Friday, November 18, 2011

Ramos: "I'm happy to be here"



Updated at 2:46 p.m.

Looking healthy and deemed healthy by team doctors, Wilson Ramos made a brief appearance at Nationals Park this afternoon, thanked fans for their support during his harrowing week and then made it clear he's ready to put this all behind him.

"I just want to say thanks Nats fans for your prayers and your support," Ramos told reporters during a photo-op with general manager Mike Rizzo inside the Nationals' clubhouse. "I'm happy to be here, happy to be with my family. See you in spring training."

Flown in from Venezuela for one day so he could be examined by team doctors, Ramos assured everyone he is back to normal following his 51 hours in captivity last week. The 24-year-old catcher was greeted with hugs and tears from team executives and teammates Ryan Zimmerman and Steve Lombardozzi (who happened to be at the ballpark working out).

Rizzo said Ramos' physical exam showed no problems, and the Nationals won't hesitate to let him go back home to play winter ball as he planned all along.

"Everything was great," the GM said. "He's in terrific shape, as you can see. ... Physically, he's certainly ready to perform. Mentally and psychologically, we're certainly doing everything we have to, to prepare him for the task of playing baseball."

Ramos is scheduled to fly home tonight and resume workouts with the Aragua Tigres. He hopes to begin play Tuesday night.

"I have had no second thoughts of [letting him] playing winter ball," Rizzo said. "He plays in his country, for his country because he's very prideful of his country and loves where he lives. He plays in front of his family. We can't ask him not to do that. We have put into place things we believe will keep him safe and sound and happy and healthy there. And once we do that, we'll feel comfortable with him playing there."

Ramos, who was not permitted by team officials to answer questions, seems determined not to discuss his abduction anymore and shift his focus back to baseball.

"This, we think, puts an exclamation point and a finality to the incident," Rizzo said. "We're not going to dwell on that. We're not going to talk about that from this day forward."

60 comments:

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

I hope they keep him in the indoor cages--it's freezing out there.

JamesFan said...

I hope they talk to him about the long range securithy of his family.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Welcome home, Bulldog! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

natsfan1a said...

Buf-fa-lo! Buf-fa-LO!!

natsfan1a said...

If I lived closer to the park I'd have half a mind to head down there with a welcoming committee. But it sounds like maybe Wilson doesn't want a lot of fuss so never mind.

MicheleS said...

1A.. not to worry, we will give him a big Welcome on April 12th!!!

Nattydread said...

On one hand, it's great that he's sticking it out at home in Venezuela, continuing his baseball activities there.

On the other hand, both Nats catchers are from Venezuela. Kind of risky for the franchise...

PAY TO PLAY said...

RAMOOSE! Welcome Home!

Agreed with MicheleS on the big Welcome on April 12th!!!!

natsfan1a said...

Yes, I can think of somebody who is going to get a huge ovation on that date. :-)

PAY TO PLAY said...

Welcome back Wilson aka Ram-moose is on the Loose!

Your friend/teammate Henry Rodriguez in the Venezuelan League yesterday had an interesting boxscore.

1 inning of work and no hits was the good news yesterday. The bad news, 3 walks in that inning w/ 1 Earned.

Henry's unofficial VWL season stats so far:
7 G, 7.1 IP, 4 ER, 4.91 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, 7 H, 7 K, 7 BB

NatsLady said...

Go, Ramos! Good for Rizzo, wanting to see Wilson with his own eyes, and let him know he is LOVED here! Lotta time on airplanes, though.

So, HRod still can't find the plate? Do we have a good pitching coach down there for him?

JaneB said...

It makes no sense at all, but it made me cry to read he was at Nats Park today. Even though none of us will see him. I can't wait to jump to my feet for him on the 12th (though, truth be told, I'm sure I'll ALREADY be on my feet). Welcome back, Buffalo!

JaneB said...

I THINK I am prepared to feel intense exhilaration and intense hopelessness about HRod.Consistency doesn't seem part of his picture. Hope to feel more of the former than the later. The good Henry is so so good. The Other Henry is scary. Oh, Henry.

PS What does it mean that the capcha is downnupp? A coaching tip to him? A Message to me to see I may experience more hopelessness than I wish? Hmmmm....

ChicagoNatsGirl said...

JaneB--don't worry. I cried too. Every aspect of this has made me cry. When I first saw the news here I started crying and my husband (used to these outbursts) nonchalantly asked who had been traded. I could only sputter out "No, this is real." And true to my title of "ChicagoNatsGirl," I'll be at Wrigley Field to give him a standing ovation on April 5.

NatsLady said...

CNG: I was at Wrigley last year to watch Wang pitch that great game. Have family there. Keep representin'!

First time I was ever at Wrigley, nice people. Grew up on the South Side, so, me and the Prez--White Sox fans.

