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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Baseball

Prosecutor says David Ortiz was not intended target of shooting

David Ortiz

David Ortiz was not the intended victim of the attempted assassination in the Dominican Republic, according to prosecutors.

Dominican Republic attorney general Jean Alain Rodriguez said Ortiz’s friend Sixto David Fernandez was the intended target of the assassination, according to WCVB. The gunman was shown a picture of the table as part of his direction and misunderstood the instructions, thinking he was supposed to target Ortiz.

11 accomplices have been arrested in the attack, though the two masterminds remain at large.

Ortiz’s attorney Jose Martinez Hoepelman responded to the news by affirming that Ortiz has no ties to any illicit activity and has not engaged in any wrongdoing.

“David Ortiz is innocent in what happened. He has no connection to illicit activities, no relationships with people who have criminal connections, nor has he violated his family values that would bring about such an incident,” Hoepelman said.

Earlier reports indicated that officials believe Ortiz was targeted over an alleged affair with a drug lord’s wife. Prosecutors are now saying he was the victim of mistaken identity.

Jesus Aguilar: Manny Machado apologized for playoff incident

Manny Machado Jesus Aguilar

No one would blame Jesus Aguilar if he wanted to hold a grudge against Manny Machado for the rest of his MLB career, but the Milwaukee Brewers first baseman says he has moved on from the dirty play Machado committed during the playoffs last year.

When Machado was with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, he intentionally dragged his left leg along the first base bag on a routine groundout during the NLCS so he could clip Aguilar’s leg on the way by. It was a bush league play by anyone’s definition.

Aguilar and Machado met again on Monday night when the San Diego Padres hosted the Brewers, and Aguilar was asked if there is any lingering bad blood between the two. Aguilar said Machado has apologized and they have “moved forward.”

That wasn’t the only dirty play Machado committed during the postseason last year, and those antics have contributed to him having a bad reputation across the league. Even if Aguilar has forgiven him, there are still plenty of people who don’t think very highly of Machado.

Max Scherzer pitches with black eye after breaking nose day before

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer won’t even let a broken nose keep him from taking the mound.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner made his scheduled start on Wednesday despite breaking his nose the day before.

Scherzer was practicing bunting during the Washington Nationals’ batting practice on Tuesday and a ball deflected off his bat and hit him in the face. He ended up with a broken nose but apparently is well enough to pitch.

He made a start in the second game of a doubleheader between his Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies, and was his usual dominant self, throwing seven scoreless innings for the win.

The area under his right eye was showing the effects from the damage:

That just made him look even more intimidating.

Scherzer entered the game 5-5 with a 2.81 ERA and NL-best 136 strikeouts on the season.

David Ortiz has condition upgraded to ‘good’ by doctors

David Ortiz

David Ortiz continues to make progress as he recovers from a gunshot wound in Boston, and the former MLB slugger’s wife said on Tuesday that his condition has been upgraded.

In her latest statement, Tiffany Ortiz said David’s condition was upgraded to “good” by doctors at Mass General Hospital on Tuesday. He had previously been in stable condition.

Tiffany Ortiz has kept fans updated on Big Papi’s health, and fortunately the news seems to be getting better and better. Ortiz was shot in the back and the bullet exited through his stomach, so it goes without saying that he is fortunate to be alive. He underwent extensive surgery in the Dominican Republic before being transferred to Boston.

Police in the Dominican Republic have released some details about the attack on Ortiz, but the case remains under investigation.

Rich Hill leaves start after one inning due to forearm tightness

Rich Hill

Rich Hill left his start on Wednesday night for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the San Francisco Giants after just one inning due to an apparent injury that the team later said was left forearm tightness.

Hill came out for warmups after the Dodgers scored three in the bottom of the first to take a 3-0 lead. After a making a throw, he felt uncomfortable and called out a trainer. He was then removed from his start and replaced by Dylan Floro.

Hill went 1-2-3 in the first, striking out two. He is 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA this season.

Hill’s health has always been his biggest enemy. Despite being in the bigs for 15 seasons, he has thrown fewer than 1,000 career innings. Since 2008, he has never thrown more than 135.2 innings in the regular season. He has a history of blister issues on his finger and was bothered by a knee injury in spring training.

The 39-year-old southpaw has been excellent when healthy and has a career 3.20 ERA with the Dodgers.

MLB calls out Umpires’ Association over Manny Machado suspension statement

Manny Machado

MLB issued a statement on Tuesday in response to the Umpires’ Association statement about the Manny Machado suspension.

Machado was suspended one game for making contact with umpire Bill Welke after being ejected for arguing a third strike call during Saturday’s San Diego Padres-Colorado Rockies game, the league announced Monday. The Major League Baseball Umpires Association apparently was not happy with the light punishment for “violence in the workplace” and issued a statement on the matter.

MLB responded to the statement from the umpires and said it was not appropriate for them to comment on the discipline issued by MLB. They also said the comparison to “workplace violence” was inappropriate.

Machado appealed his one-game suspension on the grounds that he did not make contact with the umpire.

Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts annoyed with All-Star voting

Xander Bogaerts has steadily been one of the better shortstops in the American League since 2015, but you wouldn’t really know it by the All-Star voting results.

Bogaerts has only made one All-Star team (2016) and finds himself sixth in the voting for AL shortstops this year. He trails Jorge Polanco (Twins), Carlos Correa (Astros), Gleyber Torres (Yankees), Tim Anderson (White Sox) and Francisco Lindor (Indians). That’s despite him leading all AL shortstops in doubles, homers, walks and RBIs and being second behind Polanco in OPS.

The 26-year-old expressed frustration over the matter in comments to WEEI on Tuesday.

“These past few years every time I’ve come up just short even though my numbers have been up there or better than most of the guys,” Bogaerts told WEEI.com Tuesday. “It’s just so weird. I just miss out when in my opinion I should have been there. I just feel like it’s a routine, every year the same thing. It’s kind of getting annoying. But I don’t know what to do.”

Bogaerts made the Final Vote twice but lost to Mike Moustakas both times.

He is having an All-Star-worthy season and should be tabbed for the team. One problem he’s facing this year is Twins, Yankees and Indians fans have done a great job voting for their players. Another issue in the past has been the competition at the position, which has been stacked with quality players like Manny Machado, Andrelton Simmons, Didi Gregorius, as well as Correa and Lindor.

Bogaerts signed a six-year, $120 million extension in March, showing how much the Red Sox value him. The money won’t buy him a spot on the All-Star team though, and not making it is bothersome to Bogaerts.