I saw this over on NBC's HardballTalk blog last night, and it was in this morning's Bird Droppings, but I want everyone to make sure they see it. From the twitter feed of bilingual reporter Rafael Rojas:
#Nationals C Wilson Ramos has been kidnapped at his home in Maracay, Venezuela. Situation developing.
Ramos is the Nats' young and well thought of catcher, acquired from Minnesota for reliever Matt Capps. The Twins signed him as an international free agent out of Venezuela. That makes him basically exactly the kind of player the Orioles have struggled to develop out of Venezuela and elsewhere internationally. Former de facto GM Andy MacPhail received a lot of specific criticisms for being unable or unwilling to be aggressive in these markets, while that aggressiveness was one of the big talking points in Dan Duquette's introduction earlier this week.
Ramos was reportedly kidnapped by multiple gunmen from his home and is likely to be held for ransom money. He was playing winter ball for the Tigres de Aragua BBC. It's shocking news, but not that shocking because Venezuela is a dangerous, dangerous place. There's a large tendency from a lot of fans to demand of their front office to "just go into international markets and buy some good players", but the danger and deception that run rampant in those attempts is rarely brought up.
Unfortunately it's taken a tragic event to bring that reality back up. Keep your thoughts with him and his family.