The greatest Blue Jay .. and the Paris Hilton of Puerto RicoAug 1st, 2011 | By Dominic Berry | Category: Sporting Life
If you were among the tens (or even hundreds?) of thousands (or even millions?) who watched the strangely moving ceremony in which new Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Roberto Alomar’s Toronto Blue Jays’ number 12 was officially retired, on the sunny early afternoon of Sunday, July 31, 2011, you may share a certain puzzlement among the crowd I was with, in front of a big-screen TV, close to the torrid summer beaches of Lake Ontario.
“Robbie,” as the undoubtedly great man from Puerto Rico — and undeniable class act — is known in the capital city of Canada’s most populous province these days, introduced his mom and dad onstage, at one poignant moment in the proceedings. And the TV cameras recurrently showed a small crowd of presumably related younger people, waving from some honoured place in the stands. But where was his wife etc? Did he even have a wife etc, etc? (“I think he might be gay,” one ardent baseball-fan young lady in our group suggested: “I know he has been accused of testing HIV positive.”)
Subsequent research indicates that all this just shows how the crowd I was with is not quite as well informed about Toronto Blue Jays history as you might think — given its often wild enthusiasm for watching the games on TV (with special reference to the current greatest Blue Jay: number 19, José Antonio Bautista, from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic). And in the wider public interest, I thought I might quickly share the results of this research with others who may or may not find themselves in some similar state of relative baseball ignorance.
There hardly seems any prima facie evidence, that is to say, to suggest Robbie Alomar is gay. It is true enough that he has been accused of being HIV positive. But the accusers have all been women — and they include his current estranged wife, Maria Del Pilar Alomar, aka “Maripily,” and also aka “the Paris Hilton of Puerto Rico.” (And for a few more intriguing details, click on “Read the rest of this page” below and/or gradually scroll down, and watch the plot thicken!)
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On February 12, 2009 the Toronto Star reported that Ilya Dall, an ex-girlfriend of Roberto Alomar, had filed a $15 million lawsuit claiming that he lied to her about his HIV status so they could have unprotected sex. (Ms. Dall told other stories as well. Among her “more explosive allegations is that Alomar told her he’d been raped by two men while playing baseball in the southwestern US when he was 17 years old.” And this probably explains our ardent baseball-fan young lady’s thought that he might be gay.)
Robbie denied all these allegations, and pointed to his continuing good health as proof of his denial. Then on May 6, 2009 it was reported that: “Former Blue Jay Roberto Alomar and his ex-girlfriend [Ilya Dall] have settled her explosive lawsuit claiming he made her have unprotected sex even though he had AIDS … An order from a judge yesterday said a settlement had been reached. Alomar’s lawyer, Charles Bach, said Dall voluntarily withdrew the suit, but wouldn’t say if his client paid Dall. Her lawyer had no comment.”
Meanwhile, Robbie had already taken up with a new girlfriend. As the Toronto Star had reported back in February: “Shortly after his alleged breakup with Dall last October, reports in the Puerto Rican media linked him romantically with a high-profile model there, Maripily [Maria Del Pilar] Rivera, described by some as that island’s equivalent of Paris Hilton. The pair, according to sources in Puerto Rico, went to Miami earlier this week.”
Roberto Alomar and Maripily [Maria Del Pilar] Rivera were married on June 1, 2009 in Florida. Just over a year later, however, in August 2010, this new heartthrob “announced that she was the victim of alleged domestic violence and she was filing for divorce.”
Subsequently, the Paris Hilton of Puerto Rico also “accused her still husband of exposing her to HIV virus, lying intentionally to her in order to have unprotected sex with her.” Again Robbie argued the allegations were a pack of lies. (And in fact: “Maria Del Pilar Alomar was first reported as the retired baseball player’s girlfriend … standing up for her man” when “a former girlfriend named Ilya Dall accused him of allegedly giving her AIDS.”)
To round out these latest permutations and combinations, on April 29, 2011 Mike Fish at ESPN.com reported that “since retiring in 2005 as a 12-time All-Star … Alomar’s life has … been littered with soured relationships and legal wrangling. At least four women, including his estranged wife [ie the Paris Hilton etc], have accused Alomar of being HIV positive and having unprotected sex with them. Alomar has steadfastly denied being HIV positive.”
And finally just this past Saturday, July 30, 2011 Michael Grange at sportsnet.ca reported that Maria Del Pilar Alomar’s lawsuit “is still pending.” But “none of this” has prevented Paul Beeston, current president of the Toronto Blue Jays, “from hiring Alomar as a special advisor to the president and putting him on the Blue Jays payroll again … ‘I was aware of it,’ Beeston said of Alomar’s legal issues during an interview this week in his office at Rogers Centre. ‘They’re allegations. It’s his business. It doesn’t affect what he does and it doesn’t affect our friendship.’”
My own view of the moment is simple enough: Three cheers for Paul Beeston. And three cheers for Roberto Alomar, the greatest Blue Jay, and the greatest second baseman in all of baseball history. And, whatever else, now the crowd I was with in front of the big-screen TV yesterday can at least understand why Robbie’s estranged (and almost certainly gold-digging?) wife was not with him, and his mom and dad, to watch the retirement of his magic Blue Jays number 12! I can’t say that I missed her myself.