Tag:Wilson Ramos
Posted on: November 10, 2011 10:35 am
Edited on: November 10, 2011 1:02 pm
 

Latest updates on Wilson Ramos kidnapping

By Matt Snyder

Very few details have surfaced just yet on the kidnapping case of Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, who was abducted Wednesday evening in Venezuela. As of Thursday morning, the kidnappers had yet to contact Ramos' family, the police or the Aragua Tigres, Ramos' winter league baseball team.

“We are still waiting for any news about Wilson Ramos,” Tigres spokeswoman Katherine Vilera said (via Nationals Journal). “All the authorities are working in the case. We need to be [patient] and pray.”

The latest news is that the car allegedly used to abduct Ramos has been found about an hour away from Valencia, where the kidnapping took place (via Nationals Journal).

One would expect contact to be made at some point, as most Venezuelan abductions of people with money are done for ransom.

Also, there seem to be some unfounded rumors floating around the Internet that Ramos is dead. That's not true. Rafeal Rojas (who originally broke the story) reports that Venezuelan intelligence has confirmed Ramos is alive. The police also reportedly have sketches of two of the kidnappers (Washington Times). 

MLB and the Nationals have released a joint statement, as follows:
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.
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Posted on: November 9, 2011 7:57 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 10:39 am
 

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos kidnapped

RamosBy Evan Brunell

Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped, the Denver Post's bilingual website, VivaColorado.com, reports, with other media sources corroborating the news.

According to El Nacional, Ramos was approached by four gunmen outside his home and taken away. A source said that the kidnappers have yet to contact the family, but El Universal says the "Body of Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations" arm of the government has already set up operations at Ramos' home.

El Universal adds that Ramos was taken away in a green car. (UPDATE: The car has been found about an hour away from the where the abduction took place. And the kidnappers still have yet to contact the Ramos family).

Ramos hails from Venezuela, where there is a significant problem with kidnapping. Generally, these crimes are for money and Ramos was a logical target, given that his success in the majors earned him the right to a league-minimum contract, which was $414,500 in 2011. That's a lot of money to most people, especially in Venezuela.

Kidnappings are becoming more and more popular in Venezuela as a way to make money. Many kidnappings are called "express" kidnappings, as the Post writes. This type of kidnapping is when armed men drive a victim around until a ransom is paid.

A U.S. Department of State crime safety report says “groups that specialize in these types of crimes operate with impunity or fear of incarceration.”

Ramos had been planning on playing in around 10 games with the Tigres de Aragua, part of the Venezuelan Winter League, the Washington Post writes. Other Nationals are also in the country to play in the VWL, although none of them were going to be teammates with Ramos.

The 24-year-old just completed his rookie season with Washington, hitting .267/.334/.445 in 435 plate appearances, slugging 15 homers. The righty supplanted Ivan Rodriguez as the starting catcher early on and is expected to start at catcher next season.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 8, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: September 8, 2011 10:38 am
 

Pepper: Marlins' new home could bring makeover



By Matt Snyder


While it certainly doesn't necessarily mean on-field success, the Florida Marlins are about to finally have their own home. After sharing a park with the NFL's Miami Dolphins since first taking the field in 1993, the Marlins will begin 2012 with a baseball-only facility in Miami. Wednesday, local media were given a tour of the facility and the Marlins took the opportunity to sing their own praises.

"This will be the first ballpark to come in on budget and on time in a long, long time," team President David Samson said (Sun-Sentinel.com). "There will not be overruns in this building. This building will come in at the $515 million mark, not one dollar over budget, [and] not one thing taken out of the building. As a matter of fact, we have been able to add things because the workers have been so efficient and it has been built so well."

Samson also noted that he's personally sat in every single seat and went with the proverbial "there's not a bad seat in the house" sentiment.

So the Marlins' fans will finally have a place that seems like a real home instead of some rental where a baseball game seems foreign and unwelcome. Attendance will surely increase (the Marlins average less than 19,000 fans per game this year -- and that's paid, not how many actually show up), but what about the problem that has plagued the Marlins for years: Payroll?

