Maddon is doing this because the Ricketts, who own the Cubs, finagled an invite from the White House that once tried to recruit Todd Ricketts as the commerce secretary, likely as a thank you for the Ricketts family’s contributions to the Trump campaign. That donation was a political statement. Making a second visit to the White House after the Cubs have already made one is a political statement. And Maddon trying to deflect by dismissing concerns that this is a political statement is such a political move that it’s a surprise he doesn’t already have a seat in congress.
When you think of the Tigers and second base, though, who do you think of? Ian Kinsler recently, sure. Hall-of-Famer Charlie Gehringer and Should-Be-Hall-of-Famer-I-Will-Fight-You Lou Whitaker from the past, of course. But it’s not like they had someone you instantly identify with the franchise.
They usually had someone, though. Of all the teams in baseball, the Tigers have been the most consistent team at finding second basemen, doing it in 17 seasons out of the last 20. It’s even more impressive when you consider how awful they were in the early ’00s. It’s a varied list, too:
Just own the trip. The Cubs as an organization are Trump-friendly, and they’re visiting specifically because Trump is here. Maddon, for all his talk about this not being political and him going out of respect for the office and an old building, is also speaking to young Republicans at a luncheon while he’s in town. Teams do not have a responsibility to visit the White House we’ve recently had this come up with the NBA champs, the Golden State Warriors. Maddon and the Cubs should stop pretending otherwise.