BOSTON -- So it turns out Donald Trump isn't completely up to speed on Steve Pearce's 2019 season.
That's OK with Pearce, who still can't believe all of the individual attention he received when the Red Sox were honored at the White House on Thursday.
Standing on the dais to the President's left, Pearce was name-dropped multiple times during the ceremony -- including one moment that provoked some cringes when the President assumed the World Series MVP had carried his October momentum into this season.
"You're doing well this year?" Trump asked. "Pretty well this year, right? Huh? He's doing well this year. When it counts, he does really well. Those are the ones we really like, huh?"
It was a nice sentiment. Unfortunately, Trump voiced it with Pearce locked in a season-long slump and hitting just .111. Pearce isn't sweating it.
"It's OK. He's the President," he told NBC Sports Boston with a laugh. "He's got a lot on his plate."
Pearce was good-humored about the minor snafu.
"I'm sure if he would've known, he probably would've been like, 'Hey, keep it up,'" Pearce said. "But I like how he followed it up. 'Hey, you step up when it matters,' and I was like, 'Yeah!'"
Pearce's slow start is no laughing matter, not with rookie Michael Chavis hammering the ball and needing a spot in the lineup, possibly by taking the right-handed at-bats that were supposed to be Pearce's at first base.
But the 13-year veteran hasn't lasted this long because he lacks confidence, and sometimes the tiniest spark can ignite a player. Maybe Pearce could even experience a Trump bump.
"It's going to come back," Pearce said. "It's going to. I've been playing this game my whole life. It's funny how it happens. Even the President knows. Baseball comes around. If not now, you'll do it later."
As for the visit itself, count Pearce among the players who considered it a great honor, despite the furor that seems to accompany all things Trump.
"It was definitely really cool," Pearce said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For him to say my name was neat. He reaches back and he acknowledged me during the speech and I shook his hand, that's cool that he gave us the time."
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