Steve M. said...

The Wilson Ramos story is one of the most incredible surreal stories of good over evil. I am here to support this young man with cheering and applause to let him know how much I personally care about him. I have tears inside for him.

Here's how Amanda Comak at the WTimes described it today, "Since he was rescued by Venezuelan authorities in an action movie-like scene late last Friday night,..."

It is like life immitating a movie, not the other way around.

natsfan1a said...

Add me to the world of weepers. I said after they traded Jamey Carroll that I'd never cry over a Nats player again. I was wrong.

natsfan1a said...

Correcting myself: they didn't trade Jamey, they sold him. I was a little verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.

ChicagoNatsGirl said...

NatsLady--I was at that Wang/Cubs game last year too! Saw several Nats fans, more than I would have expected. An embarrasment of riches for me last season as the Nats came both to the Cubs and the Sox (as for Chicago teams, I am a South Sider too). Also saw the whole Nats/Giants series this summer so no longer being in DC doesn't seem to have slowed me down too much.

sjm308 said...

Not to nit-pick but that first DC standing ovation will come on April 3rd when we host the Red Sox in an exhibition game!!

natsfan1a said...

Yes, but seeing as how that's an exhibition game, it won't count. ;-)

UNTERP said...

Steve M. said...

The Wilson Ramos story is one of the most incredible surreal stories of good over evil. I am here to support this young man with cheering and applause to let him know how much I personally care about him. I have tears inside for him.

Here's how Amanda Comak at the WTimes described it today, "Since he was rescued by Venezuelan authorities in an action movie-like scene late last Friday night,..."

I already have the Nationals losing the seventh game of the 2012 World Series with a perfect throw from Right Fielder Byrce Harper to Wilson Ramos and the Nationals losing it as Ramos drops the ball on the tag and the game ending on a walk off win by, wait for it , wait for it, the New York Yankees... :=)

TimDz said...

In other unrelated news (although you can add me to the list of folks happy to see Wilson is coming to DC for a check up...as a mental health professional, this is a VERY prudent decision)....

Mark, any word on who the Nat's added to the 40 man? The deadline is today.

Steve M. said...

UNTERP, I heard he caught the ball and win Game 7! If Tebow can lead the Broncos back to victory with his QB rating, seems anything is possible!

Steve M. said...

TimDz, I am going to guess Derek Norris, Tyler Moore and my long-shot is Erik Komatsu. Maybe Brad Meyers. I think they chance the rest.

Remember, even if there is a claim, there are specific rules that could mean the player is returned to the original team. (See Brian Broderick as an example)

UNTERP said...

Steve M. said...

My Clairvoyance is not perfect! :)

baseballswami said...

I love the Johnny Holiday call of Wilson's walk-off win against the Mariners. Is there anyplace I can find a place to hear that? I hope he is doing well and can play ball and be happy. I, too , hope he gets a huge ovation on opening day.

natsfan1a said...

Here you go, swami.

Steve M. said...

natsfan1a, thanks for the link hookup! Maybe Mark can perma-link greatest video and audio calls somewhere on here so when we need a pick-me up, we can listen to that! Johnny Holliday with a memorable call! Ram-moose!!!!!!!

UNTERP, I will take the 7th game as you said with those minor adjustments.

Natslifer said...

First and foremost, I'll be there too to cheer on our man and that is by far the most important thing here.

But not to cross the third rail here but very unfortunately, this was a triumph of evil vs. evil. Chavez is a very bad person who is crushing his country. Since he's been in power, crime including murders and kidnapping have shot up tremendously. (See this link for a good summary but there are many many articles that say the same thing: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/18/security-firms-kidnappings-venezuela?newsfeed=true).

Kidnapping is now a big business in Venezuela and other Latin American countries. The vast majority of kidnappings end up with money changing hands and the kidnappee being freed. My own opinion in this case is that Chavez couldn't risk either a ransom being paid or something happening to Ramos so he took the huge gamble of freeing our man by force.

We are truly, truly fortunate that nothing happened to him and I am so very thankful.

But good over evil it is not - I feel very sorry for Wilson Ramos that he's grown up in Venezuela in these last two decades - and now he'll have the mental scars created by the general lawlessness he has no responsibility for.

Anonymous said...

That walk-off was the one game I made it to this year and is second only to the Zim walkoff from opening night of the stadium. I actually had seats in the diamond club and as soon as he made contact i knew it was gone ... great night.

natsfan1a said...

Speaking of video, there's a new piece over on the team site with a brief video from a presser with Ramos and Rizzo.

Steve M. said...

sjm308 said...
Not to nit-pick but that first DC standing ovation will come on April 3rd when we host the Red Sox in an exhibition game!!

