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No more White House selfies thanks to David Ortiz

When the Boston Red Sox visited the White House last week to be recognized for winning the World Series, David Ortiz took a selfie with president Barack Obama. At first, the gesture was seen as a harmless case of Big Papi being Big Papi. When it was later discovered that the selfie was part of a Samsung promotion, White House officials were not pleased.

According to the Washington Post, White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Obama was unaware of the photo’s connection to Samsung and that Ortiz’s stunt will perhaps “be the end to all selfies.”

David-Ortiz-Barack-Obama-selfie

Unfortunately, Pfeiffer meant the end of all selfies in the White House. He can’t put an end to selfies worldwide, which would have been fantastic for all of us.

“We’ve had conversations with Samsung about this and expressed our concerns,” Pfeiffer said. “We’ve left that conversation between the lawyers.”

Ortiz has not openly admitted that he was working with Samsung.

Photo: Twitter/David Ortiz

Fake Cubs mascot Billy Cub punches a dude in a bar (Video)

Billy-Cub-bar-fightYou know that unofficial Chicago Cubs mascot that Major League Baseball sent a cease and desist letter to last season? Apparently it didn’t work. The friendly(?) bear known as “Billy Cub” is alive, well and punching dudes in bars for trying to screw with him.

Billy was interacting with fans in a bar outside Wrigley Field over the weekend when some jokester came up behind him and snatched his head off. We don’t know why the thief thought this would be a good idea, but Billy reacted by socking him in the face. He then got into an altercation with another person before exiting the building.

We’re not sure if this was Billy Cub creator John Paul Weier or one of his disciples, but the exchange probably isn’t going to make the Cubs happy. One of the Billy Cub characters has already been accused of using racially-insensitive language and getting into arguments with fans over tips. Bar fights, whether started by Billy Cub or not, are not going to help his case.

Video via Deadspin

Bryce Harper admits he’s ‘pretty lost right now’ at plate

Bryce Harper NationalsBryce Harper received the day off Sunday to clear his head following a poor start to the season.

Harper, the 21-year-old Nats’ phenom, is only 3-for-21 this season (.143) with 1 walk and 10 strikeouts in five games.

“I mean, I’m pretty lost right now, actually,” Harper said Sunday via Nats Insider. “I’m trying to see where my swing’s at, watch video of where my hands are. I’m trying everything right now. We’ll see where I’m at tomorrow. Give pops a call and see what he says, also.”

Harper doesn’t have an extra base hit or RBI this year, which is a clear sign something is off; he’s a slugger and expected to put up big power numbers.

But Harper has slumped in the past and this is obviously a slump to the season. And if you’re looking for something to blame, it could be that his head hasn’t been right since this incident on the bases on opening day. Harper passed concussion tests, but it may have messed with him.

All in all, you like to see your hitters start off the season well. The general pattern for hitters who start off well is good start -> cool down/slump -> get hot again. But if you start off slowly, the pattern is often reversed, and it’s hard to put up great numbers. Harper will be fine this year, but he might not be spectacular.

Yasiel Puig hurts thumb diving head first into first base (Video)

Yasiel Puig’s shaky season took another bad turn this weekend.

A day after being benched for showing up late to the stadium for the team’s home opener, Puig pulled off another boneheaded move.

Puig made a head-first dive into first base while trying to beat out an infield single in the third inning of Saturday’s Dodgers-Giants game. Though Puig was just trying to put in a maximum effort on the play, he and anyone else who dives into first doesn’t realize that they’re actually slowing themselves down … not to mention increasing their chances of getting hurt.

Puig showed his left thumb to Dodgers reporter Ramona Shelburne Sunday, and she said that it was swollen. So did manager Don Mattingly.

Puig is going for an MRI on his thumb, but Mattingly did say he might be good enough to pinch hit in Sunday’s game, so maybe it’s not too bad.

Bottom line: though we appreciate Puig’s effort and desire on the play, you have to be smarter than that and realize diving into first is a bad idea. You can see in the shot below how his left thumb got caught on the bag:

Yasiel Puig dive thumb

Nick Swisher does O-H-I-O spellout after hitting home run (Video)

Few athletes enjoy playing for Cleveland more than Nick Swisher.

Nick Swisher OhioThe Columbus, Ohio, native is a huge fan of the Buckeyes and the Buckeye state, and he made sure to represent after clubbing his first home run of the season Friday.

After hitting a 2-run shot off Mike Pelfrey, Swisher did an O-H-I-O spellout for the crowd before entering the dugout. That was definitely cool. But then he kind of ruined the vibe by telling reporters happy “bro-pening” day following the game.

Still, you can understand why he was so pumped to hit a big home run in the team’s home opener. Below is video of the dinger:

Masahiro Tanaka allows home run to first batter in major league debut (GIF)

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The New York Yankees were the big winners of the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes, signing 25-year-old Japanese starting pitcher to a seven-year, $155 million contract in January.

On Friday, the Yankees got their first look at their prized import in a game that mattered. The Toronto Blue Jays, with a lineup that included sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, were the opposition.

masahiro-tanaka-first-batterBefore Masahiro Tanaka faced either of them for the first time, Toronto already had a run on the scoreboard. Blue Jays lead-off hitter Melky Cabrera homered on Tanaka’s third pitch of the game.

How’s that for a welcoming to a new league?

Tanaka went on to pitch seven innings, allowing six hits, no walks, and two earned runs while striking out eight. Overall, not a bad first time out.

Watch Giancarlo Stanton launch a 484-ft home run (GIF)

There are a handful of players in Major League Baseball who are worth arriving to the ballpark early for to see them take batting practice because of the show they put on. Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins is in that group for me.

giancarlo-stanton-484Few players can hit a baseball farther when they make solid contact.

Back in 2012, Stanton launched a ball at Coors Field that landed 494 feet from home plate. Yes, that’s in Denver and we know about its distance above sea level, but still.

During Friday’s game against the San Diego Padres, Stanton came pretty close to equaling his feat in Colorado when he got hold of a pitch by Eric Stults. The result was a 484-ft blast to left field.

According to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker, there have now been 11 home runs measured at 480+ feet since 2010, when Giancarlo Stanton made his major league debut. Only he has more than one.