Both the prior and current United States President involved themselves with professional sports, creating an interesting crossover and mix between politics and teams and players, for better or worse.
During Game 4 of the 2018 World Series, President Donald Trump was hypercritical of Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts removing Rich Hill. President Trump shared his thoughts on Twitter, which were relayed to Roberts during his postgame press conference.
“I’m happy he was tuning in and watching the game,” Roberts responded. “I don’t know how many Dodger games he’s watched. I don’t think he is privy to the conversation. That’s one man’s opinion.”
Less than one year later, Roberts and the Dodgers were in the nation’s capital for the National League Division Series during a turbulent political climate. There is heightened tension amid an impeachment inquiry, though that was hardly a focus at Nationals Park.
“Yeah, that’s nice. It’s a nice diversion,” Roberts said of the political issue not reaching the Dodgers or Nationals “So certainly it’s going to be about baseball tonight in this town, in this ballpark.
“We have been here in this environment, a lot of passionate fans, and there’s going to be a lot of good energy and so how we manage it will, remains to be seen, but I like the guys we’re running out there.”
Nationals manager Dave Martinez was also asked about not having to discuss politics, which he too found solace in. “You know what, I consider my job relatively easy when it comes to dealing with that kind of stuff. I try not to watch. I don’t want to get involved,” Martinez said.
“I have my own opinions, obviously, but I’m not here trying to solve the world’s problems. I’m here to manage a baseball game and have fun doing it.”
The Dodgers and Nationals avoided any international incident or drawing the ire of President Trump as they split the two games in Washington D.C., and now are due to meet in a winner-take-all Game 5 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.
While Roberts was the subject of pointed remarks from the President last October, it may pale in comparison to criticism from the fanbase if the Dodgers suffer a first-round playoff exit.