There is officially no doubt that Boston loves David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz.
As Big Papi’s retirement from the Boston Red Sox gets closer, Bostonians are showing the Dominican baseball player just how much he means to the fans. Ortiz has been giving Red Sox fans games to remember for the past 14 years, and his amazing kindness will surely be missed. Like, who can forget the time he hit a home run for his littlest and most inspiring fan? Since announcing his retirement, the team and fans have been trying to honor Ortiz at every turn. Some have been pretty successful, like the corn maze. Others, like the bobble head doll, haven’t been as well received.
This week, David “Big Papi” Ortiz’s Lego statue was debuted in Fenway Park.
“Lego Master Builder Erik Varszegi oversaw the construction of Lego Ortiz at the company’s North American headquarters in Enfield, Connecticut,” Steve Saleeba, from the public relations firm Elevate, told The Boston Globe.
“That’s a very iconic pose for David Ortiz,” Varszegi told The Boston Globe. “Either that or a nice power swing. Either one of them would have been great, but the Red Sox were kind of steering us towards this direction, and I’m pleased with how it came out.”
From the looks of it, Ortiz is definitely proud of the 34,510 LEGO block statue honoring the athlete.
Less than a week after the unexpected passing of 27-year-old Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Tyler Skaggs, there is new controversy surrounding the reporting of his death. The Santa Monica Observer sparked widespread outrage when it speculated that Skaggs had died of an opioid overdose. But after receiving a wave of blowback, the California newspaper scrapped the piece and wrote an op-ed explaining why it did so. The explanation has been met with a tepid response from police and the Angels organization.
There are few details surrounding the reason behind Skagg’s death so far.
Tragedy struck the baseball world last week when Skaggs, who is of Mexican descent, was found by the Southlake Police Department unconscious in a hotel room hours before his team was about to play the Texas Rangers. Authorities pronounced the 27-year-old dead at the scene, a police press release said. But there were still many questions about how such a young promising star like Skaggs could be found like this.
Shortly after, the Santa Monica Observer reported that Skaggs may have been getting opioid prescriptions from doctors who were unaware of each other’s treatments. That report was quickly shot down by Texas police who said there was no credible information to support that Skaggs died of an overdose or suicide.
Angels spokesperson, Marie Garvey, said the report was also wrong citing that the investigation is still ongoing at this time. While an autopsy has reportedly been completed, the results of it and a toxicology report will not be released until October.
“This article is categorically incorrect,” Garvey said in a statement. “The cause of death is still under investigation as stated by the Southlake Police Department. We have tried to contact the paper to correct this story but have [been] unsuccessful in our attempts. This sort of reckless reporting from Tyler’s hometown paper is disappointing and harmful.”
The Op-Ed piece did little to clear things up as many wonder why this was published in the first place.
The op-ed, published this past Saturday, titled “Why Did We Take Down Our Original Story About The Death of a Ballplayer?” says the publication took down the story due to multiple threats. Santa Monica Observer publisher David Ganezer wrote the op-ed and defended it’s publishing. He said the newspaper’s staff received “multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources,” including “a creepy text message” that was sent to a young female intern’s cellphone.
“She wasn’t frightened about it at all,” Ganezer wrote. “But I was. I’m older, much older; and I know more about how out of hand the potential pile-on is getting in this country.”
“Not simply in the form of a threat letter from lawyers Kirkland and Ellis, representing the Angels and a certain deceased ball player. And not just in the form of anonymous phone calls and emails,” Ganezer said. “No, we also received multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources.
The original article was ultimately scrubbed of the opioid details but Ganezer said in his op-ed it was made clear from the author, Stan Greene, the piece was “speculation.”
This isn’t the first time the newspaper publishes “speculative information.”
The baseball world is still in mourning over the death of Skaggs and many teammates have shown their respect for their fallen teammate in various ways since last Monday. But for Skagg’s family, the last thing they want at this time is presumptive information being released about him.
According to the Santa Monica Lookout, the Observer has had previous situations where the paper published incorrect stories. This past January, a story ran with the headline, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Will Retire from the US Supreme Court in January 2019.” This was false. In December 2016, the headline, “Kanye West Appointed Under-Secretary of the Interior After Meeting at Trump Tower” was published, which was also false. Both pieces were written by Greene, who also wrote the article on Skaggs’ passing.
