Fenway Park. Photo: Photo: Omar Rawlings/Getty Image

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora and nearly a dozen players say they'll skip this afternoon's visit to the White House to celebrate the team's World Series championship, AP's Jonathan Lemire writes.

Why it matters: All those bypassing the ceremony with President Trump, including American League MVP Mookie Betts, are players of color. Every white player on the team — as well as J.D. Martinez, who is of Cuban descent — is expected to attend.

Those around the Red Sox locker room stressed that a player's decision to attend was a personal choice and not, in many cases, political.

  • The racial disparity received attention after pitcher David Price, an African American who said he would not attend, retweeted longtime Boston sports columnist Steve Buckley: "Basically, it's the white Sox who'll be going."

The context: A championship team's coach rarely, if ever, misses the White House visit.

  • But the events have taken on sharp political overtones since Trump took office.
  • Cora has cited his frustration with the administration’s handling of hurricane recovery in his native Puerto Rico.

The big picture ... The split reflects a larger trend across baseball: A number of players hail from Trump-friendly states like Texas and Florida, while the sport has also seen a surge in Latino players and a decline in African Americans.

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Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images and BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

If you want to understand the rhetorical roots of Trump's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore, go back and watch Tucker Carlson's monologues for the past six weeks.

Between the lines: Trump — or rather his speechwriter Stephen Miller — framed the president's opposition to the Black Lives Matter protest movement using the same imagery Carlson has been laying out night after night on Fox.

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Bolton's hidden aftershocks

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The news media has largely moved on, but foreign government officials remain fixated on John Bolton's memoir, "The Room Where It Happened."

Why it matters: Bolton's detailed inside-the-Oval revelations have raised the blood pressure of allies who were already stressed about President Trump's unreliability.