If you missed the absolutely stunning news last night, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped at gunpoint from his home in Venezuela. The details, such as we currently have them, can all be read over in our original thread.
Obviously we’ll continue to update this story as we learn new things today, but for now the only new information, such as it is, is that as of this morning there has still been no word or demands from Ramos’ kidnappers.
Jose Grasso, the president of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League in which Ramos is currently playing, said that they will not suspend games during this crisis. His league, I suppose he can do what he wants.
Here’s hoping that this ends with Ramos’ safe return today. Man. What is wrong with people?
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.