November 18, 2011 12:01 PM


Right, you are. If the Nats see a sense for celebration, they could do a special night into the season and bring in the many law enforcement people that helped in the Ramos rescue and really honor all of them. Don't bring in the politcos, just the rescuers.

NatsLifer @ 2:02 brought up the disturbing facts about life in Chavez controlled Venezuela, and while that is true, the non-political side is this was a win for the Ramos family. If Chavez uses it to politicize his own self, it would be a shame and unfortunately, many use the negative to promote themselves.

natsfan1a said...

Also some touching pics over on Nationals Watch (see link at left).

Mark Zuckerman said...

Video of the entire 9-minute session with Ramos and Rizzo now up at the top of the page.

Anonymous said...

The Times Nationals Watch is really improving with Amanda Comack as scribe. Great photos of Ramos with the newsy's, Zimmerman, Lombardozzi and Rizzo. Her take on the Nats has developed so much she imparts some good insights. Never thought I'd see the day ... but Kudos to Ms. Comack for making that happen.

LoveDaNats said...

I, for one, will be standing and cheering for him at the Exhibition and Opening Day! Watching the video above, it struck me how young he looked. I'm happy and grateful he's safe and I agree with him....now it's on to baseball! (I wish. The counter says 94 more days.)

Unkyd said...

Hmmm... Should I be able to watch the vid on my iPhone? I just gave s blank area, between the headline and the text...

Natslifer said...

Steve M. - Amen to that on all fronts.

NatStat said...

Good to see Wilson back in town.

Kinda disappointed in Rizzo answering for Ramo.
Wilson's a man, not a kid. The press session seemed to be more about Rizzo, than our favorite Catcher.

Rizzo has an annoying way of trying to micromanage things with which he has little facility. I'll bet that he picks out his wife's lipstick for her!

How about a translator hangin' out for the Hispanic guys. It would have made the video session that much more valuable.

Anyway, it's great to see Ramos back and secure.

Wally said...

You have to enjoy a little intrigue (from MLB TradeRumors):
The Blue Jays announced that they claimed right-hander Andrew Carpenter off of waivers from the Padres and lost right-hander Cole Kimball on waivers to the Nationals. The Blue Jays had claimed Kimball from the Nationals earlier this week and he's now back where he started.

Take that, TBJ

gonatsgo said...

He almost looks like the media is traumatic for him! It was good to see him all in one piece but it's obvious that he wants to move on. Legally there are things he just can't talk about and with english being his second language I think it would just be too hard for him to play that legal semantics game. I think that's why Rizzo fielded the questions - he knows what can be said and what can't be said. I don't think he is going to like the attention next season - you know every time the team goes out of town someone is going to want to ask him about it. Just keep Debbie Taylor far away from him , please.

Anonymous said...

Under the heading of you folks should have more faith in Mike Rizzo, he does know what he's doing (even if most of the other managers of majors sports in town do not). And top trying to get rid of Gorzelanny I strongly suspect they will need him in 2012.

MLB Trade Rumors:

The Blue Jays announced that they claimed right-hander Andrew Carpenter off of waivers from the Padres and lost right-hander Cole Kimball on waivers to the Nationals. The Blue Jays had claimed Kimball from the Nationals earlier this week and he's now back where he started. Carpenter, 26, appeared in 12 games for the Phillies and Padres in 2011. He spent most of the season at Triple-A, where he posted a 1.79 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 60 1/3 innings.

See Jen he's back? Sheesh.

baseballswami said...

natsfan1a - thanks for the quick link. I can't tell you how many times I have thought about that night during the last week or so. Made my day just listening to it. That's one of my top 2011 moments - ranks right up there with Zim beating the phils with the walkoff grand slam. aaaaah - so sweet!

Unkyd said...

Just So Confused.... So, now Kimball isn't on the 40 man, and we can keep him? WHAAAT?

Wally said...

Unkyd - Yeah, I was wondering about that, too. Since it was waivers, I think that means we are putting him on the 40 man after all, but Mark or someone will clear it up soon.

tayo said...

so Nationals have reclaimed Kimball. Does it mean he is back on the 40 or can he just be assigned to minor league?

natsfan1a said...

Thanks for posting the full video, Mark. NatStat, I recall reading a statement earlier this week to the effect that Wilson wanted to move on and asked the media to respect that. Perhaps it was his choice to have Rizzo field the questions. (Speaking of which, who the heck was that asking about gunfire and his mental state?)

You're welcome, swami. I've watched it a few times since posting it.

Last but not least, good news on Kimball. So all that transaction angst was for naught. Oh well, no doubt there'll be other such opportunities this winter. ;-)

(Also, agree with Anon re. Comak's work. No worries for our host, though, as this is always my first stop.)

Chili Palmer said...

