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.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.