"I know it will be at levels previously unseen," Samson said (Sun-Sentinel.com).

Interesting.

The time might be now to start ramping up the baseball excitement, south Florida.

Real life 'Wild Thing:' If you like baseball and don't love Charlie Sheen's character -- Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn -- in "Major League," well, you might have as many screws loose as Sheen. In the movie, Vaughn earned the nickname after loading the bases with walks on 12 straight pitches and then later set a record for wild pitches in an inning. Embattled Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett didn't do it in an inning, but he has now joined rare company with his wild pitches. With three Wednesday, he became the first pitcher since 1919 to have eight games with at least three wild pitches (Baseball-Reference blog).

A better Johan? Mets ace Johan Santana has been sidelined all season after having a surgical procedure in 2010. But he's getting closer and closer to possibly seeing some relief work this September, just to get him back on the mound for an inning or two. And get this: Mets' pitching coach Dan Warthen said Santana's stuff is better right now than it was last season (when he had a 2.98 ERA in 199 innings). "Better velocity," Warthen said (NYDailyNews.com). "The arm was in the same slot each and every time. He wasn't searching for a place that didn't hurt."

Emotional season: Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos came to America in 2004 to chase his dream of playing Major League Baseball. But through the long visa process, his family had never been able to get here to see him play in person ... until this season. His parents recently secured a 10-year visa and finally got to see their son play a big-league game in person this homestand (Washington Times).

Rock and a hard place: "Moneyball" is coming to theaters soon, as I'm sure most of us have seen the previews during commercial breaks on TV by now. For those uninformed, it's a film adaptation of the book about A's general manager Billy Beane trying to build a team without the resources of a large-market club (or even a middle-market one). Beane hasn't really said anything about it, and Wednesday he explained why: "The hard thing for me has been figuring out how to walk this fine line," Beane said (Mercurynews.com). "If I embrace all this movie stuff, it looks like I'm really digging it. But if I put my hand up and say, 'No,' I look like I'm distancing myself from it. There's no playbook for this."

Old Style at Wrigley: Pabst brewing company nearly nixed a deal with Wrigley Field, where Cubs fans have been consuming Old Style beer since 1950, but tradition won out -- as the contract was extended through 2013. As a Cubs fan I can tell you that it's tradition to buy one and suck it down each time you attend a game -- even if it tastes like crap (it kind of does). (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Milwaukee loves 'Tony Plush:" Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan has become an unlikely popular player this season, and the T-shirt depicting his alter-ego -- "Tony Plush" -- outsells all other Brewers' T-shirts three-fold (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). I wonder if Chris Carpenter wants one (click here if you don't get it)? I kid, but it would at the very least be a funny prank for a teammate to get him one.

Wild beats Man: A squirrel broke into the Indians' bullpen Wednesday night and closer Chris Perez attempted to capture it with his jacket. He lost, as the squirrel ran up the bullpen wall and jumped into the center-field bushes (Detroit Free-Press).

Happy Anniversary: On this day 25 years ago, Rafael Palmeiro made his major-league debut (Hardball Times). He'd go on to accumulate 3,020 hits, 569 home runs, nearly 2,000 RBI, a Gold Glove in a season when he only played 28 games in the field and one embarrassing display in front of Congress that has now been immortalized by Larry David.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 12:14 am
Edited on: July 28, 2011 1:36 am
 

Span-Storen rumor highlights Wednesday buzz

By Evan Brunell

A possible trade between the Twins and Nationals has surfaced on the rumor mill in recent hours, with CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reporting that Washington is zeroing in on Denard Span to be its center fielder of the future, while the Twins target closer Drew Storen in a possible multi-player trade.

It's possible that shortstop Ian Desmond and catcher Wilson Ramos could be part of a deal, as they did not play on Wednesday, fueling speculation that the two could be part of a trade for Rays' center fielder B.J. Upton, who also rode the pine Wednesday.

