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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – If the Cubs winning the World Series felt like a dream for Theo Epstein, then Donald Trump’s Election Night victory must seem like… 

“I’m still processing,” Epstein said. “Let’s put it that way.”

Cubs executives, agents and reporters watched the returns from inside the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa bubble, where Major League Baseball officials woke up to the reality of a Trump administration. A polarizing presidential race cast a pall over the general manager meetings, where the lobbies are usually buzzing with gossip and war stories as people order more drinks on their expense accounts. But this definitely felt different, staring silently at the two TV screens inside Mbar tuned to CNN instead of MLB Network.

The Cubs are now looking at making another potential political statement by going to Washington before Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. President Barack Obama already invited the 2016 team to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. over Twitter:

“I know after he tweeted that out – and that was well before the election – there was a lot of interest from our players in taking him up on that invitation,” Epstein said Wednesday. “There was some momentum for it. So we’ll see. Nothing has been finalized. But we’ll see where it goes. It would be nice given his Chicago ties.”


And given the alternative…

“I’m still processing,” Epstein said again.

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The Cubs existed on the periphery of a surreal presidential race, with Trump sending out a cryptic tweet threatening the Ricketts family during spring training, and then doubling down during a March meeting with The Washington Post’s editorial board, saying ownership has done a rotten job running the team.

The billionaire family ultimately flip-flopped, going from trying to lead a stop Trump movement to helping bankroll the Republican nominee’s campaign. Cubs board member Pete Ricketts is the Republican governor of Nebraska, while his brother, Todd, is also heavily involved in right-wing politics. Chairman Tom Ricketts tries to stay publicly apolitical, while their sister, Laura, is a big-time supporter of Hillary Clinton and progressive causes.

The day after the Cubs announced the team president’s five-year extension in late September – worth in the neighborhood of $50 million – Epstein showed up at a Clinton fundraiser in downtown Chicago and wrote a maximum check for the Democratic nominee.

Epstein also arranged to be a headliner at an Obama fundraiser in Lincoln Park during the 2012 election cycle, responding to the Super PAC linked to patriarch Joe Ricketts, the TD Ameritrade founder who is not a visible presence around the Cubs. A New York Times expose about plans for those racially charged attack ads infuriated Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former White House chief of staff who pulled $150 million in potential funding for the Wrigley Field renovations.

“It’s been an interesting couple of weeks,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said, beginning his news conference inside a hotel ballroom. “The Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. Donald Trump got elected president. Pretty interesting all the way around, so here we are.”

The Cubs are going to the White House, either before or after The Donald takes office.

“I’m still processing,” Epstein said again.