THE SURGEON who operated on David Ortiz says Big Papi was a very lucky man to get out of the Dominican Republic alive.
As suspects continue to be rounded up, nine as this was being written with a 10th at large, Dr. Jose Semester told the Washington Post of the peril Ortiz faced in the operating table.
“The injuries he had were lethal, even separately, if they wouldn’t have been taken care of right away, especially the one on the liver,” Smester said. “But in that moment, you don’t think about death, you think about what you have to do.
“The advantage is that he was always stable.”
The doctors found a liter of blood in Ortiz’s stomach when they opened him up and said he lost another half-liter during surgery.
Said Smester: “It’s a lot (of blood loss). It’s not enough to bring him to a shock, especially someone like him who weighs a lot. But yes, when we opened him, his stomach was full of blood.”
And the doctors also made it clear Ortiz should be fine to lead the rest of his life.
Yankees pitcher Zack Britton‘s mother is from the Dominican Republic and the DR is now a place the lefty no longer visits — because of the dangers.
“It’s the reason why my mom doesn’t want me to go back,” Britton said. “Most of my family is from Santo Domingo. Unfortunately, it’s not the safest place. I haven’t been back in an extremely long time.”
Said John Smoltz, once an Ortiz teammate: “I know we’re living in different times. We really are. I just can’t believe it.”
We all know about the toughness of hockey players, of their ability to play when hurt. Zdeno Chara out there days after breaking his jaw is the latest example.
Tough. It’s no secret. But whenever a season ends, we find out just HOW tough they are.
Yes, Chara had a broken jaw. But Friday, we found out it was broken in several places, and that there were plates and other hardware holding things together.
“I got multiple fractures,” said Chara, who was also dealing with a lower body injury. “It’s been reinforced with two plates and some wires and screws. It was an amazing job they were able to put together in a quick turnaround of 36 hours from the end of Game 4 and beginning of Game 5.”
While Ryan O’Reilly of the Blues won the Conn Smythe Trophy with a cracked rib, the Bruins’ list was long. There was speculation Patrice Bergeron wasn’t 100 percent, and he had a groin injury that had to slow him down. So many others were hurt. Noel Acciari had a broken sternum among other injuries.
Nothing compared to Kevan Miller, who missed the entire playoffs as the capper to a horrendous season.
Miller suffered throughout the season. This from Matt Porter of the Globe: “Broken hand – Oct; Fractured larynx – Nov; Torn oblique – Feb; Broken kneecap vertically – April; Broke same kneecap horizontally as he was about to come back – May.”
Said Miller: “The second-to-last game against Minnesota, went into the boards awkwardly, fractured my kneecap vertically. I had surgery two or three days after that. Put some screws in it to make it better. Things were going well. (GM Don Sweeney) and everybody said there’s a possibility of getting back for the finals.
“My goal was to be back for that. About five weeks, I was through the rehab. I was in Carolina, getting ready to skate after the guys. During the rehab, it re-fractured. That was basically the end of me coming back for the finals. I went and had surgery again. Some more hardware in it. Now here we are.”
That’s the word on Kyrie Irving with the Nets set to move on from DeAngelo Russell after Russell’s breakout season. The move seems downright puzzling through these eyes, but Celtics fans can take solace in the knowledge something bad always happens to the Nets.
Word surfaced Saturday that the Celtics might not be willing to deal a huge package to bring Anthony Davis to Boston for one year.
Wrote Adam Himmelsbach of the Globe: “It is widely known that the Celtics have the shiniest collection of assets for a potential Davis deal, but there are questions about how far they would open their treasure chest. One league source said the uncertainty surrounding Davis’s long-term future in Boston has thus far limited the Celtics’ willingness to overwhelm New Orleans with an offer.”
Agent Rich Paul is clearly trying to engineer a union of clients LeBron James and Davis in LA.
Now we take out regular Sunday glance around the sports world:
…The Red Sox began their stretch of 16 of the next 29 games against the Orioles and Blue Jays with a resounding 13-2 win.
…Kudos to the champion Blues, who honored the legacy of broadcaster Dan Kelly by moving his son, the team’s TV announcer, in to call the second period of each game in the finals.
…Juiced ball? Bad pitching? Last year, seven teams reached the 200-homer mark in MLB. This season, there are 20 teams on pace to do it. Hard to believe the pitching got that much poorer.
From Bob Nightengale of USAToday: “Nearly half of the teams in MLB (14) scored at least 7 runs tonight, 11 teams scored at least 9 runs and 7 teams scored at least 10 runs. Oh, and 55 homers were hit. Juiced ball, anyone?”
…Watching Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson go down this week was tough –- especially with all that free agency money waiting for them. But here’s the thing: both will get big bucks while rehabbing next season. Think about the end-of-the-bench guys who get hurt and wind up not getting paid.
…From column pal Chris Smith of MassLive: “Rafael Devers made nine errors in his first 31 games. But he has made just two errors in his past 36 games. ‘He’s becoming a beast at third base,’” manager Alex Cora said.
…Anaheim’s Shohei Ohtani and Cleveland’s Jake Bauers hit for cycles on back-to-back nights this week. It’s only the third time ever two guys did it on successive days –- the first since Tris Speaker (Red Sox) and Chief Meyers (Giants) did it in 1912.
…Congrats to my friend Suzyn Waldman, the Yankees’ radio analyst, for her nomination to the Radio Hall of Fame. Well-deserved for this broadcasting pioneer.