At this time, the paper says they would comment further on the story when Skaggs’ autopsy and toxicology reports are released in October. Maybe by then, we’ll have a more accurate picture on this unfortunate passing.
It’s been more than a week since David Ortiz was shot at a bar in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. There are still many questions left to be answered surrounding the tragic blindside attack on the Boston Red Sox legend. To this point, 10 suspects are in custody and facing charges for the Ortiz shooting. We’ve also learned that the attack may have been coordinated from people currently behind prison cells.
Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota allegedly met with another suspect, Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaíno, to discuss a plan one week before Ortiz was shot.
The Boston Globe is reporting that Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota, who is still at large, helped orchestrate the shooting. New details have also emerged behind who coordinated the attack. According to the New York Daily News, two jailed suspects, Carlos Alvarez and Jose Eduardo Ciprian Lebron, allegedly helped plot the hit on Ortiz while serving time in a Dominican prison.
Ciprian and Carlos Alvarez helped coordinate the shooting and distributed a $7,800 payment to the would-be assassins from prison. According to the AP, Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaino, 24, also assembled the hit squad and is expected to spend one year in preventive prison.
Vizcaino allegedly sold an iPhone, that was used to plan the attack, to a woman for $180. This was done so he could quickly dispose of evidence a day after the shooting. Authorities claimed the phone was giving him problems and was the reason behind Perez selling it.
The shooting, which left Ortiz with organ damage, happened after a man, who got off a motorcycle, shot him in the back at point-blank range. The alleged gunman, Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, fled from the scene, but the alleged getaway driver, Eddy Feliz Garcia, fell from his motorcycle as he attempted to flee. Garcia was beaten by a crowd before being turned over to police.
Many of the suspects have claimed innocence or have denied charges altogether.
Various reports say it’s unclear if Ortiz was the intended target and many of the suspects have stated that “it was a mistake” or it simply wasn’t them. The various suspects are now facing a number of different charges. They range from attempted murder, attempted homicide, gang activity, gun violations and accessory to attempted murder.
Court documents show that on the Sunday before the shooting, Mota and Vizcaino met to go over details and the plans of the attack. Ciprian would send Mota a photo of the target but documents don’t specify whose picture it was or if Ortiz was in it.
According to the New York Daily News, Ferreira-Cruz told reporters from his holding cell that he mistook Ortiz for the real intended target. “It wasn’t David,” Ferreira-Cruz said. “I got confused by his clothing.”
The attack has brought shock waves to the Dominican Republic as many are still trying to figure out why a national hero like Ortiz could be targeted.
The attack came as a shocker for many around the world but especially in the Dominican Republic where Ortiz has made endless contributions. Some say the attack is a sign of jealousy from the success that Ortiz has had.
“He is the same David Ortiz,” Felix Martinez, who grew up with Ortiz told CNN. “What happens when a person comes from poverty, what they want … when they come to their home country is to be with their people. There are people that are full of envy. That wanted to have that pride, that success.”
While motives are still being investigated, Ortiz has made progress and is recovering back in Boston.
Ortiz’s family posted Father’s Day tributes on Sunday in dedication to the baseball icon. The former slugger continues to make a recovery from the gunshot wound in Massachusetts General Hospital.
“Nothing more to say other than thank you for the sacrifices you have made to give not only me but our entire family the whole world in our eyes. You have worked so tremendously hard while not fully enjoying the fruits of your labor,” Ortiz’s daughter, Alexandria, wrote on Instagram. “The thing you said today that made me pause was: ‘sorry, this isn’t the way we should celebrate Father’s Day’ through invading tears as I can’t wait to show you the Game of Thrones inspired gift.”
Tiffany, Ortiz’s wife, also wrote in an Instagram post that Father’s Day this year “brings with it a new appreciation for life and an awareness in what truly matters.”
“Please celebrate this Papi’s Day with the ones you love. Be present in every moment, don’t get hung up on gifts, material things, titles, fame or fortune,” Tiffany wrote. “Those things can be taken away in a moments notice and all we are left with is the memories of the moments we truly connected and grounded ourselves in true love”