Former Tigers coach Omar Vizquel denies wife’s allegations of domestic abuse
Longtime major league shortstop Omar Vizquel denied accusations of domestic abuse made by his wife after she described two alleged acts of physical violence by the 11-time Gold Glove winner in a story published by The Athletic.
Blanca Vizquel, 36, said her 53-year-old husband first assaulted her in 2011, three years before they married, and again in 2016. She described another heated dispute with him last August, which she said prompted her to leave him and file for divorce. She also spoke of the allegations in a video on her Instagram posted Oct. 7, saying in Spanish that “no one deserves to have violence against them.”
Omar Vizquel said in a statement on Twitter that he cheated on Blanca and apologized for the “pain my indiscretions may have caused,” but he denied ever abusing her.
“Let me be clear and unequivocal,” he said. “I have never hit or been violent towards my wife, Blanca. Any accusation to the contrary is false.”
Vizquel was a coach for the Detroit Tigers from 2014-17 under manager Brad Ausmus.
Vizquel was taken into police custody in Sammamish, Washington, in 2016 after an incident at the couple’s home, The Athletic said. Blanca Vizquel told police her husband pushed her over, injuring her shin and breaking several finger nails. She later asked prosecutors to drop charges against her husband, but she told The Athletic she did so only after Omar Vizquel threatened her with financial repercussions.
Blanca Vizquel also described a 2011 incident when Omar Vizquel allegedly strangled her.
Major League Baseball is investigating the 2016 arrest and has spoken to Blanca. The league is also looking into a 2019 clubhouse incident while Vizquel was managing the Double-A Birmingham Barons in the Chicago White Sox system.
Vizquel was set to manage the Toros de Tijuana in the Mexican League in 2020 before the league canceled its season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Vizquel, from Caracas, Venezuela, has been gaining support on the Hall of Fame ballot, getting 52.6% of the required 75% needed for enshrinement in the last round of voting. The three-time All-Star was considered the top defender at his position through much of his 24-year career, which ended in 2012 after time with Seattle, Cleveland, San Francisco, Texas, the Chicago White Sox and Toronto.