…From Saturday’s Red Sox game notes at Baltimore: “SLUGGING SOX: After hitting 4 HR or fewer in each of their first 69 games of the season, the Red Sox hit 5 HR on Thursday and a season-high 6 HR last night. This is only the 4th time the Sox have hit 5+ HR in consecutive games (last: July 2002)...They have homered 5+ times in 3 straight games only once (1977, 6/17-19). The Red Sox have hit 74 HR in 42 games beginning 4/30, tied for 2nd-most in MLB during that time (MIN-83).
…Courtside seats for Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Oakland (the final game at Oracle Arena) were sold for $138,000 for a pair.
…Max Kepler of the Twins is closing in on Mike Blowers‘ record for home runs hit by German-born players. Through Friday, Kepler had 72. Blowers has 78. Glenn Hubbard is third with 70.
…Manchester’s own Zach Sanford became the 12th Boston College player to win a Stanley Cup – including one in each of the last four seasons.
…Having Doc Emrick and Mike Breen bring us the finals of their respective sports? It just doesn’t get any better.
…Father’s Day reunions this weekend: Delino DeShields of the Rangers faced Delino DeShields, first base coach of the Reds, in Cincinnati; while Toronto’s Cavan Biggio, who was a New Hampshire Fisher Cat last year, returned home to Houston and was with his dad, Hall of Famer Craig Biggio.
…As the Patriots continue their search to fill his position, including calling off a trade when Michael Roberts failed a physical Friday, Gronk continues to … well, be Gronk. He brightened the days of the kids at the Barbara Bush Childrens Hospital in Maine this week. “Just because I am not playing anymore doesn’t mean you can’t give back or anything,” Gronkowski said. Oh, and he also said he has no plans to play any more football.
…Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy can be a restricted free agent, but can’t go anywhere just yet. Still, he wouldn’t want to if he could, saying, “I don’t want to go anywhere. This is the best place on Earth. This has become home for me. I want to be here forever.”
…Great reminder from Rich Eisen of the NFL Network: “What a decade for starving hockey fans: 2010 — #Blackhawks first cup in 49 years; 2011 — #Bruins first cup in 39 years; 2012 — #Kings first cup EVER (44 year wait); 2018 — #Caps first cup EVER (43 year wait);
2019 — #Blues first cup EVER (51 year wait).”
…Cora on the Bruins coming up a win short: “I don’t know much about the sport but I know if you play in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup you did a good job. The city should be proud, obviously we get judged on results but when everything wares down people will recognize how great they were.”
…Robert Kraft on the passing of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen: “There was no owner or person like Pat Bowlen. I loved him. Today is a very sad day for all who knew him.”
…More Sox prior to Saturday’s Game 2 in Baltimore: “The Red Sox have an MLB-best 104 XBH in their last 25 games (beginning 5/20)...They have at least 1 XBH in each of their last 85 regular season games, MLB’s longest active streak and the club’s longest since 2004-05 (164 G).”
…It took only minutes, but Vegas has the 2020 NBA title odds already out there. The Celtics are third behind the Warriors and Bucks – at 7/1. Interesting considering no one knows what either the Celtics or Warriors are going to look like.
…Kawhi Leonard joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Bucks, Lakers) and LeBron James (Heat, Cavs) as the only players with NBA titles with two teams.
…Bruins center David Krejci, who also played hurt and failed to score in the Stanley Cup Final, after Wednesday night’s loss: “ Tonight, it wasn’t our day. Too bad it was the biggest day of our lives.”
…Marc Gasol joined his brother Pau as the only brothers ever to win NBA titles.
…Saturday was Joe Mauer Day in the state of Minnesota. Two things about Mauer: Yes, his wife gave birth to Twins; and Mauer struck out ONCE in high school.
…Bad Fenway news: a survey showed the old place is next to last (to Oakland, which has been all but condemned as has sewerage problems) in MLB restrooms. And, despite upgrades in recent years, only 24th in food. Oh, and only 14th in atmosphere. “It seems as though Red Sox fans may be some of the toughest raters in the league,” SeatGeek said.
…While Bruins forward David Backes appears headed for buyout or trade (he wants to stay), the future of Torey Krug is at the forefront of the Bruins’ offseason situation. He will make $5.25 million next season and more than that thereafter.
…Brian McCann notched the 999th and 1,000th RBIs of his career in a two-run walkoff Friday night.
…Rick Nash, whose career ended as a Bruin because of concussion problems, is back home in Columbus as a special assistant. “Rick is the most decorated player in Blue Jackets history and was one of the game’s most respected players during a career that included multiple All-Star Games, Olympic and World Championship gold medals and a Stanley Cup Final appearance,” said GM Jarmo Kekalainen.
…Cubs manager Joe Maddon on the home plate umpiring of CB Bucknor: “Unfortunately, whenever that fellow works, everybody expects that in advance. And it’s hard to argue because it’s equally offensive to both sides. That’s as kind as I can be.”
…We salute the Angels’ players for sending our pal Tim Mead off to his new start as president of the Hall of Fame. Albert Pujols said Cooperstown is getting “A Hall of Fame person.”
…Finally, we give you Indians manager Terry Francona, who had already spoken to the MGH doctors, on Ortiz: ‘‘He’s a very special person, not to just to me, to a lot of people ... ‘I know he’s in great hands. He couldn’t be in a better place or with better people. ‘He’s in a great place, with people that obviously care about him but also are extremely good at what they do.’’
Mike Shalin covers Boston pro sports for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. His email address is email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mscotshay.