Former All-Star shortstop Omar Vizquel has been accused by his wife of multiple incidents of domestic abuse, including one in 2016 during his time as first base coach of the Tigers, according to a report published Wednesday by MLB insiders Katie Strang and Ken Rosenthal.
During a heated argument in their Seattle-area home, Vizquel's estranged wife, Blanca, alleges that Vizquel stormed into their bedroom, breaking through a barrier of dumbbells Blanca had placed against the door. Vizquel proceeded to push Blanca to the floor, injuring her shin and breaking off multiple nails, Blanca claims.
The incident is said to have occurred in January of 2016. Vizquel told police that Blanca had tripped. He was charged with fourth-degree domestic assault and taken to a nearby jail.
The Tigers, via Strang and Rosenthal, declined to say whether they were aware of the incident. Vizquel was hired as the team's first base coach in November of 2013 under manager Brad Ausmus and stayed on board through the duration of Ausmus' tenure. Detroit interviewed Vizquel after the 2017 season for the manager opening that went to Ron Gardenhire.
Vizquel was never prosecuted for the incident in question, because Blanca dropped the charges. At the time, she said she loved her husband and wanted to work through their issues together. She claimed later that Vizquel pressured her into refuting the original record by threatening "financial ruin and to kick her out of the house," per Strang and Rosenthal.
Blanca, 36, filed for divorce in August of this year.
Vizquel's attorney said his client "flatly denies any allegations of domestic violence.”
Asked about his wife's allegations, Vizquel, 53, said, "I don’t have anything to say. This is a divorce and I know she’s really pissed off. 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."
In another alleged incident that occurred in December of 2011 while the couple was visiting Blanca's sister, three years before they were married, Blanca's sister claims she awoke to the sound of Blanca screaming, ran into the bedroom where the couple was staying and found Vizquel on top of Blanca, strangling her.
In her witness statement from that night, Blanca's sister wrote, "We saw him on top of her, his elbow on her throat, her arms pin (sic) down on bed, she was screaming, telling him to let me go."
Vizquel, who played 24 seasons in the Majors and won 11 Gold Gloves, is also under investigation for an incident in 2019 during his time as a minor league manager for the White Sox that reportedly involved a male team employee and led to Vizquel's dismissal from the organization.
“While Omar Vizquel has not been employed by a Major League organization for some time, we are aware of the allegations and will continue to look into them,” MLB said in a statement.
Vizquel served as manager of Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League in 2020.