Alex Cora is pushing back against recent media discussion of what could be perceived as a racial divide in the Boston Red Sox clubhouse ahead of the team's trip to the White House.
Cora, along with several players, will not attend the ceremony with President Donald Trump to honor the World Series champions.
"There's been a lot of talk about what's going on tomorrow and the clubhouse and we're divided with race and politics," Cora said. "Those kids went out there and played their hearts out. We know who we are in the clubhouse. I know a lot of people doubt that, but we did what we did last year and canceled the noise. We showed up every day, and we played."
In January, Cora was outspoken about his native Puerto Rico's need for relief after Hurricane Maria killed an estimated 2,975 people there.
"For everybody that's talking about us and the situation and crushing us throughout the week -- they played extra innings, didn't give in, and they're celebrating [reliever] Heath [Hembree] because of his first save and celebrating [outfielder] Jackie [Bradley Jr., who made a game-saving catch], and we go," Cora said. "There's a group going home. There's a group going to the White House. Friday, we get back to playing baseball."