Rays’ Wander Franco removed from commercials amid allegations
It appears all traces of Wander Franco are being removed.
Amid allegations that the star shortstop reportedly had inappropriate relationships with underage girls, Franco — who has been suspended since Sunday — appears to have been removed from TV commercials featuring the team, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
A prominent “Rays Up” commercial that featured Franco making an impressive barehanded catch has been highlighted on broadcasts all season but seemed to have been edited out of the commercial on Friday night, the outlet reported.
In a promo for Bally Sports, which broadcasts Rays games, Franco’s catch also had been removed from a highlight reel.
Earlier this week, a report from Z101 Digital reporter Héctor Gómez surfaced that claimed Franco was “very unlikely” to play in the majors again.
“A person very close to the investigations into the case of Wander Franco: ‘It will be very unlikely that Wander Franco will play in MLB again, judging by the results of the investigations that are currently being carried out, which directly commit him to the accusations against him,’” Gómez wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Franco, a 22-year-old All-Star shortstop this season, is also being investigated by authorities in the Dominican Republic, as he has been reportedly linked to inappropriate relationships with two underage girls.
“They say that I’m in public with a little girl, that I’m running around with a minor,” Franco reportedly said in the live stream.
“People don’t know what to do with their time. They don’t know what they’re talking about. That’s why I prefer to be on my side and not get involved with anybody.”
Franco owns a .819 OPS with 17 home runs this season.
The Rays hold a 74-51 record, which places them 2 1/2 games out of the AL East lead and in the first wild card spot.