Boston Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez didn’t mince words speaking about the attempted murder of David Ortiz in their native Dominican Republic.
Nunez, who like Ortiz grew up in Santo Domingo, where the shooting on Sunday took place, expressed anger and embarrassment that Ortiz was targeted in their home country.
"Just thinking about the fact that this happened to him in the Dominican Republic, it is unimaginable," Nunez told ESPN on Wednesday. "For us, as Dominican players, it's a very bad image. It is an international shame.
"We feel very embarrassed about what happened to him because he is a legend from our homeland, and this happened to him in our homeland.
When news of the incident and Ortiz’s condition first broke, it rocked every corner of Major League Baseball.
No place has it hit harder than in Boston. And with no individuals has it stirred up more emotions than those who grew up in the Dominican Republic and have traveled many of the same roads Ortiz did to reach the big leagues.
Pedro Martinez, who also grew up in the Dominican Republic and spent more than a decade as Ortiz’s teammate in Boston, broke down in tears discussing the incident on MLB Network.
Though Nunez was never Ortiz’s teammate in Boston, as Santo Domingo natives they share a bond that while centered around baseball also goes well beyond the sport. That is why Nunez felt moved and perhaps even obligated to share his disappointment in his fellow countrymen allegedly involved.
Nunez is also one of the few individuals outside of Ortiz’s family known to have spoken with him since Sunday. On Wednesday, Nunez detailed that very brief conversation with the beloved Big Papi.
"I'm very pleased that he's already recovering. ... [Ortiz] said to me, 'How are you, homie? How are you doing?'" Nunez said. "I replied, 'Hey, it's not about how am I doing, it's about how you're doing! You tell me!'
"It was just a brief greeting, but it felt good to have the opportunity to talk to him over the phone."
Ortiz’s wife, Tiffany Ortiz, released the following statement Wednesday which provided an update on his condition:
“David continues to recuperate today in the Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital under the direction of treating trauma surgeon Dr. David King.
“Yesterday and this morning, David was able to sit up as well as take some steps. His condition is guarded and he will remain in the ICU for the coming days, but he is making good progress towards recovery.
“My family and I again want to thank everyone for their endless love and well wishes, and still ask for privacy while David continues to heal.”
Ortiz was moved to the Boston hospital on Monday, and shortly after underwent a second surgery. A long road lies ahead, but it’s expected he will make a full recovery.
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