In his first English-language interview since getting shot in the Dominican Republic, former Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz told the Boston Globe that he cant rest until his shooter is brought to justice — and describes nearly losing hope during his long recovery.
“I want to find out who did this, Big Papi told the paper in a wide-ranging interview at his old stomping grounds, Fenway Park.
“Im not going to sit around and chill if theres somebody out there who wants to kill me.
Authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested 14 suspects connected to the June 9 shooting at the trendy Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo that left Ortiz badly wounded.
Ortiz, however, doesnt recognize any of the men and is still searching for answers about what really led to the shooting.
“I dont know why I was involved in something like this because Im not the type of person who looks for trouble or causes trouble,” he told the paper.
“All I worry about is trying to help people, about trying to do the right thing.”
Three weeks after his second successful surgery to address his wounded intestines and liver, Ortiz nearly lost hope when he contracted a dangerous acute bacterial infection, he recalled.
“It was very dangerous,” Big Papi told the paper. “I got to the point that I started losing hope.”
“I felt that if I didnt die, then I would never be the same again, he recalled. “I went through hell with that,” he said, though his outlook brightened when the medical staff at Massachusetts General assured him hed survive.
Ortiz, who on Monday threw out the first pitch for the Red Sox game Fenway Park, continues to look to the future.
He plans to be back on the air, resuming his role as a Fox Sports analysts for the upcoming baseball playoffs.
He also told the Globe that hes going to more aware of where he goes and who he hangs out with.
“One lesson Ive learned is that you cant be naive, he said.
“There are a lot of things going on now that you have to be aware of. I need to pay attention and be more careful.
Local authorities in the Dominican Republic have released conflicting motives.
They first said an unidentified gunman had placed a $7,800 bounty on Ortiz for unknown reasons.
Later, they blamed a case of mistaken identity, naming Big Papis friend David Fernández as the intended target. Fernández had been sitting next to Ortiz at the club.