Reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts won't visit White House with Red Sox

When the Boston Red Sox go to the White House to celebrate their World Series championship, a key member of that team won’t be there.

Mookie Betts, the reigning American League MVP, told the Boston Globe on Saturday night that he’d decided not to attend.

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

Betts spoke to the press at the 96th annual New York Baseball Writers’ Association of America dinner, where he was accepting his AL MVP award. He didn’t elaborate on his reason for the decision, he just said he wouldn’t be going.

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Boston Red Sox celebrate World Series win with parade
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Boston Red Sox celebrate World Series win with parade
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: Confetti covers the fans and the Duck boats as they depart Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox World Series Victory Parade on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Boston Red Sox's Brock Holt, left, and Andrew Benintendi cheer during a parade to celebrate the team's World Series championship over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Boston Red Sox's Blake Swihart sprays the crowd as he passes by during a parade to celebrate the team's World Series championship over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Confetti flies as a duckboat carrying members of the Boston Red Sox pass by during a parade to celebrate the team's World Series championship over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: Red Sox pitcher David Price, in person and on a giant cardboard cutout, as the Red Sox World Series parade goes through Copley Square in Boston, MA on Oct. 31, 2018. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: The Boston Red Sox World Series victory parade headed down Boylston Street in Boston on Oct. 31, 2018. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: The Boston Red Sox ride in duck boats on Tremont Street past Park Street Church during the Boston Red Sox Victory Parade on October 31, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: A young Red Sox fan screams for his favorite players in Copley Square along the victory parade route for the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox in Boston, MA on Oct. 31, 2018. (Photo by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: A fan falls backwards into a crowd of people at the Red Sox World Series victory parade in Boston, MA on Oct. 31, 2018. (Photo by Micheal Swensen for The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: Red Sox Manager Alex Cora waves with the trophy during the Boston Red Sox World Series victory parade down Boylston Street in Boston on Oct. 31, 2018. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 31: Fans line the streets of Boston for the Red Sox World Series victory parade in Boston, MA on Oct. 31, 2018. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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There will be other teammates missing from the visit beyond Betts. Third baseman Rafael Devers has already said he won’t be going to the White House, emphasizing that his decision wasn’t political. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez are both undecided. Manager Alex Cora is also undecided, though if he attends he’s said he’ll use his platform to argue for more help for his native Puerto Rico, which is still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The Red Sox were originally scheduled to visit the White House in February, but decided to have the visit rescheduled due to the government shutdown. The team is now going on May 9.

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