Pedro Martinez broke down in tears on MLB Network on Monday night while talking about the shooting of his longtime friend and former Boston Red Sox teammate, David Ortiz.
"I don't have enough words to describe who David is, what David means to baseball," Martinez said on air. "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."
Ortiz, 43, was shot in the back at close range while he was at a bar in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday night. He had surgery at a local clinic early Monday morning before being flown to Boston, where he will continue to receive treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital.
"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
Ortiz's assistant, Leo López, told USA TODAY Sports on Monday afternoon that the retired Red Sox star was answering yes or no questions from family members. And López told reporters in the Dominican Republic that the shooting was "no doubt" carried out by hitmen; Dominican police said in a statement Monday that they are investigating the incident.
The Red Sox held a moment of reflection before their game at Fenway Park on Monday night, and the baseball community has rallied around the longtime designated hitter known as "Big Papi."
Martinez, a fellow Dominican native who played with Ortiz in Boston in 2003 and 2004, said his relationship with Ortiz is "beyond what everybody else gets," and that was one of the reasons why he struggled to come to terms with what happened.
"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 MLB Network.
"I just can't take it. I'm here sitting with you guys and I'm trying to have fun, but my heart is with David, with his family, with everybody that cares about David. Because just one coward out there that wanted to do that to someone that didn't deserve it."
Contact Tom Schad at [email protected] or on Twitter @Tom_Schad.
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