Of course, the Twins have Joe Mauer at catcher, so it's doubtful they're looking to re-acquire Ramos even if they're regretting the deal that sent him to the Nats for Matt Capps last season, who recently lost his closer's job. But Desmond? The Twins do need infield help, but Alexi Casilla and Tsuyoshi Nishioka crowd the middle infield spots, while Danny Valencia is still starting regularly at third, even if he should hit the bench against right-handers. All this is probably more smoke than it is fire.

What clearly is something, though, is the Span-Storen deals. The Twins need to stabilize their bullpen, both for 2011 and in the future, and adding a young reliever like Storen would go a long way toward locking the ninth inning down for years. We'll find out by Sunday if there's any truth to these rumors.

Here are some other trade rumors to whet your appetite:
There is a live trade deadline chat this Sunday, starting at 2 p.m. Write it into your calendar now!

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:43 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Trade Deadline Primer: NL East

By Eye on Baseball team

Leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the National League East has an actual race -- as well as a team with a bloated payroll and no hope -- which leads to a great chance of some pretty interesting trades to and from the division. Here's a look at the five teams in the NL Eeast:

Philadelphia Phillies

Status: Buyers

Needs: Bullpen, RH bat

Notes: Manager Charlie Manuel said he'd love a right-handed bat (Philadelphia Daily News), probably in the outfield, but this is the Phillies and expect the team to focus on pitching -- at least that's what history tells us. And because their rotation is pretty good (you may have heard about some of these guys), they focus on relievers, likely ending a streak of five years of adding a starter midseason. The team is likely one of the many suitors for Padres closer Heath Bell, although some suggest the Phillies prefer Mike Adams. Padres owner Jeff Moorad has reportedly told Adams he won't be traded. However, according to Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres, the Phillies are willing to give up Class A first baseman/left fielder Jonathan Singleton in return for Adams.

Another bullpen trade partner could be the Orioles, CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler said. The Phillies could be interested in Jim Johnson or Koji Uehara.

MLB Trade Deadline

As for the right-handed bats, the Phillies are in on the same folks everyone's chasing -- Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Beltran, Hunter Pence and maybe Jeff Francouer. The biggest hurdle of all for the Phillies is money, as in they've already spent it and they're worried about the luxury tax. The team has just between $2 and $3 million to spend and avoid the luxury tax.

According to Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, the Phillies and Royals have already exchanged names in a possible Melky Cabrera trade. Cabrera is a cheaper, younger switch hitter for those who fall short in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes.

Now, if they're going big and bold, Buster Olney of ESPN.com, tweeted the Phillies could go for Pence, centering the deal around right-hander Vance Worley.

Atlanta Braves

Status: Bargain shoppers

Needs: Right-handed bat

Notes: The Braves need a right-handed bat like Roy Halladay needs air conditioning. Atlanta looks like the front-runner for the National League wild card, but don't have much money to spend. The biggest issue right now for Atlanta is its inability to hit left-handed pitchers. Braves hitters are hitting just .211/.285/.337 against lefties, with Jason Heyward, Nate McLouth and Jordan Schafer all below the Mendoza line against southpaws. That's why Jon Paul Morosi's report of the Reds' Jonny Gomes drawing the interest of the Braves makes sense, Gomes kills lefties to the tune of a .340/.446/.547 slash line this season and .281/..377/.510 in his career. There's also the regular names such as Ludwick and Beltran.

To make room for more payroll, the team could trade right-hander Derek Lowe, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien wrote. The Tigers could be interested in Lowe, but would have to take up the rest of the $20 million he's owed through 2012.

New York Mets

Status: One-stop shopping

Needs: Young talent under team control; pitching

Notes: Outfielder Carlos Beltran is the top position player on the market, but his future is clouded by the number of teams that could use an upgrade in the outfield and the fact that he's not for sale, he's for rent. Whatever team gets him won't even get compensation picks if he leaves as a free agent after the season.

The Mets would reportedly rather pay Beltran's salary and get a good young player or top prospect in return. They could unload him to a team willing to pay the roughly $8 million left on his contract, but then they wouldn't get much in return. The Mets would prefer big-league ready pitching talent. New York seems confident it can re-sign Jose Reyes, meaning they're not ready to throw in the towel and go full-on rebuilding anytime soon. 

