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David Ortiz Out of ICU ... Still in Good Condition

6/22/2019 3:45 PM PDT

David Ortiz's recovery from a shooting continues to go well -- the former Red Sox slugger is no longer in the intensive care unit of a hospital, according to his wife.

The health update came Sunday, courtesy of the team on behalf of Tiffany Ortiz, who says David is out of the ICU at Massachusetts General Hospital ... adding that he "remains in good condition and continues to recover under the care of Drs. David King and Larry Ronan."

That's great news, as David was still hospitalized in the ICU as of Tuesday -- 9 days after he was shot in the back at point-blank range earlier this month in the Dominican Republic. 

As we reported ... David health status was upgraded from serious to good after he'd been transported from a D.R. hospital to one in the Boston area after undergoing surgery -- where doctors found the bullet struck his liver, his small and large intestines. Ortiz also had his gall bladder removed so the medical staff could work on the affected organs. 

According to D.R. officials, David was NOT the intended target -- but got shot after a case of mistaken identity. Police say a man named Sixto David Fernandez was the guy the shooter wanted, allegedly because he'd once ratted out a drug runner to cops. 

The alleged shooter, Rolfi Ferreira Cruz, was arrested in booked in the D.R. ... at least ten people are believed to connected to the shooting, according to officials there.

Tino Martinez Praises Yanks For Encarnacion Trade ... 'He's The Best!'

6/22/2019 12:05 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The Edwin Encarnacion trade was a STEAL for the Yankees ... so says NY legend Tino Martinez, who tells TMZ Sports, "It's a great move!"

"He's a home run hitter," Tino says ... "He's the best!"

Encarnacion was just traded from the Mariners to the Yankees in a move that only cost the Bronx Bombers a low-level prospect and some cash.

And, Tino -- who was also famously dealt from the Mariners to the Yankees before NY's 1996 World Series-winning season -- is fired up for the move.

As for Clint Frazier -- the stud outfielder who was demoted back to the minors in order to make room for Edwin -- Martinez says he's confident the 24-year-old will be just fine.

"Clint Frazier is an awesome player, man," Tino says ... "He'll be back!"

Tino also tells us he doesn't think the Yankees wheelin' and dealin' is done just yet this season ... saying he thinks the team could also be adding a starting pitcher soon!!

Justin Verlander Impressed With Scherzer ... Pitched w/ Broken Nose!

6/20/2019 1:17 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Justin Verlander is giving props to Max Scherzer for coming back strong from a gnarly broken nose injury ... telling TMZ Sports, "I appreciate him working through the pain."

Of course, Mad Max took a baseball straight to the face during a bunting drill in Nationals' batting practice Tuesday ... and suffered a nasty broken nose and a black eye as a result.

But, Scherzer toughed it out and pitched for Washington just 24 hours later ... and DOMINATED -- throwing 7 innings with no earned runs and 10 strikeouts against the Phillies.

Verlander -- who played with Max for a few years in Detroit -- says he saw his ex-teammate put in the work ... and he was impressed!!!

By the way ... we also asked Verlander if he thinks he's done enough in his own career to deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame -- and he tells us he ain't so sure.

But, with 213 career wins, 2,839 strikeouts AND an MVP award on his resume ... come on, JV!!!

David Ortiz Not Intended Target Of Shooting ... D.R. Officials Say

6/19/2019 4:39 PM PDT
Breaking News

4:29 PM PT -- Officials say Sixto David Fernandez was the target of the attack because Victor Hugo Gómez believed Sixto "ratted him out" to police years ago.

The gunman who shot David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic earlier this month DID NOT mean to target Big Papi ... so say D.R. officials, who say it was Ortiz's FRIEND they wanted to kill.

D.R. police and prosecutors just announced Sixto David Fernandez -- who was allegedly sitting near Ortiz at Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo on June 9 -- was supposed to be the target.

Unclear why Fernandez was the target. We're trying to gather information on who Fernandez is and what he does for a living. All we know so far is that cops say he's buddies with Ortiz. 

Officials say the gunman who shot Big Papi from point-blank range in the back was confused by the clothing Ortiz was wearing and fired on him instead of Fernandez.

A cell phone image taken of Sixto by one of the alleged accomplices in the crime was allegedly used to identify Sixto for the hit.

But officials say the gunman mistook white items near Sixto as white pants (Ortiz was wearing white pants that night) ... and that's where the confusion all began.

Officials say they were able to confirm all this because they were able to obtain the picture that was circulated amongst the alleged criminals.

Officials also say a man named Victor Hugo Gómez -- a 43-year-old who's wanted in the United States after being caught in a major federal drug bust -- is the one who ordered the hit.

As we previously reported, officials say at least 10 people were paid around $8,000 to complete the hit.

25-year-old Rolfi Ferreira Cruz admitted to being the man behind the gun ... but said from his D.R. jail cell last week Ortiz was NOT his intended target.

Prosecutors say regardless of who the intended target was ... they still plan to pursue serious criminal charges against all of the alleged suspects.

