A former batboy with the Birmingham Barons is suing former manager Omar Vizquel for alleged sexual harassment, according to Katie Strang and James Fegan of The Athletic.
Content warning: This story contains details of alleged sexual harassment.
The batboy worked for the Barons — a Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox — in 2019. Vizquel was the team's manager during the 2019 season. In the lawsuit, the batboy alleges Vizquel “repeatedly exposed his erect penis to (him) and forced (him) to wash his back in the shower.” The batboy, who is autistic, believes he was "targeted for sexual harassment because of his disability.”
The complaint claims Vizquel informed the batboy, who is now 25, that Vizquel is interested in men. The batboy reportedly made it clear he did not want to have a sexual relationship with Vizquel. The complaint also claims Vizquel would come up behind the batboy after Vizquel had been in the shower. While having "normal" conversations with the batboy, Vizquel would allegedly flash his erect penis in an attempt to "obtain sexual gratification.”
Vizquel also allegedly once emerged from the shower with an erection and ordered the batboy to wash Vizquel's back. A batboy with the 2015 Detroit Tigers is alleged to have heard Vizquel make a comment about washing his back when Vizquel was the Tigers' first base coach, according to the complaint.
Vizquel coached the Barons for two seasons. The White Sox parted ways with Vizquel following the 2019 season. The team reportedly cut ties with Vizquel after an incident in the clubhouse that involved a male employee.
Omar Vizquel accused of domestic violence in 2020
Vizquel was not picked up by another major-league team following his dismissal by the White Sox. In 2020, Vizquel was accused of domestic abuse by his estranged wife Blanca. Though Vizquel had not been involved with MLB in a few years, the league decided to investigate the situation.
Vizquel has denied the accusations of domestic abuse. He did not respond to The Athletic regarding the batboy's lawsuit.
Despite the accusations, Vizquel remains eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame. He received 49.1 percent of the vote in 2021.
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