President Trump recognized the Houston Astros on Monday for their first World Series win, an “incredible victory” that Trump said was even more special following the devastation Hurricane Harvey wrought on the Texas city.
Houston defeated the Dodgers in Game 7 last year to win the title. Trump declared it “was one of the greatest baseball games anybody has ever seen.” The Astros jumped to a 5-0 lead by the second inning, ultimately winning the game 5-1.
“It’s really a reminder why baseball is our national pastime,” he said at the White House.
Trump thanked the players for spending time with people who were displaced by Harvey’s floodwaters, and for donating money.
White House visits by championship sports teams are usually highly anticipated, but have become politically fraught in the age of Trump.
More than two dozen New England Patriots stayed away when the Super Bowl-winning team visited in 2017. Several had cited political reasons beforehand.
The NBA champion Warriors avoided the White House on a trip to Washington last month. Stephen Curry had said last year that he did not want to come to the White House. Trump later made it clear that Curry wasn’t welcome, tweeting “invitation is withdrawn!”
At least three Astros — recently retired outfielder Carlos Beltran, pitcher Ken Giles and shortstop Carlos Correa — were absent Monday. Beltran and Giles previously had cited family reasons for why they would skip the event.
Walker will join Yankees: Free agent Neil Walker and the Yankees agreed to a one-year contract worth about $5 million, giving New York an infielder who figures to allow prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar more time to mature in the minor leagues.
Walker likely will start at second base and Brandon Drury, acquired from Arizona last month, will play third.
Walker is among the victims of a historically slow free-agent market and will take a huge cut from the $17.2 million he earned last season, when he accepted a qualifying offer from the Mets. The 32-year-old hit .265 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs last year for the Mets and Milwaukee, which acquired him Aug. 12.
Briefly: The Twins finalized a $12 million, one-year contract with right-hander Lance Lynn, who went 11-8 with a 3.43 ERA in 33 starts for the Cardinals in 2017. … The Rockies finalized a $5 million, one-year deal to bring back three-time All-Star right fielder Carlos Gonzalez.