It is a political statement, though: Trump is deeply unpopular as POTUS, and Maddon even admitted that not going to the White House is a political statement. So, when you do the opposite and go to the White House, why isn’t that a political statement, too? Well, because it’s Maddon, like he always does as a manager, will say whatever he has to in order to shield his players and bosses from criticism. That’s an annoying but understandable trait for a manager, but when Maddon is using the same tactics for something more meaningful than adults playing sports in their pajamas, when he’s shielding the decision to visit the White House behind his privilege as a well-off white man, well, annoying doesn’t quite cover it.
Maddon says he’s going out of respect for the office and the building itself, a line that prioritizes the figurative symbolism of the office over real people. Real people like any Cubs fans who have been targeted by the president and cabinet working inside of it, whether because they’re a minority or an immigrant or LGBT or on Medicaid. And at a time when the voicemail inboxes of senators are overflowing with messages from constituents especially concerned about that last part.
The Yankees got the three MVP-caliber seasons from Cano, and they also got four starting-caliber seasons and five All-Star seasons. If there’s a tiebreaker between these two teams, it’s that the Yankees haven’t had a second baseman worth two wins since Brian Roberts in 2014. Starlin Castro appears ready to break that drought, though.
As for the other guy on the East Coast? Dustin Pedroia got close, and the Red Sox have enjoyed five starting-caliber seasons, six All-Star seasons, and one MVP-level season, which is outstanding compared to the rest of baseball. But they couldn’t quite get where the Phillies and Yankees were.