Beltran, however, does have a no-trade clause. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo!, Sandy Alderson gave Beltran a short list of teams interested -- the Phillies, Red Sox, Braves, Giants, Brewers and maybe the Yankees -- and Beltran hasn't ruled any of them out.

It's pretty certain now that the Mets won't deal Reyes, but it appears they may be holding on to Jason Isringhausen, too, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets.

Washington Nationals

Status: Listening to all offers

Needs: Leadoff man/center fielder of the future

Notes: The Nationals have pieces to deal -- from catcher Ivan Rodriguez to relievers Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen, Todd Coffey and Sean Burnett, plus starters Jason Marquis, Livan Hernandez and Tom Gorzelanny. In short, they're open for business, with GM Mike Rizzo saying no player is "untouchable" -- but then following that up with "we're not going to touch our core." That means, "after a while, they don't ask for [Danny] Espinosa," Rizzo told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore. Ryan Zimmerman is also likely untouchable, as well as catcher Wilson Ramos.

One name to watch is shortstop Ian Desmond, but that would take quite the return for the team to move the 25-year-old.

More likely to go are some of the team's relievers. The Nats are deep in the bullpen and it's a position that's always in demand. The top tier would be Clippard or even Storen, but that would require Washington receiving a leadoff-hitting center fielder in return, someone like B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn, Colby Rasmus or Denard Span, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal writes.

Florida Marlins

Status: Sellers

Needs: Third baseman, starting pitchers

Notes: The Marlins have starting pitchers that would interest many teams, but they may not part with them. Next year they rename themselves the Miami Marlins when they move into a new stadium and ownership would like a competitive team on the field when that happens.

Ricky Nolasco is the top starter to be had, but Knobler says they'd have to get a younger, cheaper starter in return for the 28-year-old right-hander.

The one the team may part with is Javier Vazquez, but it's not really their decision. Vazquez has a full no-trade clause and isn't in any hurry to leave South Florida. There are few places he'd accept a trade.

Sure to be gone is closer Leo Nunez. The Phillies are interested in Nunez. The other teams desperate for bullpen help -- like the Cardinals and Rangers -- are likely to at least inquire what it may take to get him.

Randy Choate has been verbal this week about his problems with current manager Jack McKeon and could get shipped off for not being a good soldier.

Also on the block are free-agents-to-be Greg Dobbs and Omar Infante. Infante's value is a lot less than it was a year ago.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: May 26, 2011 7:15 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 8:55 pm
 

MRI reveals no knee damage for Posey

Buster Posey

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Buster Posey sustained no knee damage in his collision with the Marlins' Scott Cousins, Giants head trainer Dave Groeschner told reporters, including Al Saracevic of the San Francisco Chronicle, meaning he may be able to return to the Giants this season. It was feared he was out for the season following Wednesday night's scary incident at home plate.

Posey is expected to be out six to eight weeks or longer after suffering a broken fibula and severely strained ligaments in his left ankle. The 2010 Rookie of the Year underwent three MRIs on Thursday to determine the extent of the injury.

"The fracture will be fine," Groeschner said. "The ankle injury is most concerning to us."

Posey will have surgery to repair ligaments on both sides of his ankles and may insert a screw into his ankle to help set the bone. The team expects Posey to have surgery within a week. Groeschner would not give a timetable for Posey's return, but did say he would be "out for a while."

Groeschner said the team has had other catchers sustain similar injuries and return.

Even if Posey does return this season, it would be late in the season and the team is already looking for possible short-term upgrades. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweets that the Giants have already asked about Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Rodriguez, 39, has been supplanted as the team's starting catcher by Wilson Ramos and is in the second year of his two-year deal, paying him $3 million this season. Rodriguez's offense hasn't been good this season -- he's hitting .205/.256/.342 with two home runs in 79 plate appearances -- but he's still a force defensively, throwing out five of the 12 baserunners who have attempted to steal on him. The Nationals also have Jesus Flores on the 40-man roster as well as Derek Norris, a top prospect, at Double-A Harrisburg.

