Red Sox

Report: David Ortiz murder plot may have been hatched from prison

Report: David Ortiz murder plot may have been hatched from prison

It's looking more likely that the shooting of David Ortiz wasn't an isolated act but rather a premeditated plan to murder the Boston Red Sox legend.

Authorities in the Dominican Republic are investigating whether two suspects in the case -- Jose Eduardo Ciprian Lebron and Carlos Rafael Alvarez -- hatched the plot to kill Ortiz from prison, the Boston Globe reported Friday morning.

Per the Globe, authorities are looking into whether Lebron, who's serving time for separate murder charges, played a role in organizing the $7,800 payout sent to the alleged attackers to kill Ortiz.

Police also claim they have evidence that Alvarez, currently on a 20-year sentence for aggravated robbery, contacted some of the suspects arrested in the shooting, per Alvarez's lawyer.

The complicated case already has implicated nine suspects -- including alleged gunman Rolfi Ferreras Cruz -- who were presented in court Thursday and are scheduled to be indicted Friday in connection with the shooting of Ortiz in the D.R. on Sunday night.

Police believe four additional suspects, including the boss of a criminal organization in Reading, Pa., are still at large as they try to determine who ordered the killing of one of the most popular figures in the Dominican.

Ortiz, meanwhile, remains in recovery at Massachusetts General Hospital after two surgeries to repair liver and kidney damage.

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Jason Varitek's strikeout call as umpire in Red Sox scrimmage is fantastic

Jason Varitek's strikeout call as umpire in Red Sox scrimmage is fantastic

Jason Varitek may have found a new calling in calling batters out.

The former Red Sox catcher, whose official title with Boston is "Special Assistant/Catching Coach," moonlighted as the home-plate umpire in the team's intrasquad scrimmage Thursday at Fenway Park.

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But Varitek didn't just half-heartedly call balls and strikeouts. Nope, he was committed to the bit, dressing up in full umpire attire to stand behind the plate.

Oh, and his strikeout call was a thing of beauty:

Leslie Nielsen would be proud.

Varitek didn't go all-out for all of his strikeout calls, but he didn't hesitate to punch out Red Sox stars like J.D. Martinez.

Varitek got to know major league umpires very well during his 15-year playing career in Boston, so if anyone on the Red Sox' staff is qualified for this job, it's him.

Thursday marked the Sox' first simulated game action since they opened Training Camp at the beginning of the month. They're set to begin the shortened 2020 season July 24 with a home series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Red Sox schedule 2021: Dates, opponents for 162-game season revealed

Red Sox schedule 2021: Dates, opponents for 162-game season revealed

Major League Baseball is looking ahead to (hopefully) brighter days.

The Red Sox don't begin their coronavirus-shortened 2020 season until July 24, but that didn't stop Boston and the rest of the league from unveiling their full schedules for the 2021 MLB season Thursday.

Here's the Red Sox' full 2021 schedule, which at the moment includes 162 games.

Boston will open the 2021 season against the Baltimore Orioles on April 1, 2021, at Fenway Park and play its first nine games against American League East opponents.

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The Red Sox' 2021 schedule also includes interleague matchups with the National League East, who they'll see plenty of this summer during their 60-game campaign.

The Sox don't face the New York Yankees until June 4 at Yankee Stadium but will play a total of 14 games against their archrival between June and July.

With COVID-19 still hitting the United States hard, it's much too early to tell if the 2021 season will start on time or if fans will be allowed at games. But at the very least, the league has a schedule in place should things drastically improve over the next seven months.