WASHINGTON — It was a fun moment: Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz snapped a “selfie” photo with President Barack Obama when the World Series champions visited the White House this week.
But the smiles turned to scowls when mobile provider Samsung promoted the picture on Twitter to the company’s 5.2 million followers and pointed out the image had been taken with a Samsung smartphone.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, asked whether Samsung had been asked to stop tweeting the photo, made clear the controversy had been discussed with White House lawyers.
“Without getting into counsel’s discussions, I can tell you that as a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes, and we certainly object in this case,” he said.
He declined to discuss how the White House had objected.
Representatives for Samsung did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ortiz gave Obama a special Red Sox jersey with the president’s name on it at the event on Tuesday and then got Obama to pose for the smartphone “selfie.”
“I gave him the jersey, and the photographers were going to take their pictures and I thought, really at the last second, maybe I should snap a shot with my phone while I have the chance,” Ortiz told the Boston Globe.
“It had nothing to do with no deals,” he said.
Victorino could return April 13
Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino landed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain on Opening Day, but he was still with the team Wednesday in Baltimore. However, manager John Farrell said Victorino was fighting a flu bug, so he kept the veteran out of the dugout and clubhouse. Victorino could be activated as soon as April 13, and Farrell is confident the outfielder remains on track.
Bradley to make an impact
Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on opening day to fill Victorino’s spot, was on the bench again Wednesday, but Farrell expects Bradley to make an impact in his time with the major league club. “The game can take twists and turns quickly,” Farrell said. “He’s a pro and in the early stages of what could be a successful career. Along the way, there are some road bumps. He’s back and gonna be counted on.”
Breslow may return Saturday
Left-handed pitcher Craig Breslow is closer to returning to the Red Sox after opening the season on the disabled list with a mild shoulder strain. Breslow is expected to head to Triple-A Pawtucket to pitch, and he could return to the big-league club as early as Saturday. “He was in and got some work in today,” Farrell said. “He travels out tonight, and he’ll pitch consecutive days (Thursday) and Friday, and we’ll reassess.”
MLB NOTES: The Oakland A’s voided infielder Jake Elmore’s option to Triple-A Sacramento in favor of placing him on the disabled list, the team announced Thursday. Elmore is suffering from a strained left quadriceps and will have his roster move backdated to last Friday to reflect his injury. The A’s acquired Elmore, a shortstop, from the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations at the beginning of spring training, and he batted .314 in 24 Cactus League games for Oakland. Elmore split last season between the Houston Astros and Triple-A Oklahoma City. He batted .242 in 52 games with the Astros. Oakland also announced two other moves. Outfielder Michael Taylor cleared waivers and was outrighted to Sacramento, and infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima was also outrighted to Sacramento. Nakajima, a veteran of Japan’s Pacific League, batted .283 for Sacramento last season. Nakajima’s stay in Oakland was a short one. The A’s selected his contract from Sacramento on Saturday in order to designate Taylor for assignment, but he was optioned back to Triple-A later the same day.