"I'm an immigrant. When it comes down to the political side of it I don't know much about politics and things like that". A derogatory shout about the Red Sox's rival, the New York Yankees, was heard. "Think about it, all the stuff that has been going on since he took office". "I think I'll be a neutral in this one". While announcing $448 million in new disaster relief for areas of the Florida panhandle still recovering from Hurricane Michael, the president claimed that Puerto Rico received $91 billion to recover from Hurricane Maria.
Many fans cringed at the optics and the message, tweeting "shame on you all" and calling out the players who went for not staying back in solidarity with their teammates.
"There's been a lot of talk about what's going on tomorrow and the clubhouse and we're divided with race and politics", Cora said. Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale called it "a very high honor. that we appreciate". Cora pointed out Sunday that he has spoken out about the plight of Puerto Ricans in the past and added that he doesn't "feel comfortable in the White House".
The Globe's Adrian Walker said that most fans would focus on the sports part of the day, and the team itself, but also that there was "some feeling" in Boston that Cora ought to have gone to the White House and made his case for Puerto Rico.
One player of Cuban descent who attended, J.D. Martinez, told reporters before making the trip that it would be an honour. They were the last team in the major leagues to integrate.
"Unfortunately, we are still struggling, still fighting".
Cora appeared to capture the President's attention - without responding to him directly, Trump defended his Puerto Rico response in a Monday tweet, citing misleading statistics about aid.
But a good number of the Boston Red Sox don't plan on attending, and a former player is offering solidarity.
A championship team's coach rarely, if ever, misses the White House visit, a tradition that began in earnest in 1924 when then-President Calvin Coolidge invited the Washington Senators.
For some players, it might be their only chance for a White House invite. The Red Sox were not at the White House for a meal, Werner said.