Virtually nobody in Red Sox Nation, the Dominican Republic nor anywhere in between believes the official explanation for the shooting that nearly took the life of David Ortiz in June.
And that includes Big Papi himself.
That’s why Ortiz has hired former Boston and Lowell Police Superintendent Ed Davis to find out why he was shot in that Dominican Republic nightclub.
According to police in the DR, Ortiz, 43, was seriously wounded June 9 in an apparent case of mistaken identity, but seemingly no one has bought into the local authorities’ version of events.
“The bottom line is David does not know why he was shot and would like to know why he was shot,” Ortiz spokesman Joe Baerlein told the Boston Herald. “He’s said, ‘I don’t have enemies on that island. I’ve done good things to help people on that island.’ David is as puzzled as anyone as to why it happened.”
The Red Sox legend underwent three surgeries from bullet wounds that tore through his torso in that nightclub assault.
Dominican police said Ortiz was mistaken for another man, Sixto David Fernández, who was sitting near him at the club. That doesn’t add up since Ortiz doesn’t look anything like the supposed target. They’re neither a match in size — Ortiz being much larger — nor skin tone.
Victor Hugo Gómez, the man Dominican authorities say was behind the shooting, insists he’s innocent.
Authorities said Gómez had hired a gang of killers to eliminate Fernández, who is his cousin. Police said Gómez suspected Fernández of turning him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011.
Ortiz hired Davis, who now operates his own security firm, a few weeks after he returned to Boston for medical treatment.
In addition to monitoring and analyzing information from various Dominican Republic sources about shooting motives, The Edward Davis Company also provides personal security services for Ortiz and his family.
Ortiz and Davis will be irrevocably linked to the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three people while injuring and maiming scores of others.
In the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers that followed, MIT police officer and Wilmington native Sean Collier was murdered by the at-large terrorists.
Davis, as Boston’s police chief, played a key role, not only as the visible head of the coordinated pursuit of the terror suspects, but also as a calming influence for a community still in shock over such a devastating attack.
Ortiz, shaken by the events in his adopted hometown, rallied the Red Sox faithful and undoubtedly everyone in Massachusetts and throughout New England when he stood in Fenway Park about a week after the bombings, microphone in hand, to lift the spirits of a region still reeling.
He concluded his heartfelt speech with the line that should be enshrined with him when he enters the Baseball Hall of Fame in a few years: “This is our f——- city. And nobody’s going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”
Ortiz, hospitalized for nearly six weeks, now looks like he’s well on the road to recovery, as a recent photo with his daughter suggests.
Still, he obviously wants the closure that a definitive answer to his shooting would give.
That’s hopefully what Ed Davis and company will provide.