Former Cleveland Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel has hopes of being inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021. However, domestic abuse allegations could end up in his name being removed from the ballot.
Major League Baseball is investigating domestic abuse allegations against Vizquel made by his estranged wife, Blanca, according to The Athletic's Katie Strang and Ken Rosenthal. The league has already interviewed Blanca and also has interviewed members of her family.
A representative of Vizquel provided The Athletic with an 11-page defense document, saying the allegations are a "smear campaign" against him.
"I don't have anything to say. This is a divorce and I know she's really pi--ed off," Vizquel told The Athletic. "There is a lot of things [being said] out there about things supposedly happening behind closed doors, you know. I don't have anything to say about that, either. It's just a divorce."
Blanca fled the pair's Arizona home in August and initiated divorce proceedings less than one week after leaving. She even spent time at a women's shelter after leaving Vizquel.
Blanca revealed to Strang and Rosenthal that she was staying with Vizquel out of fear.
“It’s devastating because the person you love is supposed to protect you, and when (he’s) the one who’s hurting you … it’s like slow motion and you’re scared and then the police are there, and you know you can’t take it back,” Blanca said.
Blanca and Vizquel met in Venezuela in 2008 and were married in July 2014. Blanca told The Athletic that the pair had problems with their relationship even before they were married. The two fought about his infidelity and Blanca's family members expressed concern about how Vizquel treated her.
Vizquel entered MLB in 1989 with the Seattle Mariners. He spent five years with the team before signing with the Cleveland Indians. He also played for the San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays.