David Ortiz makes first comments since leaving hospital after shooting

"Too bad l can’t crush food yet," Ortiz wrote on Instagram, along with a series of pictures of a New York strip steak, pasta and fish.
Image: FILE - Former Red Sox Slugger David Ortiz Stable After Being Shot
David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox in 2016 in Boston.Maddie Meyer / Getty Images file

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By David K. Li

Retired Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz said Monday in his first words since leaving the hospital almost two months after being shot in the Dominican Republic that he's enjoying "priceless" time with his loved ones.

The baseball great posted an Instagram picture of a steak on a barbecue grill with English and Spanish words: "Being at home and look at my family celebrating that lm here safe is priceless...Thank for all the prayers."

Ortiz, 43, lamented that he's, for now, limited in how much he can eat.

"Too bad l can’t crush food yet," the sure-fire Hall of Fame slugger wrote, along with pictures of a New York strip steak, pasta and fish.

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The three-time World Series winner, known affectionately as "Big Papi," is safe at home after he was almost killed in the Dominican Republic on June 9.

In statement released by the Red Sox, Ortiz thanked the team management.

“My deep appreciation goes to (team owner) John and Linda Henry, (chairman) Tom Werner, (president and CEO) Sam Kennedy and the entire Red Sox organization for arranging the Red Sox plane that took me back to Boston from Santo Domingo and their continuing assistance to me and my family," according to his statement.

He also singled out Pam Kenn, the team's vice president of community, alumni and player relations, and the work she did with his wife: “For the help and support she gave Tiffany in providing the media updates on my medical condition."

Tiffany Ortiz thanked Red Sox Vice Chairman Philip Morse, “For his special acts of kindness and concern during a difficult time for me and my family."

David Ortiz was shot at the Dial Bar and Lounge where he had gone with friends.

Dominican authorities don't believe Ortiz was the intended target, saying the the gunman was actually aiming for Sixto David Fernández, who happened to be sharing a table with the baseball legend.

Authorities shared that New Jersey native Rolfi Ferreira-Cruz, 25, one of 14 suspects arrested in connection with the attack, was the alleged gunman hired to take out Fernández.

Earlier this month, the Dominican Republic's attorney general, Jean Alain Rodríguez Sánchez, said they believe Victor Hugo Gómez Vasquez, an alleged member of Mexico's Del Golfo drug cartel, orchestrated the alleged hit on Fernández.

The two are cousins, but Vasquez allegedly orchestrated the murder-for-hire plot because Fernández turned him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011.

Vasquez was arrested last month in Santo Domingo.