HOUSTON -- The Astros announced on Wednesday they will visit the White House on March 12 to meet President Donald Trump and be honored for winning the 2017 World Series.Because the Astros don't play the Washington Nationals in the regular season and won't play the Baltimore Orioles until late September,
HOUSTON -- The Astros announced on Wednesday they will visit the White House on March 12 to meet President Donald Trump and be honored for winning the 2017 World Series.
Because the Astros don't play the Washington Nationals in the regular season and won't play the Baltimore Orioles until late September, the team will utilize an off-day in the middle of its Grapefruit League schedule to travel up and back to Washington, D.C., in the same day.
"It's an honor," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "The only people that get to go are world champions, and we have an opportunity to go. I'm certainly looking forward to it."
The Astros, who beat the Dodgers in seven games to win the Fall Classic, will travel to the nation's capital in between Grapefruit League games against the Mets in Port St. Lucie (March 11 and 13).
"It'll be a quick day for us going up and back in a day," manager A.J. Hinch said. "Luckily, we're on the East Coast. It'll be a fun day to get most, if not all, of the 2017 team together. We're going to try to get as many of the guys who were involved last season on that plane and into D.C. It's one team that gets to do it and it's a great tradition. We'll make the most of the day."
The majority of the team that won the 2017 World Series is back this year, with the exception of a few players. Carlos Beltran, who retired, said earlier this week he wouldn't attend the White House ceremony. Relief pitcher Luke Gregerson has signed with the Cardinals, who train a few miles from the Astros in Jupiter, Fla. He could travel with the club to Washington. Mike Fiers has signed with the Tigers, and Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz are with the Pirates. Both of those teams train on the west coast of Florida. Other Astros player from last year's team are free agents, including Francisco Liriano and Cameron Maybin.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.