You don't look scared.

Well, I was scared then, but I'm not scared now. How long do you want me to be scared?

Unkyd said...

I'll bet Kimball's a minor leaguer, now. If he was rule 5, we'd have to put him on the 40.....right?

Tryna learn on the fly, here....

Unkyd said...

FWIW... Kimball's pic is, as of right now, on our 32 man roster, on the team page... With a Jays cap on.

GET YOUR PROGRAM!!! Can't tell the players, without a program...!

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

According to Comack, the Jays tried to pass him through waivers to send him to the minors, and the Nats claimed him back, which does leave him on the 40-man for now. He isn't Rule 5 eligible, though.

Unkyd said...

Mebbe Rizzo accidentally hit "delete", while his cursor was over Cole's name?

NatsLady said...

They thought Rizzo wasn't paying attention????

"According to Comack, the Jays tried to pass him through waivers to send him to the minors, and the Nats claimed him back, which does leave him on the 40-man for now. He isn't Rule 5 eligible, though."

Anonymous said...

According to Comack, the Jays tried to pass him through waivers to send him to the minors, and the Nats claimed him back, which does leave him on the 40-man for now. He isn't Rule 5 eligible, though.

Its a good move ... yeah, they'll have to keep him on the 40-man until the season starts where they can move him to the 60-day DL. Have to stand by your own if you are going to make a reputation for the franchise. Rizzo will find someone else to waive if and when he needs the space.

Just wonderin' said...

Unkyd said...
FWIW... Kimball's pic is, as of right now, on our 32 man roster, on the team page... With a Jays cap on.

GET YOUR PROGRAM!!! Can't tell the players, without a program...!
#######################

Can he keep the Blue Jays cap a souvenir of his erstwhile Canadian career?

RPrecupjr said...

Apparently my computer here at work is now cooperating again and allowing me to post, so let me add my tardy two cents:

1. Ramos - glad he's safe, period. Everything else is secondary.

2. Realignment - biggest crock ever. The only team that should be moving is the Brewers, who were the ones who moved in the first place, but since the Brewers are so near and dear to Butt Selig's heart, that won't happen....and as someone here (or on another board) mentioned, there MUST be a conflict of interest somewhere there.

3. The extra Wild Card - i agree with those who have said having a one-game "play-in" is ludicrous and you might as well flip a coin. Best-of-three is my preference while the division winners get a much-deserved, albeit short, break. I would also agree that shortening the regular season to 156 games to accomodate that series is a good idea.

4. The DH. Like others, I am torn on this one. I like offense, but I also like a 1-0 nailbiter.

5. Games are too long. Hogwash. If I'm paying $50 to see a game, I want my money's worth, and that does NOT involve the umpires making the pitcher work faster under the threat of some sort of penalty. True, some games take four hours, but some also take two hours, and I have no problem with either. Like the old saying goes, "You pays yer money and ya takes yer chances".

6. Kimball - as long as we get to put him right back on the 60-day DL so as to remove him from the 40-man but keep him, I'm fine with that. I'll be honest, I hope he returns to form, but the history of guys returning from rotator cuff issues is not good, as has been pointed out here.

7. Harper's arrival in DC - unless he shows incredible progress in his fielding in ST, I don't expect to see him here until September. I see him starting the year in Syracuse and the only way we see him before September is this: a) we are in serious contention (this means within a game or two of the TOP WC slot and a .500+ record) in mid to late June b) Adam LaRoche has performed as we expected last year or better and c) Morse proves that The Beast from last year wasn't a fluke, which leads to d) we trade LaRoche for whatever piece we need to really put us over the top, move Morse to first and the kid comes up to play left, but again, he needs to seriously work his fielding in Syracuse. Personally, I think he will do just that because this boy is DRIVEN. He has a fire in him like I haven't seen since some guy named Rose. I saw a play the other night on MLBTV where Rose scored on a sac fly to left. No biggie, right? Except the ball was hit almost to the fence so there was NO chance of throwing him out, his team was winning....20-9 at the time...and he SPRINTED from third to home, stomping on the plate as he scored. We used to admire such fire and hustle in our players....now we want to call it attitude and cockiness and make it a bad thing. I wish more of the Nats had that "bad thing".

Ok, I sort of got off on a tangential rant there, sorry, but it's been awhile since I could post, so I had a lot on my chest.

Only 94 days to go....that's WAY too long....

Jenn Jenson said...

Thanks Anon.
Yay Cole!

Anonymous said...

One comment on Rizzo answering most of the questions.. I was reading the coverage last week and Wilson is learning English still, so he probably doesn't feel comfortable speaking yet (plus is gives him a chance to avoid Debbie in the pre/post game interviews!)

Anonymous said...

I am SO happy he is okay. SO happy!

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