We don’t need sports teams in the White House

PITTSBURGH — The Philadelphia Eagles did not visit the White House on Tuesday.

This great republic is still standing.

A trite photo opportunity turned into a political football when the Super Bowl champion Eagles had their White House invitation rescinded.

According to reports, they were dis-invited after the White House learned that only a handful of players planned to attend.

It got into a he-said/he-said battle. The Eagles were accused of disrespecting the country and the military with kneeling protests during the national anthem. Fact is the Eagles didn’t have any players who knelt during the anthem.

The whole thing was a mess, and it was completely unnecessary.

Let’s hope this recent trend of declining the White House visit becomes prevalent enough to make the whole silly practice obsolete.

The athletes are not seventh graders on a field trip. They don’t need to go.

The President and his staff should have more important things to do. They don’t need to interrupt the schedule to greet a sports team.

You’ve seen how it works: The team is herded into an area. The President comes in, reads some scripted jokes, the team presents him with a jersey he doesn’t need.

It’s over within a half hour, and what was the purpose?

The President used to call the winning locker room after a championship win. That never worked, either, because the hook-up was always of questionable quality and there was too much noise in the room.

The Eagles didn’t go to the White House. They still get to keep the Super Bowl trophy. The President and his staff are busy keeping an eye on madmen all over the globe who have a stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Leave the Washington D.C. field trips for the seventh graders. They’ll probably enjoy it more anyway.

Number please

There are a million statistics in baseball. Some of them mean something and others don’t.

One that makes the rounds from time to time is a team’s record when a certain player is in the starting lineup.

It’s usually used to illustrate how valuable the player is by suggesting the team’s record is better than usual when he plays.

Try this one on for size. Austin Meadows has been a sensation since he was brought up from the minor leagues. He’s done everything right. Until recently his average was above .400.

The Pirates were 3-10 in the games he started.

That suggests failure, but anyone who saw those games would immediately know the outcomes were not Meadows’ responsibility.

End of the line?

Sean Rodriguez’s awful play both offensively and defensively has to raise questions about whether he’ll ever fully recover from the January 2017 car crash that seriously injured him.

If Jung Ho Kang is ready to return to the major leagues at the end of the month, the Pirates could choose to add him and drop Rodriguez from the roster.

Rodriguez can still bounce back, but it’s getting late and there haven’t been many signs of progress.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com