The Chicago Cubs already visited the White House once this year as they reign as World Series champions, but when they go there again on Wednesday to visit with President Donald Trump, several will skip the trip.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times and other media outlets, several members of the 2016 championship squad will not attend the festivities, including shortstop Addison Russell, pitcher Jake Arrieta, and reliever Carl Edwards Jr.
Relievers Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon will also skip the event, and according to the Sun-Times, they are two of at least 10 players who will not be at the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
Outfielder Jason Heyward, who did attend the ceremony in January, will not be at the White House, but declined to elaborate on why he won’t be there.
“Some guys didn’t go last time. Some guys aren’t going this time,” he said.
While plenty of players aren’t going, there are numerous big-name stars that are. Anthony Rizzo, who presented President Obama with a number 44 jersey during the January ceremony, will be at the White House again, and John Lackey, who didn’t attend the January event, will be there on Wednesday even though he is pitching in the evening against the Nationals.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon will also be at the White House, saying that he’s doing it out of respect for the Ricketts family and out of respect of his United States citizenship.
“To go is out of respect to the Ricketts’ family and to the office and the building itself,” Maddon told the media. “Listen, I like the United States a lot. I like living here a lot. I like everything that it represents a lot. When you get a chance as a citizen to get to go to the White House, you go.”
After the Cubs’ event at the White House on Wednesday, they will head back to Nationals Park to take on Washington in the third game of a four game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Central time.