In the aftermath of Wilson Ramos’s kidnapping and rescue in Venezuela, baseball’s general managers today discussed the issue of keeping players safe in the country, home to one of the highest kidnapping and crime rates in the world. Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre did not elaborate on the discussions.
“That was talked about,” Torre said. “That’s all I can tell you on that.”
Ramos, 24, was abducted at gunpoint Wednesday night outside his home in Valencia. Roughly 50 hours later, a team of 30 heavily armed Venezuelan commandoes raided a cottage in mountainous central Venezuela and rescued the Nationals’ catcher.
Ramos remains in Venezuela, where he still intends to participate in the Venezuelan winter league as originally planned. The Nationals have recommended Ramos returns to the United States, but they have left the choice up to him, and he feels comfortable and safe in his home country.
Baseball already employs investigators in Venezuela because of several kidnappings in the past that have affected players’ families. The resources devoted led authorities to early breakthroughs in Ramos’s case and helped a relatively quick resolution.
>>> Torre also said the GMs also discussed several on-field competition issues, including roster size in September and instant replay. The idea of a modified September roster limit — with 40 players still allowed on the roster but not all of them eligible to play on a night-by-night basis — had been broached.
About replay, the topic of whether or not fair or foul non-home run calls should be reviewed was debated. Torre’s main point was that reviewing fair and foul calls could put an awkward, time-consuming onus on umpires to decide where runners should be placed in the event a ball was called foul and then switched to fair.