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Posted on: May 21, 2011 2:01 am
Edited on: May 21, 2011 2:28 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Prince walks off

Prince Fielder

By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Prince Fielder, Brewers -- Milwaukee tied the game in the eighth and 13th, only to find itself down one once again in the 14th inning against the Rockies. With one on and one out, Fielder hit an absolute, no-doubt-about-it, bomb off of Felipe Paulino into the second deck in right field for the win.

Ezequiel Carrera, Indians -- In his first career at-bat, Carrera (not to be confused with either of the Indians' Cabreras) came into a tie game as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning with a runner on third and two outs. On the first pitch he saw as a big leaguer, Carrerra laid down a nice bunt down the first-base line. Reds first baseman Joey Votto fielded it and tried to tag him, but missed, driving in the winning run.

Nationals offense -- After not scoring a run in their last 19 innings, the Nationals busted out with a team-record 17. Five different Nationals homered, including Jayson Werth, who hit two homers. Danny Espinosa, Roger Bernadina, Wilson Ramos and Laynce Nix also homered.


Koyie Hill, Cubs -- Hill had a passed ball and an error on a steal attempt that led to two runs -- and that was just in the first inning. The Cubs finished with four errors in the game, including two by Starlin Castro. Hill was also 0 for 3 at the plate in Chicago's 15-5 loss at Fenway Park.

Reds pitchers -- Cincinnati hurlers have now either hit or walked a batter with bases loaded 11 times this season, including three times in the sixth inning of Friday's 5-4 loss to the Indians. Reds starter Travis Wood didn't allow a hit until the sixth, but after three straight singles, he walked Asdrubal Cabrera to drive in the Indians' first run and then hit Shin-Soo Choo to make it 4-2. Logan Ondrusek then came into the game and walked the first batter he faced, Carlos Santana, making it 4-3.

Sergio Santos, White Sox -- Ozzie Guillen had yet to name Santos his official closer, but headed into Friday, Santos hadn't allowed a run all season, including spring training. After retiring the first two batters of the ninth with a one-run lead, the Dodgers' Russ Mitchell hit a solo homer to tie the game. Santos allowed three more runs in the 10th, leading to a 6-4 White Sox loss.

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Posted on: May 3, 2011 1:45 am
 

3 up, 3 down: Matsui says sayonara

Hideki Matsui

By C. Trent Rosecrans

3UP

Hideki Matsui, Athletics -- Matsui hit a sayonara home run (what the Japanese call the walk-off) off Texas' Darren Oliver to lead off the bottom of the 10th, giving Oakland a 5-4 victory and moving Oakland above .500 at 15-14. It was the 496th career homer for Matsui, combining his Japanese and American homers.

Mike Stanton, Marlins -- Stanton tied the game for the Marlins in the fifth inning with a solo shot and then scored the go-ahead run after leading off the eighth inning with a triple off Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs.

Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals -- Madison Bumgarner didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning, but Gorzelanny didn't give up a run in his eight innings. He allowed just three hits in the 2-0 Nationals victory. He improved to 4-0 in his career against the Giants.

3DOWN

Brandon McCarthy, Athletics -- The A's starter didn't allow any earned runs -- but he did give up four unearned runs because of two errors. So why's he on this list? Because he committed both errors. McCarthy misplayed bunts in the second and fifth, allowing the Rangers to score twice in each inning.

Miguel Tejada, Giants -- The Nationals' only two runs of the game in their 2-0 victory over the Giants came thanks to Tejada's seventh-inning error. With two outs in the inning, he let Wilson Ramos' grounder hit off his glove. Ian Desmond followed with a single, then Michael Morse hit a bleeder that made it to center and Jerry Hairston Jr. doubled in the final run.

Chris Sale, White Sox -- With two outs in the ninth and a comfortable 6-0 lead, Sale hit Nick Markakis and gave up a two-run homer to Derrek Lee, he then gave up a single to Vladimir Guerrero and walked Luke Scott before being lifted for closer Sergio Santos. Santos was able to strike out Adam Jones to end the team's six-game losing streak, but the bullpen has been such a concern, they would have liked to not have to use Santos in that situation.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com