Mexican Baseball Manager Says He Was the Victim of Bizarre “Virtual Kidnapping”

mexican baseball manager francisco estrada extortion

Earlier this week Mexican League baseball manager Francisco Estrada went missing. His team, the Bravos de Leon, had last spoken to Estrada on Tuesday. They became worried when he missed a news conference on Wednesday. He was reported missing on Thursday morning. Then they found him later on Thursday, completely healthy and unharmed.

So what the hell happened?

Well, in a press conference streamed live on Facebook, Mexican authorities and Bravos officials claimed Estrada was not kidnapped. Instead, they said he was the victim of a bizarre telephone extortion plot.

Here’s the AP’s account of what Estrada’s explanation was:

“The manager said he was coerced into staying in a hotel room for three nights. He said he was not kept there by armed abductors, but rather by an unknown person on the other end of the telephone who would not allow him to sleep and constantly quizzed him about what was on television to make sure he was still there.

“Estrada gave no other details. But his description raised the question of whether he could have been the victim of what Mexicans call ‘virtual kidnapping,’ in which criminals threaten to harm a relative or pretend to have abducted a family member while demanding cash.”

“Honey, I swear, I am not having an affair with Maria. I was being held at that hotel by a group of vicious trivia enthusiasts!”

It should be noted that neither the authorities nor team officials actually used the term “virtual kidnapping” at the press conference, nor did they describe any threats by the caller.

Estrada is a former star catcher in Mexican baseball. He’s in his first year as manager of Bravos de Leon. The 69-year-old recently underwent heart surgery, so team officials were initially concerned he might have had a medical emergency.

Hopefully more details about this alleged extortion plot become available in the coming days.

Hat Tip – [DeadspinESPN]

Tags: baseball, extortion, kidnapping, Mexican League, MLB,