Dominican Republic AG calls David Ortiz shooting a case of mistaken identity

Associated Press
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The Attorney General of the Dominican Republic and the nation’s police director held a press conference yesterday and told reporters that the shooting of David Ortiz was a matter of mistaken identity.

They said that the attempted murder was ordered from the United States by one Victor Hugo Gomez, a member of Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. They said Gomez intended to have his cousin, Sixto David Fernandez, killed for allegedly informing on him to Dominican drug investigators several years ago. Fernandez is friends with Ortiz and was sitting at the same table as Ortiz at the time of the shooting.

According to the AP report of the presser, there is skepticism in the Dominican Republic of that explanation, as Fernandez is much smaller and lighter complected than Ortiz — arguably the most famous man in the Dominican Republic — making it difficult to mistake the two. Officials said, however, that the shooters were working off of a blurry, hastily-snapped photo of Fernandez taken earlier in the evening that made him appear to be wearing white pants when he was not. Ortiz, however, had on white pants at the time of the shooting.

In light of the skepticism, prosecutors were pressed on the mistaken identity explanation. Their response:

There are currently 11 men in custody in connection with the shooting. Three, including the mastermind, Gomez, remain at large:

Ortiz continues to recover in a Boston hospital.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.