Entertainment

David Ortiz, Aka Big Papi, Was Shot And People Are Still Trying To Use Him For His Money

David Ortiz, better known by the very Latino monicker of “Big Papi”, is a former professional baseball player helming out of the Dominican Republic, and who is famous for being part of the Boston Red Sox. His larger-than-life persona, charming smile and big bear physique has made him a much loved and admired player in Boston, a city that lives and breaths baseball. 

Life has been tough for David Ortiz, Big Papi, since June 9, when he was shot.

Credit: sportssigns / Instagram

Big Papi’s life has not been easy in recent months: he was shot on June 9 while at a bar in the Dominican Republic. He underwent a six hour operation and is on the mend. Life circumstances have made him question the nature of fame and the intentions of some of those who approach him. 

So who is Big Papi? (if you are a hardcore baseball fan you should know!)

Just look at that smile! You would not think that this man had such a rough upbringing. David Américo Ortiz Arias was born November 18, 1975 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In his hometown, he had to survive the tough streets to make something out of himself. Like many Dominican youth, he turned to baseball as a way to get self-discipline and burn some testosterone. The Boston Globe reports: “Before he turned 10, David Ortiz saw a man stabbed to death. Growing up in a dangerous corner of Santo Domingo, Ortiz was accustomed to rat-a-tat gunfire and drug-dealing gangs that ruled the rutted roads around his home.”

Bostonians and Red Sox fans adore him.

Ortiz first played for the Minnesota Twins, but it was in Boston that he built a career that is the stuff of legends. During his 14 seasons with the Red Sox from 2003 all the way to 2016, he was a ten-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner. Big Papi also holds Boston’s single-season record for home runs: he scored  54 during the 2006 season. The Boston Globe explains the adoration that Big Papi inspires among Bostonians and Latinos: “Ortiz is widely adored from the Dominican barrios to American boardrooms. He has attained the image of a big-hearted force for good, whether glad-handing strangers on the streets, raising money for desperately ill children in both countries, or exhorting a traumatized city to unite in strength after the Boston Marathon bombings”.

Some have taken their fandom of Big Papi to the extreme.

Credit: juanbambinodr / Instagram

This tattoo is an example of the level of admiration that Big Papi sparks. Can you imagine seeing his face every single day? His life story and generous spirit is certainly something to strive for. 

The curse of fame: money comes at a price.

As reported by The Boston Globe: “But his ascent to stardom also made Ortiz, like other multimillionaire athletes in the Caribbean and beyond, a prime target for hustlers, criminals, and opportunists, and vulnerable to random crime”. 

A story that tends to repeat itself: leeches are por todos lados.

Credit: peteabe / Instagram

Like has happened with many other Latino sportsmen (we can think of Panamanian boxing icon Roberto Duran, for example), soon money and fame bring unwanted guests to the party. That is why Ortiz has felt used during most of the peak of his professional success. It must be hard specially for someone who has been a generous celebrity who thinks how his fame can bring joy to others. 

The beginning of the debacle: 2012 nightclub incident.

Credit: David Ortiz / Instagram

What a nightmare. As The Boston Globe recalls: “One case in which Big Papi found himself victimized dates to the fall of 2012 in Boston, when Ortiz became the extortion target of a Dominican-American ex-convict with a history of violence, according to court records and an investigator who worked undercover on the case. For reasons that remain unclear, Ortiz and the ex-convict, Felix A. Paulino, were together in a private back room at the Venu nightclub one night in the Theatre District. Paulino videotaped Ortiz chatting with several women. Even though the video allegedly showed Ortiz doing nothing more than playfully flirting with the women, Paulino phoned Ortiz’s agent, Fernando Cuza, and threatened to sell the recording to the celebrity gossip site TMZ unless Ortiz paid him $20,000”. What a terrible human being! 

The attempt on his life nearly cost him his life. Authorities say it was a case of mistaken identity: but how can you misidentify one of the better known faces in the country?

Credit: davidortiz/ Instagram

On June 19, 2019, Big Papi was shot in the back at close range. He nearly died from traumatic injuries to his liver, intestines, and gall bladder, which was taken out. The Dominican police claims that it could have been a case of mistaken identity, but this is highly improbable. After all, how can you mistake Big Papi for someone else? It would be like mistaking Michael Jordan for another dude! According to reports, this is what Ortiz told the police who attended to the shooting: “Please don’t let me die, I’m a good man.”

Boston totally rallied behind him after the shooting.

Credit: baseballdiario / Instagram

As reported by CNN: “‘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 Red Sox team president Sam Kennedy. ‘I would be hard-pressed to think of anyone more beloved than David.'”

The Latino baseball community is following every step of his recuperación.

Credit: mlb_lo_mejor / Instagram

David underwent surgery in the Dominican Republic following the incident, but was then transferred to the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he remains under observation. His wife has been by his side all this time. 

