BOSTON STRONG NEWS – Boston Red Sox baseball statement regarding retired star David Ortiz shooting
BOSTON STRONG NEWS – Boston, MA: Red Sox baseball Ian Browne Front Office reports 6.10.2019.
Late last night we were made aware of an incident involving David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. David’s family has confirmed that he sustained a gunshot wound to the lower back/abdominal region. David is being treated at Clinica Abel Gonzalez in Santo Domingo where he is recovering after surgery.
We have offered David’s family all available resources to aid in his recovery and will continue to keep them in our hearts.
BOSTON — The Red Sox went from the shock of digesting the jarring news that David Ortiz was shot on Sunday night to putting all of their positive energy on Monday into their hopes of a full recovery for the beloved slugger who led the franchise to three World Series championships.
It was a surreal and somewhat somber day at Fenway, where the Red Sox simultaneously prepared for a baseball game against the Texas Rangers while also sending positive thoughts out to their friend and former teammate, who is an icon in both Boston and the Dominican Republic.
Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy said Ortiz’s condition remained serious. However, Kennedy added that Ortiz is stable enough that the Red Sox were able to send a team plane to transport him back to Boston. According to a Red Sox spokesperson, Ortiz was in the process of being airlifted on Monday night, and he will be transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital for continued care.
“The events of last night shook our Red Sox family to its core,” said Kennedy. “David Ortiz is one of the most celebrated and beloved members of the Red Sox family. On behalf of our entire organization, our thoughts and our prayers are with David. They are also with his father Leo, his wife Tiffany, his kids D’Angelo, Jessica and Alexandra as well as his extended family and friends throughout the world.”
“David Ortiz is probably the most beloved and one of the most important players in our history, leading us to multiple World Series championships, and an active member in the community,” said Kennedy. “I would be hard-pressed to think of anyone more beloved than David. It’s a very difficult day for the organization.
“I love David Ortiz. We all love David Ortiz. Telling my kids last night what had happened was very difficult. It’s hard to express what David Ortiz means to the Boston Red Sox. When you love someone and they come in harm’s way, it’s jarring. But you have to put those emotions aside and focus on what’s necessary.”
“He’s a dad,” former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek said as he held back tears. “[My] heart goes out to Alex and D’Angelo and his wife and the rest of his family. It’s a very scary thing that something like that could happen that easily.”
In addition to the outpouring of positivity from within the Red Sox family, well wishes also came from those who faced Ortiz during his career.
“When I look at my playing career, and the rivalry that we have with Boston, David was one of the first names that comes to mind,” said former Yankees captain and current Marlins CEO Derek Jeter. “Everybody knows what he was able to do on the field. But the type of person he is off the field. Getting to know him over the years. What he’s meant to the community, not only in Boston but in the Dominican. This is a guy that’s beloved throughout the sport and sports in general. You just wish him a speedy recovery. It was a complete and utter shock.”
The Rangers tweeted out a thoughtful message before Monday night’s series opener at Fenway Park.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora — a teammate of Ortiz’s from 2005-08 and a long-time friend — talked with his players before Monday’s game in a meeting that also included owner John Henry, Kennedy and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.
“We just met with everybody and there were some questions about what’s going on. They gave answers to whatever they could answer,” said Cora. “Everybody knew what was going on. As you know, we live in an era that it’s very easy to get information. I wish sometimes that we lived back in the ‘80s because stuff like this, overnight, it was tough to see everything. But like I said, we’re going to stay positive and keep praying. We’re not going to question the plan from the man upstairs because that’s not how it works.”
In Cora’s daily session with the media, there were no baseball questions. Everything was about Ortiz.
“One thing about David — he’s strong, he has no fear, he never shows weaknesses,” said Cora. “Because of that reason, the Lord will be with him. For us that believe, just pray for him.”
Many current Red Sox players spent at least a season or two playing with Ortiz.
“That’s very unfortunate for him to have to go through that, his family to have to go through that,” said Red Sox lefty David Price. “Everybody in here and in this city understands the way that he treats people. It’s second to none. So he’s definitely in our thoughts and our prayers, along with his family, and we look forward to seeing him again.”
Just prior to first pitch Monday night, the Red Sox paid tribute to Ortiz with an announcement from the public address announcer and a message on the scoreboard. Just to the right of an image of Ortiz’s retired number 34 were the words “We send our love to David Ortiz.”
For several seconds, the crowd had a quiet reflection in recognition of Boston’s adored Big Papi. Then they applauded.
A couple of minutes later, a highlight montage ended with an image of Ortiz waving his arms to the crowd after his final game with the Sox. The crowd cheered again.
Ortiz underwent a six-hour operation performed by three doctors Sunday night into early Monday morning.
“It’s shocking when you get this type of news,” Dombrowski said. “Your heart goes out immediately to his family. It was also difficult gathering information that was accurate. You’re shaking, really, is what it all comes down to when you hear something like this.”
The 43-year-old Ortiz belted 541 home runs overall and retired after the 2016 season. Ortiz was named MVP of the 2013 Fall Classic. During his 14 seasons with the Red Sox, he was a 10-time All-Star and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner. Ortiz also holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54, which he set in 2006.
Among designated hitters, Ortiz is the all-time leader in MLB history for homers (485), RBIs (1,569), and hits (2,192). He is eligible to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2022.
Ortiz currently serves as an MLB studio analyst for FOX Sports. He contributes to the network’s regular season, All-Star Game, postseason and World Series coverage.
“I don’t know if here they say it, but back home [in Puerto Rico] they talk about superheroes without capes,” said Cora. “He’s a superhero without a cape. That’s the way we see him. He’ll be OK.”