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.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.