Originally published -- 3:30 PM PT

Max Scherzer Breaks Nose Bunting ... Blood Everywhere!!!

6/19/2019 4:26 PM PDT
Breaking News

4:10 PM PT -- Scherzer wasn't kiddin' when he said he was gonna try to pitch just ONE DAY after breaking his schnoz. He just took the mound against the Phillies on Wednesday.

Oh yeah ... and he's got a nice shiner to go with it.

Here's how you DON'T bunt a baseball ...

Max Scherzer -- arguably the best pitcher in the MLB -- was working on his bunting game in Nationals' batting practice Tuesday ... when he popped a pitch straight into his face!!

The ball flew into his nose and right eye ... and the 3-time Cy Young winner had to leave the field as a bloody mess.

Bad news for Washington ... x-Rays revealed he broke his nose -- and he even needed a CT scan to determine if his brain was okay.

Good news for Washington? Scherzer is reportedly doing much better Wednesday ... and wants to make his scheduled start Wednesday night against the Phillies!!!

Who said hockey players were the only tough guys left in sports?!?

Originally published -- 8:19 AM PT

David Ortiz Condition Upgraded to 'Good' ... Still In ICU

6/18/2019 9:15 AM PDT
Breaking News

Good news about David Ortiz ... the Boston Red Sox say his condition has been upgraded from "serious" to "good" just 9 days after he was shot in the Dominican Republic. 

"This morning, David's condition was upgraded to 'good' by his doctors and he continues to make progress with his recovery in the Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital," the team said in a statement. 

"We remain grateful to everyone who has helped David through this ordeal, both in the Dominican Republic and here in Boston."

"David's journey to good health has been bolstered by the many expressions of love that have come to us from across the globe. Your support has lifted his spirits tremendously during this challenging time."

As we previously reported, Big Papi was shot in the back on June 9 while hanging out with friends outside of a hotspot in Santo Domingo. 

Ortiz was initially treated in the D.R. -- but was flown to Boston in an air ambulance on June 10 to receive care in the U.S., where his family and personal doctors live. 

DR police released the mug shot for the man they say shot Ortiz -- 25-year-old Rolfi Ferreira Cruz -- and at least 9 others have been arrested in connection to the shooting.

David Ortiz Honored By D.R. Basketball Team ... With Custom Jerseys

6/17/2019 4:01 PM PDT
Breaking News

A Dominican Republic hoops team showed MAJOR love for David Ortiz over the weekend ... ditching its normal set of unis for jerseys with Big Papi's face as the logo.

It all went down Sunday ... when Huellas del Siglo -- a local team in the D.R. -- rocked some bright orange gear that featured a picture of Ortiz tipping his Red Sox cap with the words "Big Papi" written underneath.

Of course, Ortiz was nearly killed last week when a man opened fire on his back outside of a nightclub in Santo Domingo.

But, fortunately for everyone, the MLB legend is doing better after surgery ... and Huellas del Siglo was so happy for the news, they broke out the custom jerseys against San Carlos.

"Today we pay homage to the living legend David Ortiz," the team said of the uniforms in Spanish ... "and we continue to pray for his total recovery."

Turns out, the new Papi duds were good luck ... Huellas del Siglo won their game, 83-81.

MLB's Matt Carpenter Pujols Won't Be Booed In STL Return ... He's A Hero

6/17/2019 10:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

In St. Louis and thinking of booing Albert Pujols in his return to Busch Stadium this week??

Don't do it ... so says Cardinals star Matt Carpenter, who tells TMZ Sports Pujols deserves to be treated like a king in his first game back in STL.

"Like a hero coming back to town," Carpenter says.

Of course, The Machine famously put together a Hall of Fame career for the Cards from 2001 to 2011 ... but he didn't leave for the Angels on the best of terms following the '11 season.

Some have thought he might be welcomed with a bunch of boos because of that when he comes to town with the Halos this week ... but Carpenter says fans should stand up and cheer nonetheless.

"That guy had arguably one of the 10 best seasons that have ever been played in St. Louis," Matt says.

First pitch Friday is at 5:15 PM PT ... Pujols is expected to step into the batter's box in either the first or second innings.

#CantWait 

Cardinals' Mike Shildt Blues' Stanley Cup Magic ... It's Inspired Us!!!

6/16/2019 12:15 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The St. Louis Blues' Stanley Cup run will HELP the city's baseball team ... so says Cardinals manager Mike Shildt, who tells TMZ Sports the hockey champs have "inspired" his guys!!!

Of course, nobody gave the Blues a chance to win Lord Stanley back when the season began ... but they improbably made their way through the league to hoist the trophy Wednesday.

When we got Shildt out in NYC just a couple days later ... he told us the Blues' season is motivating as hell -- and the Cardinals are definitely taking notice!!!

"We're always inspired by great stories," Schildt says ... "And the Blues are a great story."

Schildt added, "[The Blues] had heart and grit and kind of represent the city of St. Louis."

The extra motivation is good news for the Redbirds ... they could use it -- they're just a few games out of 1st place in the NL Central!!

