Many major leaguers, including some Nationals players and prospects, spend their offseasons playing winter ball in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and other places.
Nationals pitching prospect Ryan Tatusko is playing in the same Venezuelan winter league that Ramos was about to play in before he was kidnapped. Tatusko is playing for a different team, the Margarita Bravos, and blogged about the security and safety of American players playing in Venezuela.
In the blog, Tatusko spoke about the city where Ramos was supposed to play and his experience of how it
has been a safe place to play baseball.
“Whatever that is transpiring in Valencia is an extreme, isolated incident,” Tatusko wrote. “I pray for (Ramos) and for his family, although I have never met him we are all family in this game, especially in the Nationals organization.”
It is a very informative read about what it is like on the ground in Venezuela for these players and what they go through each day and each game.
The Nationals have instructed their players not to comment to the media about the incident and have issued the following statement on Ramos’ kidnapping:
“Our foremost concern is with Wilson Ramos and his family and our thoughts are with them at this time. Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations is working with the appropriate authorities on this matter. Both Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals have been instructed to make no further comment.”
Security is a key issue anytime a major leaguer travels abroad to play in an organized league. Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler called into MASN’s “The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report” during his the Major League Baseball All-Stars trip to Taiwan earlier this month and said that security was tight for the series. Nationals first baseman/outfielder Michael Morse tweeted photos while in Taiwan that showed happy throngs of fans clamoring for autographs and photos of the major leaguers.
Several baseball players, including Nationals Drew Storen,Collin Balester and John Lannan, as well as other major leaguers such as Philadelphia’s Shane Victorino, have tweeted their thoughts and concerns on the kidnapping. Here are a couple of their tweets:
John Lannan (@JLannan31): “Thoughts and prayers go out to Wilson Ramos and his family.”
Shane Victorino (@ShaneVictorino): “Whoa just learned about Nationals Catcher Wilson Ramos being kidnapped in Venezuela...fingers crossed he will be ok and safe”
The Minnesota Twins (@Twins), the club that traded Ramos to the Nationals in July 2010 in exchange for reliever Matt Capps, tweeted the following statement of support: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Wilson Ramos and his family during this scary situation.”