Houston Astros All-Stars from Puerto Rico Skip White House Visit

Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán did not join the team to meet with President Trump.

Houston Astros' Carlos Correa holds the Puerto Rican flag following the World Series win.

Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros visited President Trump at the White House on Monday to celebrate the 2017 World Series victory, but All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa didn’t join them.

Correa made his MLB debut in 2015 and won the American League Rookie of the Year Award. In 2017, he was selected to play in his first MLB All-Star Game.

His absence on Monday stood out because he didn’t previously announce that he would not attend. The star player is from Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Category 4 Hurricane Maria in September.

Five months later, more than 10 percent of residents are still lacking electricity. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that 1 in 10 customers still won’t have it as of the end of March, according to The Washington Post.

When Trump visited the U.S. commonwealth on Oct. 3, almost two weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall, he told residents to be “very proud” they hadn’t endured a “real catastrophe” like Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He boasted about the “unbelievable” and “incredible” job that his administration had done in aiding the island. Trump also complained that Puerto Rico’s disaster threw the nation’s budget “a little out of whack.”

But the president also helped distribute supplies — at one point throwing rolls of paper towels into the crowd.

Carlos Correa

On Monday, when reporters asked Astros owner Jim Crane if Correa’s absence at the White House was politically motivated, he sidestepped the question.

“[A] couple of the guys had family issues and spring break, so we didn’t really review that with them,” Crane said, according to The New York Post.

Before the World Series win, Correa, 23, told ESPN that returning to Puerto Rico with a championship ring would give the island some joy.

“A World Series win would really mean a lot — not everything, but a lot,” he said. “Obviously a lot of stuff is going on over there, but we’re able to bring a little bit of joy and happiness through baseball to the fans in Puerto Rico, and that really means a lot to us.”

Carlos Beltrán, 40, an outfielder-designated hitter and a nine-time All-Star who retired after the team won the World Series, said last month he would not go to the White House. He also is from Puerto Rico.

“No, I’m not gonna go. Honestly I’m not going. I’m going to stay with my family,” Beltrán said in February.

He said he would be in New York City and skipping the White House didn’t have to do with Trump. But Beltrán has slammed the federal response to the hurricanes, Maria and Irma, that hit Puerto Rico.

“There’s no doubt that I’m disappointed,” Beltrán said. “I’m not the only one. There’s a lot of people disappointed. We haven’t [gotten] some benefits. Being part of the United States, you expect to at least get the same benefits when tragedies like this happen. The fact that we haven’t [gotten] those, yeah, it’s a disappointment.”

Carlos Beltrán

He added, “At the end of the day, as a Puerto Rican and an athlete, I’m doing the best I can in trying to provide some help.”

Beltrán is using his foundation to help with relief efforts.

In addition to Correa and Beltrán, relief pitcher Ken Giles also did not attend the visit, nor did he make an announcement about his reasoning for not going.

“Astros pitchers Michael Feliz, Francis Martes and David Paulino also weren’t at the White House,” according to The Houston Chronicle. “They weren’t on the playoff roster last year, but neither were Tony Kemp, A.J. Reed, Tyler White and James Hoyt, yet they all made the White House visit.”

Trump said to the Astros in the East Room of the White House on Monday, “Our administration will continue to stand by the people of Texas and Florida and Puerto Rico, Louisiana, even Alabama, and so many other places [that] were affected, and we’re standing by all of them.”

A few days before his visit to Puerto Rico in October, he picked a fight with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who pleaded for more government aid in the midst of a crisis.

“We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy,” Cruz said Sept. 29 in a news conference.

Below are a few of Trump’s barrage of tweets:

The Astros’ visit comes almost two weeks after the NBA’s Golden State Warriors went to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., in lieu of a White House visit after Trump withdrew the traditional invitation.

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  • Puerto Rico is still in shambles. The undercover goal of the corrupt Whitehouse is to make the people move to the states or other countries, sell their land to investors and turn Puerto Rico into Timeshares, rental properties, and vacation homes/condos for the rich.

  • I applaud these bold, courageous MLB and NFL players who protest. I wouldn’t go to the White House either after tRump’s disparaging and denigrating comments about Puerto Rico’s female mayor and U.S. citizens being treated like foster children. Any person of color who works for racist tRump or visits is a traitor to their people.

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