The Wilson Ramos kidnappers were a bunch of amateurs

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FC alerts us to an English language version of a story from Venezuela which reports that the guys who kidnapped Wilson Ramos were a bunch of amateurs.  Like, literally amateurs. As FC notes, the more expansive Spanish language version of the report notes that only two of the six kidnappers had criminal records.

They were also amateurs in execution of the plot. They didn’t wear masks, allowing composite sketches to be made. A car was found, helping authorities ID the suspects. The time of day of the kidnapping meant that there were lots of witnesses.  Master criminals they were not.

You know, as soon as the Ramos kidnapping was reported, a lot of people were tweeting and emailing me “Big Lebowski” quotes.  That kind of thing was obviously in poor taste because Ramos was in real peril so I wasn’t about to give them voice around here.  But now that he’s back safe and these guys were caught, I’m starting to think that, however inappropriate those comments were, they weren’t necessarily wrong.

Effin’ amateurs.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.