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David Ortiz Upgraded to ‘Good' Condition: Wife

Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz has been upgraded to "good" condition as he continues to recover from his shooting last week in the Dominican Republic, according to his wife.

"This morning, David’s condition was upgraded to 'good' by his doctors and he continues to make progress with his recovery in the Intensive Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital," Tiffany Ortiz said in a statement issued Tuesday by the Red Sox.

"We remain grateful to everyone who has helped David through this ordeal, both in the Dominican Republic and here in Boston," she added. "David’s journey to good health has been bolstered by the many expressions of love that have come to us from across the globe. Your support has lifted his spirits tremendously during this challenging time."

ESPN's Marly Rivera said she has learned that Ortiz is now able to eat "soft foods" and has spoken with loved ones and former teammates over the phone. Only close family and friends have been allowed to visit him at the hospital.

Ortiz was shot on June 9 while at a bar in Santo Domingo. Surveillance footage of the scene showed a gunman walking up to Ortiz and shooting at him at close range, causing chaos and sending patrons running from the area.

Doctors on the island removed his gallbladder and part of his intestines before he was flown to Boston for more treatment last week.

As Ortiz continues his recovery, Dominican authorities said they have identified the man they believe paid hitmen to try and kill him as fugitive Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota.

Police said Mota paid the alleged shooter, Rolfi Ferreras Cruz, to carry out the hit. The motive of the attack remains unclear. 

According to court documents, Gabriel Alexander Perez Vizcaino -- the 10th suspect arrested in the shooting -- was allegedly the liaison between Mota and the hitmen. 

Perez Vizcaino was allegedly told a week before the attack he would be sent a photo of the target from a person in jail. It’s unclear who was in the photo.

He allegedly showed that picture to a group of people he’d gathered minutes before the shooting took place at a crowded Santo Domingo bar.

The alleged shooter, Cruz, told reporters from jail that Ortiz was not the intended target.

Perez Vizcaino allegedly sold an iPhone used to plan the attack to get rid of evidence, per court documents.

Dominican authorities said they plan to release full details on the motive and plot behind the Ortiz shooting on Wednesday.

Police have said the coordinator of the attack was offered 400,000 Dominican pesos, or about $7,800, to orchestrate the shooting of Ortiz, known as Big Papi.

He led the Red Sox to three World Series championships, was a 10-time All-Star and hit 541 home runs.

Ortiz lives in Boston but visits the Dominican Republic several times a year.

Since Ortiz is an American national, the U.S. is assisting in the investigation and the FBI has also become involved.

In an interview with Telemundo Miami Tuesday, Ortiz's lawyer, Jose Hoepelman, said he was hired to handle misinformation, including a rumor that the shooting was related to jealousy over a woman. Hoepelman called this the least likely theory.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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