The David Ortiz-Obama selfie was a promotional stunt


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 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.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.