Trump hugs it out with Suzuki during Natsâ€™ visit
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A majority of the Washington Nationals visited President Donald Trump for Monday's ceremony at the White House, though it wasn't a landslide for the District of Columbia's home team.
While seven of the players on the Nationals' 25-man active roster for World Series roster didn't attend, Trump did get a kick out of veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki, and perhaps a vote of confidence.
Called to the South Lawn podium by the president as the Nationals continued celebrating their World Series title after finishing off the Houston Astros in seven games last week, the 36-year-old Suzuki wore a red "Make America Great Again" hat.
A symbol of Trump's presidential campaign that he and his supporters wore ahead of the election, the hat apparently made the president's day. He gave a huge hug to Suzuki, who stretched out his arms and said, "I love you all. I love you all. Thank you."
After shaking hands with Suzuki, who totaled 17 homers and 63 RBI in 85 regular-season games for the Nationals, Trump said, "What a job he did. I didn't know that was going to happen."
Trump probably didn't know he would get booed by the hometown crowd at Game 5 in Nationals Park, either. Trump has also met with the 2017 champion Houston Astros and the 2018 champion Boston Red Sox, although a number of Red Sox players as well as manager Alex Cora skipped that visit. But everyone in attendance Monday seemed to be on the president's side.
That included Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who gifted the president with a No. 45 jersey with Trump's name on the back.
"This is an incredible honor I'd like to think none of us will ever forget," Zimmerman said. "We'd also like to thank you for keeping everyone here safe in our country and continuing to make America the greatest country to live in the world."
The seven no-shows Monday included highly outspoken reliever Sean Doolittle, along with fellow pitchers Joe Ross, Javy Guerra and Wander Suero, third baseman Anthony Rendon and outfielders Victor Robles and Michael A. Taylor.
On Friday, Doolittle told the Washington Post he would not attend, a stance in opposition of the president's policies and ongoing rhetoric.
"There's a lot of things, policies that I disagree with, but at the end of the day, it has more to do with the divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country," Doolittle said in The Washington Post interview.
"At the end of the day, as much as I wanted to be there with my teammates and share that experience with my teammates, I can't do it. I just can't do it."
On Monday, Trump stuck mostly to the Nationals' accomplishments, though he did manage to include a bit of political business.
"America fell in love with Nats baseball. That's all they wanted to talk about," Trump said before a pause. "That and impeachment. I like Nats baseball much more."