The Red Sox abruptly canceled a planned David Ortiz bobblehead giveaway just hours before the Fenway Park gates opened on Tuesday, saying in a statement that “the bobbleheads were unacceptable to the club and not appropriate for distribution.”
Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe reported that Red Sox president Sam Kennedy said the bobbleheads were racially insensitive.
The Red Sox’ statement said the team would be “issuing new David Ortiz bobbleheads to all ticketed fans at a later date.”
The team tweeted this image of the bobblehead on Monday in promoting the giveaway.
Here's an image, via Abraham's Facebook page, of the bobbleheads the Red Sox were to give away Tuesday night.
More from Abraham's report:
“It was an inaccurate portrayal of David. It doesn’t really look like David. No. 2, I personally thought it seemed to be an offensive portrayal of him and that the facial features were racially insensitive,” Kennedy said.
“If I was feeling this way, certainly other people would. So we pulled the plug.”
Kennedy said the 15,000 bobbleheads would be returned to the manufacturer and a new model made. All ticketed fans for Tuesday’s game will receive bobbleheads.
New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third.
Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.
In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three.
Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies.
Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.
Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.
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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.
Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.
MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.