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Arrest made in Ortiz shooting; police, Ortiz representatives call it an act of a hired gun

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Some updates on the David Ortiz shooting story.*

Police have arrested a man named Eddy Feliz Garcia in the shooting. The probe is still ongoing, but according to local authorities, Garcia arrived at the bar on the back of a motorcycle, walked up behind Ortiz and fired a shot at close range that pierced Ortiz’s lower back and exited through his abdomen. He tried to escape but fell off, after which he was beaten viscously by the crowd in the club where the shooting took place, after which he was taken into custody.

At least one outlet — the Daily Mail, citing three sources with Dominican Republic law enforcement — is reporting that Ortiz was shot by gunmen hired by a drug lord who thought Ortiz was having an affair with his wife. The New York Post has picked up on this report but at the moment no other outlets are confirming it. A representative of Ortiz has said that, contrary to initial reports, this was not a robbery attempt, calling this “an act of hired killers,” but denied that it had anything to do with a woman. It’s certainly a salacious accusation and this is certainly a volatile situation. One assumes that, as the dust settles from all of this that some greater insight into the motive will be discovered.

In the meantime, Ortiz is in intensive care in a Santo Domingo hospital following several hours of surgery last night. He suffered damage to his liver, colon, and his gallbladder, earlier reports said. The Red Sox spoke about the attack this afternoon and outlined plans to have him flown to a hospital in Boston, possibly as soon as this evening. For now he is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

*An earlier version of this story contained a different headline, highlighting the claims made in the Daily Mail story. Given that there has thus far been no corroboration of that report by reporters who typically have better-sourced stories regarding ballplayers in the Dominican Republic, I’ve changed the headline. 

Rob Manfred calls Astros sign-stealing investigation “most thorough” MLB investigation ever

Associated Press
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SAN DIEGO — Commissioner Rob Manfred was asked today about the status of the investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Manfred said “I think that this is probably the most thorough investigation that the Commissioner’s office has ever undertaken.”

I would assume that construction excludes the Mitchell Report, which was undertaken by an outside party, but I guess it’s still quite a claim.

Manfred said that Major League Baseball has interviewed “nearly 60 witnesses” and has reviewed 76,000 e-mails plus a “trove of instant messages.” He said that they are not done, however, and that the review so far has, “caused us to conclude that we have to do some follow-up interviewing.” He said he cannot predict how long the investigation will take, but “it is my hope to conclude the investigation just as promptly as possible.”

Manfred was asked about the sort of discipline he and his office were contemplating but said, “at this point in the investigation it would be wholly inappropriate for me to speculate” about what discipline was in play.

The investigation comes in the wake of the November 12 report in The Athletic about the Astros’ sign-stealing operation, which allegedly involved use of center field video cameras and the relaying of pitch selection to batters. Former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers confirmed the scheme to The Athletic and at least three other Astros employees confirmed it as well.

In the wake of that initial report, video and audio emerged which appeared to confirm the sign-stealing and emails from an Astros executive to scouts, asking them to use cameras and/or binoculars in an effort to steal signs have been uncovered. Major League Baseball has vowed serious punishment for Astros executives, coaches and employees who were involved in orchestrating the scheme and to any players or officials who are found to be untruthful with MLB officials in the course of the investigation.

Initially, Major League Baseball said its investigation would be a wide-ranging one, including multiple teams. Soon after that, however, Manfred controversially backtracked on that, saying instead that the probe would focus only on the Astros. Which, to be sure, is the club against whom current allegations have been lodged and whom many around the game suspect to be the worst offenders. As we have noted, however, it’s highly unreasonable to assume that the Astros are alone in perpetrating a sophisticated sign-stealing operation, as their scheme was allegedly imported by a player who learned it while playing elsewhere.

Either way, it sounds like MLB has a lot on its plate with this. When we know something, you’ll know something.