Pedro Martinez couldn’t hold back his love and admiration for David Ortiz.
The MLB Hall of Famer who works as an analyst for MLB Network was asked about Ortiz on Tuesday, his close friend and former Boston Red Sox teammate who was transported to Boston after he was shot in the Dominican Republic.
Martinez, a fellow native of the Dominican Republic, broke down in tears and called his friend a “role model” and a “strong-hearted person.”
“I don’t have enough words to describe who David is, what David means to baseball,” Martinez said. “But I’m so disappointed to know that someone like David, who saved so many lives, can have someone after his life. And I’m sorry. I’m sorry. But it hurts me. It hurts me.”
"I don't have enough words to describe who @davidortiz is, what David means to baseball..."
An emotional message from @45PedroMartinez regarding his friend and former @RedSox teammate, David Ortiz. pic.twitter.com/ZqrY08Zs3i
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) June 11, 2019
Ortiz transported to Boston for additional care
Ortiz, 43, was ambushed and shot in the back Sunday night in a club in Santo Domingo, his hometown. He underwent emergency surgery after reportedly suffering organ damage in the shooting. Ortiz responded positively to the surgery, allowing him to be transported from the Dominican Republic to Boston on Monday, courtesy of the Red Sox.
According to ESPN, Ortiz underwent “exploratory” surgery upon his arrival at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The surgery lasted until around 1 a.m. ET and Ortiz is in stable condition and will remain in intensive care.
Ortiz is currently still in intensive care, and will be closely monitored for the next 24-48 hours, during which visits will be limited. Doctors have said that they expect a full recovery. Ortiz has also been alert and has talked to his family; spokesperson Leo López added "he even flashed that smile."
Dominican police say Ortiz was shot by 25-year-old Eddy Feliz Garcia around 8:50 p.m. Sunday. Garcia was observed getting off a motorcycle and shooting Ortiz from a short distance away. The bullet reportedly hit Ortiz in his lower back and went through his body. Those close to Ortiz believe the shooting was an attempt on the former MLB slugger’s life. Police are investigating a motive for the crime.
"To see someone just want to take his life away in such a coward way, it bothers me. It bothers me deeply," Martinez said.
On Monday night in Boston, the Red Sox held a moment of silence in Ortiz’s honor before their game at Fenway Park.
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