It was a throwaway segment on Fox’s All-Star pre-game show. To promote a Fox betting app, David Ortiz took cash out of a briefcase and threw it into the crowd.
Innocuous, right? Former Boston cop Eddie Dominguez feels differently.
Dominguez, who worked security for the Red Sox from 1999 through 2007 before joining MLB's department of investigations in the wake of the Mitchell Report, alleges in his book that one of Ortiz’s closest friends was betting on Sox games in the mid-2000s.
The friend is a well-known member of Ortiz’s entourage known as “Monga,” who was jailed and charged with identity fraud in 2007. At the time, Ortiz said he knew nothing about the case.
With that (alleged) history in mind, Dominguez told Dan Shaughnessy he was baffled to see Ortiz promote the betting app.
“I have questions,” he said. “I have no idea how Rob Manfred, Alex Rodriguez, and David Ortiz have become such close friends. David and Alex are Fox announcers. I just don’t understand it. Baseball has always looked at gambling as something that cannot happen. Remember Pete Rose? So I don’t see how they give anybody that has anything like this in their history that kind of a role.”
Dominguez’s book, “Baseball Cop: The Dark Side of America’s National Pastime,” details numerous allegations against Monga. Dominguez claims an informant witnessed Monga placing a bet on a Red Sox-White Sox game in July 2005.
The Red Sox lost that game, 6-4, but Ortiz smacked a first-inning homer.
Dominguez also says the Red Sox banned Monga and other members of Ortiz’s entourage from the clubhouse.
Notably, Dominguez never accuses Ortiz of wrongdoing. Following Ortiz’s shooting in the Dominican, Dominguez told WEEI he thinks the slugger has trouble leaving behind questionable characters from his past.
“We’re all human beings. What you see in David’s world as a baseball player, we’re not all perfect. Everybody has issues,” he explained. “One of the issues that David has is he can’t let go of the people who he grew up with. We used to give presentations at Spring Training to the players. One of the last ones I gave was concerning exactly that. I remember David standing there and looking at me, as were the rest of the players. I said, ‘I understand, they’re your friends. They believe in loyalty. I get that.’ But when you’re hanging around the people ... sometimes you just have to push away. That’s tough for David to do.”