David Ortiz denies that his “selfie” with President Barack Obama was a promotional stunt

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Samsung took credit for arranging the picture that Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz posed for Tuesday at the White House with President Barack Obama, stating that it “was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement.”

But Ortiz is now denying that Samsung had anything to do with it — other than providing him the phone on which he captured and tweeted the now-famous photograph.

“It was right at the moment when I gave him the jersey and he asked to take a picture now or whatever, so I said, ‘€˜Oh, wait a minute, let’€™s see if I can get away with one.'” Ortiz told WEEI.com on Wednesday. “It wasn’€™t promotional or anything like that. Who knows you’€™re going to be able to take a picture with the President, a selfie? How many people can guarantee that? It’€™s something you don’€™t even have to talk about. … €œI signed a deal with Samsung a couple of months ago and they supply me with phones and all that stuff. The photo with the President was once in a lifetime moment. How did I know he would let me take a picture with him.”

So it’s more like Samsung tried to slip in and grab some brand attention after a cool, genuine moment.

Marcus Stroman dealing with blister again

Marcus Stroman
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Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.

Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.

While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.