Jim Edmonds On Nude Text Message Scandal 'Just a Weak Moment'

6/15/2019 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

MLB legend Jim Edmonds says he and his wife are on the road to repairing their marriage after he admitted to texting nude selfies to another woman ... telling TMZ Sports, "I made a mistake."

Here's the backstory ... Edmonds has been under fire this week after a woman put their text message exchange online -- claiming Jim sent her explicit messages and videos last year while his wife Meghan King Edmonds was about to give birth to their twins. 

Edmonds has DENIED having a physical relationship with the other woman -- despite her claims -- but seems to be fessing up to the text message part telling us, "It was just a weak moment."

As for the state of his marriage to the 'Real Housewives of Orange County' star -- Jim says he and his wife are "doing good" and definitely still on speaking terms. 

When asked how they plan to get through the situation, Jim told us, "We're just gonna have to work through it."

Jim added, "It's pretty crazy in this world. People can make up stories about you and hide behind being anonymous. It sucks."

When asked if it was tough to go through the situation publicly, Edmonds explained ... "Yeah ... You try to do the best you can."

MLB's Marcell Ozuna On Big Papi Attack ... I Have To Watch My Back In D.R. Now

6/15/2019 12:15 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Cardinals superstar Marcell Ozuna says he ain't scared to return to the D.R. after David Ortiz was shot Sunday ... but he tells TMZ Sports he will have to watch his back in his home country now.

"I'ma be careful," the 28-year-old Santo Domingo native admits.

Ortiz was sitting outside of a bar over the weekend when a man walked up from behind and shot him at point-blank range.

The attack stunned everybody ... and had Dominican natives like White Sox phenom Eloy Jimenez openly admitting he's now scared to go back home.

Ozuna tells us he's not ready to go that far with his feelings on the D.R. yet ... but says he will have to be on high alert when he's back home now.

"I'm not afraid," the outfielder says ... "But I'ma be careful."

As for Big Papi ... his wife, Tiffany, says he's continuing "to make progress" in his recovery from the shooting.

David Ortiz Shooter Speaks Out From Cell ... He Wasn't My Target!

6/14/2019 8:10 AM PDT
Breaking News

The man who shot MLB legend David Ortiz issued a desperate statement from his jail cell Thursday -- admitting he pulled the trigger ... but claiming Big Papi was NOT the man he was trying to kill. 

25-year-old Rolfi Ferreira Cruz peeked his face out through bars in the Dominican Republic to address the hoards of reporters crowded outside the jail ... and made the shocking comments. 

"It wasn't supposed to be David," Rolfi said in Spanish from behind a barred window ... explaining it was the color of David's clothing that confused him.

You can also hear another man in the cell -- presumably another suspect in the case -- telling Rolfi in Spanish, "Tell them it wasn't meant for David."

Cruz did NOT reveal who the intended target was -- only suggesting he was sent to the Dial Bar on Sunday to kill another man who was dressed like Ortiz that night.

So far, at least 6 people have been arrested in the attempted murder plot -- and cops are still searching for other suspects ... including Luis Alfredo Rivas-Clase, who is also a suspect in a 2018 shooting in Pennsylvania. 

Officials still have not revealed a possible motive for the attack. 

Surveillance footage of the incident show 2 men -- including Cruz -- rolling up to the bar on a motorcycle. Cruz walks right up to Ortiz and shoots him in the back before trying to make a getaway. 

The motorcycle crashed and the suspects tried to flee -- but one man was stopped and beaten by bystanders

As for Ortiz ... his wife, Tiffany, says he's been able to sit up and take steps this week ... adding, "He continues to heal and make progress."

David Ortiz Attack New Video Shows The Shooting ... And Motorcycle Crash

6/13/2019 2:56 PM PDT
Breaking News

Dominican Republic prosecutors have released new video that shows a different angle of a man shooting David Ortiz in the back ... as well as the motorcycle crash that followed the attack.

Prosecutors say 25-year-old Rolfi Ferreira Cruz and several others were paid around $8,000 to try to kill Big Papi in the D.R. last Sunday night.

Officials say the plan involved two cars and a motorcycle ... and they allege the new video they released late Wednesday shows the whole scene.

You can see in the vid ... two men arrive on the scene riding the same motorcycle, when one gets off near the nightclub that Ortiz is partying at.

The guy casually strolls up the sidewalk ... and then pulls out a gun and fires on the Red Sox legend's back. He then takes off, and gets back on the motorcycle with another man.

But, the new video shows the two men crashed to the pavement just yards away from the shooting ... with one of the men able to flee the scene.

Of course, the other man wasn't able to make a break for it ... getting caught by bystanders and then beaten to a pulp.

D.R. officials say they've arrested six men total in the plot to kill Ortiz so far ... and say there is still at least one man on the run.

As for Ortiz ... his wife, Tiffany, said in a statement Thursday, "David remains in guarded condition in the surgical intensive care following his second surgery. He continues to heal and make progress."

"David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will be provided when necessary."

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