And people are just wondering how come someone as beloved as Big Papi was even shot!

Credit: @makaylaamonette / Twitter

Some celebrities live and die with a “bad boy” reputation and while physical harm is never condoned, sometimes it comes as no surprise. Big Papi is different, however. 

Other hyper famous sports figures are wishing him the best.

Credit: @TomBrady / Twitter

Besides the Red Sox, the New England Patriots are the most beloved team in the Boston area (well, maybe the Celtics too, but they haven’t been that successful as of late). Fans will love the fact that Big Papi and Tom Brady are good pals and the quarterback was one of the first to wish David a speedy recovery. 

This is the guy who gives so much of his life to charitable causes, no manchen.

Credit: @RobinsonCano / Twitter

Through the David Ortiz Children’s Fund he helps minors in Boston and the Dominican Republic. The fund’s mission is as critical as it comes, as it “provides essential support for children in the Dominican Republic and in New England who cannot afford the critical cardiac services they need. We are proud to partner with CEDIMAT Hospital in Santo Domingo and the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children to fulfill this mission. Through outreach, education, and support for medical care, we’re committed to enhancing the health and well-being of children who require life-saving heart surgeries”. What a fantastic, practical cause. By the way, you can donate here: https://www.davidortizchildrensfund.org/donate-2-2-2/

Residente Is Going To Interview AOC Tonight On IG Live And People Are Intrigued

Things That Matter

Residente Is Going To Interview AOC Tonight On IG Live And People Are Intrigued

aoc / residente / Instagram

Technology has a way of connecting all of us, especially in the times of self-isolation. One thing that has become increasingly popular is live video interviews on social media. Residente and AOC are now joining the trend with their own interview happening tonight, April 13 at 6 p.m. EST or 3 p.m. PST.

Residente is going to be interviewing Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tonight.

This is not the first live interview Residente, also known as René Pérez Joglar, has done with political figures. Residente has interviewed both the Argentinian and Uruguayan presidents in a similar format. The interviews are usually about 30 to 45 minutes long and the singer asks the politician questions submitted by social media followers.

Followers are ready to hear from the New York congresswoman.

Credit: @Tamiicorrea / Twitter

“Tell her that she is an example for so many and she inspires us,” @Tamiicorrea tweeted. “What does she do when everything seems to be against her? When it seems like she won’t be able to get the change she needs because everyone who can is in control of everything? And even when those she defends attack her?”

The congresswoman has been celebrated for her willingness to fight for the progressive ideas that young voters want. The New York congresswoman is a vocal supporter of the Green New Deal and abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

A couple of people want to know about the response to the COVID-19 crisis for healthcare professionals.

Credit: @yduranri / Twitter

“Is there any legislation or is she thinking about creating any legislation that will provide psychological help to doctors and nurses who are in this new war?” tweeted @yduranri.

Doctors and nurses are in one of the fiercest battles in our lifetime. COVID-19 has taken over the world and the number of infections and deaths in the U.S. is the highest in the world. More than 2,000 people died in one day in the U.S., marking the highest single-day death toll recorded anywhere in the world. For some of these healthcare workers, the psychological toll this time can take on them could be devastating.

And, of course, Puerto Rico is a topic people want to know about.

Credit: @isabelmatia_gc / Twitter

“As a Boricua living in the U.S., I want to know what does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez think about the status of Puerto Rico and what does she think about the future of the island?” @isabelmaria_gc tweeted.

Puerto Rico has been devastated with natural disasters and now they are dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. The Trump administration’s responses to Puerto Rico’s need for help has been criticized as callous and inhumane. As millions of Americans suffer in Puerto Rico, President Trump has been criticized by political pundits and advocates as not carrying about the well-being of the people who live on the Caribbean island.

READ: AOC Wants Coronavirus ‘Reparations’ For Minority Communities

Jason Genao Of ‘On My Block’ Talks Growing Up On His Block And His Secret To Making Bomb Empanadas

Entertainment

Jason Genao Of ‘On My Block’ Talks Growing Up On His Block And His Secret To Making Bomb Empanadas

Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s coming-of-age comedy “On My Block” has been steadily gaining an audience by the passionate word-of-mouth of fans, and a string of 🔥 GIFS on social media. 

Jason Genao, one of the show’s stars, won over audiences with his character Ruby Martinez’s witty one-liners, his depth of self-awareness, and his hilarious dance moves with co-star Jessica Marie Garcia over the first two seasons of the show. 

Now, if you haven’t seen “On My Block,” we will have a few spoilers ahead for seasons 1 and 2, now that season 3 is officially out.

Before season 3 started streaming, mitú spoke with Genao in an exclusive phone interview to see how he got the inspiration for some of the show’s most pivotal scenes amd how the fictional Los Angeles neighborhood of Freeridge compares to his hometown. Oh, and he shared his secret to making some delicious empanadas.

