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Anthony Rendon says he didn't miss Nats' White House visit due to politics: 'I wanted to go so bad'

Jack Baer
Writer

Anthony Rendon is now a member of the Los Angeles Angels after signing a whopping seven-year, $245 million contract, but he still had some business to address from his tenure with the Washington Nationals as he was introduced in Anaheim.

Rendon was one of a handful of players that skipped the Nationals’ visit to the White House after winning the 2019 World Series, and easily the highest-profile player to miss the event.

Given that White House visits have become a massive source of political controversy during Donald Trump’s presidency, that was naturally going to lead to speculation about why Rendon skipped the event. Rendon decided to put that speculation to rest with his first public appearance since the Nationals’ World Series parade.

Anthony Rendon’s reason for skipping the White House

Rendon said that it was absolutely his intention to go the White House, but wasn’t able to go due to miscommunication around a trip back to his home in Houston. He even said he, Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman were planning to golf with Trump in spring training, only for the president to no-show.

That’s obviously a marked contrast to the second most prominent National to skip the visit, closer Sean Doolittle. The reliever told The Washington Post before the visit that he personally objected to Trump’s “divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories,” among other reasons for not going.

Even without Doolittle and Rendon, a sizable contingent of Nationals showed up for the White House trip while they were still in town for the parade. Catcher Kurt Suzuki donned a MAGA hat (which he swears wasn’t a political statement) and Zimmerman thanked Trump, on behalf of the Nationals, “for continuing to make America the greatest country to live in the world.”

Whether or not Rendon is able to get another invitation to visit Trump could depend on what else the Angels do to build a contender and the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Or he could just book another golf date and hope the president shows up this time.

Anthony Rendon says he would have visited the White House, had it not been for a scheduling mix-up. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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