Former All-Star shortstop Omar Vizquel has been accused of domestic abuse by his wife, Blanca, according to a report in The Athletic.
Bianca Vizquel, 36, who initiated divorce proceedings in August, reportedly said Vizquel abused her in 2011 — before they were married — and again in 2016. She also said cited a heated argument in August.
Omar Vizquel denies domestic violence claim
Omar Vizquel, 53, denied the claims in a statement released Wednesday.
“Since the initiation of divorce proceedings with my wife, Blanca Garcia, she has taken to social media and the press to engage in a smear campaign against me designed to put pressure on the legal negotiations,” Vizquel’s statement read.
“In doing so, she seeks to portray me as someone that I am not.
“Throughout this unfortunate situation, I have been limited in my public statements, because I don’t believe that a public media battle is the way to proceed in the dissolution of our marriage. However, I must set the record straight again in light of today’s article in The Athletic.
“Let me be clear and unequivocal. I have never hit or been violent towards my wife, Blanca. Any accusation to the contrary is false. The two incidents described in The Athletic, one in Alabama in 2011 and another in Washington state in 2016, date back years ago and were either dismissed or closed. Blanca herself asked for the dismissal of the Washington case and both of us asserted to Alabama authorities that the 2011 incident was a verbal dispute over differences in our relationship.
“Furthermore, I have never asked anyone, to remain silent or lie about problems in our relationship. As I have done in the past, I will continue to cooperate with Major League Baseball, on any investigation into these matters.
“It is evident that my marriage to Blanca was not perfect. It was at times tumultuous and difficult. This was due in part to my infidelities which often resulted in verbal disputes among us and am sorry for the pain my indiscretions may have caused. Despite this, I made a good faith effort to improve our relationship, including attending extensive marriage therapy sessions during our time together.
“I have always been supportive of Blanca’s professional aspirations, and helpful to her personal struggles, since the moment I met her in 2010 and throughout our marriage. I supported the myriad of professional training courses she took during our marriage. I also guided and accompanied her through multiple visits to her doctors for treatment of her mental health condition that has affected her since before I met her. Her family was always welcomed in our home. In fact, her mother lived with us, and her extended family spent long periods of time residing in our home, including her sister and niece; the same sister who now falsely accuses me of violence against Blanca.
“I never expected this divorce proceeding to play out in public, but I will continue to defend myself and my name against these false accusations. Our divorce should be settled in a court of law, not in the court of public opinion.”
In 2016, Omar Vizquel was taken into custody by Seattle police after Blanca told officers he had pushed her during an argument, but later wrote a letter seeking to drop charges. She told The Athletic that her husband coerced her into signing the letter.
In the alleged 2011 incident, Omar Vizquel allegedly began to strangle his future wife, but both parties accepted blame and told police they did not want to pursue charges.
MLB looking into Bianca Vizquel’s claims
Major League Baseball also reportedly is looking into the claims, along with an alleged 2019 clubhouse incident while he was managing the Double-A Birmingham Barons.
Vizquel played with six teams over a 24-year career, most notably with the Cleveland Indians (1994-2004). A career .272 hitter, he was best known for his defense and won 11 Gold Glove awards.
He retired following the 2012 season and is in his fourth year of eligibility for Hall of Fame voting. In 2020, he gained his highest vote total — 52.6 percent.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)