Genao’s character Ruby left us shook after the ending of season 1. 

A tweet Genao posted on his personal Twitter account before the airing of season 2 said, “Remember that time I had you guys thinking I was dead for a whole year. Ahh commitment.” That hit some fans in the feels—but Genao said he knew he had to keep the script’s enthusiasm going.

Oh, we see you Genao, he’s got a little of a 😈 mischievous side—sounds like someone we know on OMB?

“I think in the back of my head, I knew if I ruined it, season 2 wouldn’t be good. All the suspense was held in the majority of my character whether he was alive or not, [it was a] pivotal story arch. If that would have been ruined, there would not have been as much enthusiasm,” Genao said over the phone with mitú.

“I wanted to keep this suspense in the show as great as everyone else did. I lived off of reading everyone’s tweets—seeing them all suffer for the year,” Genao added.

When it comes to diving into his character of Ruby, he goes all in, especially when it came to handling Ruby’s PTSD following the events of the first season.

“I did my research online with what happens with people who have PTSD. My cousin was shot twice. For me that kind of hit—PTSD comes in the form of however you are as a person,” Genao said of how he was able to understand the effects of PTSD.

“I had to take Ruby as a 14-year-old innocent person, who lives where he lives but never thought it would affect him,” Genao said about the performance. 

Tapping into his own personal experiences was also a vital part of capturing the trauma Ruby went through after being shot at his crush’s Quinceañera party.

Credit: Netflix

“[I] take traumatic experiences and bring them to the forefront—bring real life emotions to the performance. As an actor that is a gift—you hold on to them because of the power they can bring to the scene. I take those things and hold on to them because I need them for my job,” Genao said. 

As layered as Ruby is when it comes to dealing with life’s trauma, he’s also a 14-year-old kid navigating the same exciting ‘firsts’ of teen life—first crush, first kiss, and the first time being a teen entrepreneur. 

Ruby is a character that has it together—he can do his taxes, he has binders for plans, he has choreographed Quince dances. 

Genao assures he was *not* that put-together as a teen growing up in his Dominican family.  

“I was a mess as a teen. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, I relied on her. I definitely was not super put-together as a teenager,” Genao said with a laugh.  

Since Genao seems to embody the characteristics of Ruby down to a button-down T (with polo shorts and a backpack), it might come as a surprise to fans that he actually first read for the role of Cesar Diaz.

Credit: Netflix

“I was sent Cesar and then an hour later [they] sent me the slides for Ruby. I was more intrigued in Ruby because he had so much to say. They said you have to perfect it, so I went into this study mode and I got it down,” he said about landing the role.

Hmmm…maybe Genao and Ruby share some characteristics after all. INSERT NERD FACE EMOJI 

When it comes to Genao’s hometown of Jersey City, there are some similarities to his character’s fictional home of Freeridge. 

“Me and my brothers, we all went to the same high school, there were a lot of gangs. I remember my brother bringing people with cuts and scars and blood and I was like ‘Jesus.’ As time progressed, it got better, I guess they gentrified my neighborhood,” Genao reminisced. 

Much like Freeridge, he said Jersey City also had its teens having fun despite the violence around them. 

“It always had a festival in the summer, and had a carnival. It was really freeing, my mom was never like we HAD to be careful. I was 11-years-old walking to friends’ houses,” he continued.

Growing up in Jersey City also helped Genao appreciate a sense of diversity not seen in every bedroom community across the country.

Credit: Netflix

“Jersey City was super free and so diverse. [When I see] issues like racism or hatred of a certain community [in other places], I was baffled, that wasn’t an issue in my community. It wasn’t until I left that I realized how harsh the rest of America was,” Genao had to say about seeing a lack of diversity in some communities.  

OMB’s success with both audiences and critics can help to change the narrative of diversity in places that might not experience it as much in daily life. 

The show is proof that now diversity is having a movement—not just a moment. 

“It garners more hope—not false hope—a secure hope. We are not just a diverse show, but a successful diverse show,” Genao proudly says. 

Off-camera, Genao likes to cook in his spare time and he does not come to play when it comes to making some B-O-M-B empanadas.

“Sazón Goya and mojo—don’t play with me. Me with my Sazón,” Genao chuckled as he recounted a story where he was browsing the aisles of a market in LA, trying desperately to find the secret ingredient to his empanadas.

Of course, los mercados came through when he needed it and he found his Goya packet at a Latino market. So what’s ahead when it comes to his projects on camera?

“There are lots of things I have my eyes on, you never know. There are things coming,” he cryptically said.

Looks like Genao’s fans will be patiently anticipating what’s to come on OMB season 4 and beyond. 

READ: Netflix Is Paying The ’13 Reasons Why Cast’ More Than The ‘On My Block’ Cast Of Color, Here’s Why That’s Caca