UPDATE, 6:20 p.m. ET: Ortiz says it wasn’t a stunt.
The selfie of David Ortiz and Obama yesterday was pretty cool. Now it feels somewhat less cool:
Ortiz, who took the presidential photo with his Samsung smartphone, had signed a promotional deal with the mobile-device manufacturer on Monday.
“We have a relationship with David and the Red Sox. We partner with people who have like-minded values and fit with who we are as a brand,” a Samsung spokesman told ABCNews.com in a statement.
Shortly after Ortiz tweeted his photo with Obama, which he took while the 2013 World Series champion Red Sox were being feted at the White House, Samsung told the Boston Globe that it “was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement.”
I don’t guess the concept of selfies are so dignified that they can actually be sullied by commercialism. But it was a lot more fun to think of this as a spontaneous thing as opposed to a marketing effort.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.