVP George Springer said. "I've been there, my grandfather worked in Washington for years. If the team goes, I'm going."
Starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel was more succinct in explaining his decision.
"I mean, I'm gonna go. That's about it. Gonna have some fun," the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner said.
Alex Bregman said he'd follow whatever two of his teammates decide.
"I'm going to do whatever Carlos Beltran and Carlos Correa do."
Lance McCullers Jr., who started and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in Game 7, also said he'd be in favor of making the trip.
"I would be crazy not to want to go and see that experience firsthand," McCullers said, per MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch was non-committal when asked whether his team would make the trip and said the decision would be made later.
"I believe in celebrating this championship," Hinch told reporters Friday. "I believe our organization should bask in the glory of what this work has done. … What comes out of this moving forward on the political side, what we do or don't do, what sports has turned into representing the country's tone, will have to be decided in time.
"We're not going to allow anything to polarize this moment that we want to celebrate with our fans."
The Astros defeated the Dodgers in seven games to win their first World Series in franchise history.
American sports teams that win a championship—both college and professional—have made the customary visit to the White House for decades, but a growing number of athletes have refused the visit since Donald Trump has been in office.
The Golden State Warriors decided not to visit the White House because they felt they were not welcome. Multiple players, including Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, said they did not want to visit Trump, and the President preemptively rescinded the team's invite shortly before the team announced they wouldn't make the trip.
The New England Patriots made the visit, but only 34 players attended. When the team visited President Barack Obama two years before, 50 players made the trip.
The entirety of the Pittsburgh Penguins team visited Trump after their Stanley Cup triumph. “Nobody's taking a stand," head coach Mike Sullivan said of the visit. "We are simply honoring our championship and the accomplishments of this group of players.”
Astros owner Jim Crane has been a donor to the Democratic Party and frequently plays golf with Obama.