There was no hesitation when Heath Hembree answered the question.
After helping guide the Boston Red Sox to a World Series title, the South Carolina native was asked if he would welcome a trip to the White House.
The tradition for champions in all major sports has come under greater scrutiny since President Donald Trump was elected. But there was no doubt about Hembree’s desire to make a presidential visit.
“Hell yeah! I f--- with Trump,” the Red Sox relief pitcher said enthusiastically, a video shows.
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The native of Spartanburg tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings out of Boston’s bullpen in the playoffs, including an appearance in the World Series where the Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, ESPN reported.
After Sunday’s championship-clinching win in Los Angeles, Hembree was asked about the potential trip to Washington D.C. As he got into a limo, he fielded one more question — “What’s your favorite thing about Trump?”
“Everything,” the video shows the pitcher saying.
Hembree played college baseball at the University of South Carolina and Spartanburg Methodist College before finishing at the College of Charleston, The State previously reported.
Two other Gamecock alums were on the Red Sox championship team, and came through in a big way. Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who helped USC win back-to-back College World Series titles was the MVP of the American League Championship Series, and first baseman Steve Pearce was the MVP of the World Series, where he hit three home runs.
There has been no word if either of those former South Carolina stars are looking forward to celebrating their title in the Rose Garden at the White House. Alshon Jeffery, another former USC star athlete, did not get the chance to visit the president when his team won the Super Bowl.
The celebration of the Philadelphia Eagles was canceled by President Donald Trump, according to a White House release in June, Sports Illustrated reported. Trump canceled the NFL champions visit because of the controversy over standing for the national anthem at NFL games.
Boston manager Alex Cora said the team would talk about a White House visit later, the New York Post reported, adding Cora “has been critical of Trump’s comments regarding his native Puerto Rico.”
“We haven’t been invited,” Red Sox team owner John Henry said, according to WEEI. “I think we will. This is a special team. We’ll see what they want to do, but I think so.”