TUSCON, AZ – MARCH 5: Coach Francisco Estrada of Mexico poses for a portrait during the World Baseball Classic Photo Day on March 5, 2006 in Tuscon, Arizona. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

A Mexican League baseball manager is okay after a strange extortion attempt allegedly took place in recent days.

Francisco “Paquin” Estrada, a Mexican League manager who has also led the Mexican National Team at the World Baseball Classic in 2006, was reported missing by his team’s officials Thursday.

Thus far, details are murky, but authorities and Bravos de Leon team officials claim Estrada was the victim of an extortion attempt in which he was “coerced into staying in a hotel room for three nights.”

Here’s more, from the Associated Press:

At a news conference, team officials tried to steer questions away from what had occurred. But pressed by reporters, club president Mauricio Martinez said Estrada had not been kidnapped, characterizing the event as “extortion” without giving any specific information.

Estrada then gave a sketchy description of events. 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.

There was question into whether the manager was having a health issue, but it’s been confirmed that this was the reason for Estrada’s absence.

Estrada, 69, played one game at catcher for the New York Mets in 1971.

With this very bizarre story receiving the attention it is, we will hopefully soon find out why this happened. Right now, we’re just glad Estrada is safe.


About Ryan Williamson

Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri and has recently returned to his Minnesota roots. He previously has worked for the Columbia Missourian, KFAN radio in Minneapolis and BringMeTheNews.com. Feel free to email me at rwilliamson29 AT Gmail dot com.