Sam Kennedy says David Ortiz’s first pitch was not meant to be a distraction

“I understand the appearance or the suggestion."

Former Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz, left, talks to team president Sam Kennedy after throwing out a ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game against the New York Yankees in Boston, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
David Ortiz talks to team president Sam Kennedy after throwing out a ceremonial first pitch. –(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The Red Sox announced late Sunday night that the former president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had been let go.

On Monday, David Ortiz threw out the first pitch against the New York Yankees. The timing, as well as the Red Sox’ choice to not hold a press conference about Dombrowski’s departure, has led some to accuse the Red Sox of using Ortiz’s first pitch as a distraction away from the Dombrowski situation.

Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy went on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni, & Fauria” Tuesday to deny these accusations.

“I understand the appearance or the suggestion that it may have been a distraction or intentional act to try to distract people,” Kennedy said. “I can assure you that was not the case. The reason it happened last night was because David Ortiz wanted it to happen last night. David, we had a standing invitation for him to come and throw out a first pitch. He had made the decision a few days ago that last night would be the night.”

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Kennedy went on to say that he hopes “people understand there was no intention in terms of distraction or anything like that.”

Dombrowski’s departure from the Red Sox comes just one year after the team won the World Series.

Ortiz threw out the first pitch following his recovery from multiple surgeries after the shooting incident in the Dominican Republic earlier this year.