LOS ANGELES – With the Dodgers heading to Washington, DC next week to take on the Nationals, the team is “hopeful” of visiting the White House, a tradition for teams after winning the World Series.
“I’ve heard rumors it will happen,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “We’re pretty hopeful that it will happen.”
If the Dodgers are ultimately cleared up for a visit to the White House, the more likely the team will make the trip on Thursday. The Dodgers have a day off Wednesday that they will use as a travel day after playing the Giants on Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT.
Once released, the Dodgers will need to figure out how many people are allowed to visit the White House based on health and safety protocols. They would be the first professional sports team to visit the White House since the pandemic began.
“It was very difficult [to plan]”Said Roberts. “Of course, the Dodgers have a lot of important things going on in correspondence with the White House, so the Dodgers have done a great job of finding this out for the players, staff and coaches. We don’t have a full finality yet, but I know personally I’ll be excited when the opportunity presents itself. I think our coaches and players are too. “
Roberts said he looks forward to meeting President Joe Biden but is particularly excited to meet Vice President Kamala Harris, the first female VP in US history.
“I would like to meet her,” said Roberts. “But it’s an honor, something that gives every champion this opportunity – or most champions who win world championships get the opportunity, so I’ve always dreamed of it.”
Top pitching candidate Josiah Gray suffered right shoulder impingement on May 12 and has been out since then. Gray was originally supposed to be banned from throwing for seven to ten days, but the process took much longer.
However, Friday was a positive day for the right-hander as he threw his first live hit practice since his injury. Gray, who has been limited to just one appearance this season, could give the Dodgers the much-needed starting depth if he can get well.
Earlier this season, Gray would have been under discussion for a couple of starts, but the injury didn’t allow the Dodgers to pull off that plan. It is still unclear how close Gray is to returning to games at Triple-A.
The Dodgers weren’t hit by the Cubs on Thursday for the first time in nearly six years, and the club looks forward to getting over it on Friday. Roberts said the mood in the home clubhouse was “calm and focused” ahead of Friday’s game.
“I don’t think either of us liked that last night,” said catcher Will Smith. “After every defeat you come back the next day and you’re hungry for a win. Here we are today. “