Wilson Ramos walked this morning through the third floor at Nationals Park, the executive offices, and into General Manager Mike Rizzo’s office. He had returned to the United States on Thursday night, eight days after he had been abducted at gunpoint outside his home, six days after Venezuelan commandoes rescued him.
Ramos came to Nationals Park to visit with Nationals team doctors and, in a larger sense, to find another layer of closure for his harrowing kidnapping. Rizzo called a small news conference today with Ramos “an exclamation point, finality to the incident. We’re happy it’s in our past.”
The doctors found Ramos in “terrific” shape, Rizzo said. Ramos issued a brief statement to reporters, thanking fans who prayed for him and held a vigil outside the park last Friday night. He will return to Venezuela and plans to begin playing in Venezuela winter league games Tuesday. He intends to return behind the plate for the Nationals, still one of the best young catchers in baseball and brightest pieces of the Nationals future.
“See you in spring training,” Ramos said.
“I had no second thoughts,” Rizzo said. “He plays for his country, in his country. He’s very prideful about his country, and he feels safe there. He plays for his country. He plays in front of his family. We can’t ask him not to do that.”
Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman lingered around the clubhouse, taking a short break from his weightlifting session. He gave Ramos a hug and rubbed his head, and both players smiled.
“We’re glad to have him back,” Zimmerman said.