Must-Click Link: “They took Pipo! They took Pipo!”

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In Sports Illusdtated, Thomas Lake and Melisa Segura have an in-depth story about the kidnapping of Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos last November.

It’s fascinating simply as a straight-forward telling of the story of how Ramos was kidnapped, the conditions he faced in captivity and how he was freed.  But it’s also fascinating in relaying how many Venezuelans don’t believe the official account of the government and of Ramos.  Rather, conspiracy theories have cropped up about almost every aspect of it, ranging from the reasons Ramos was in a position to be kidnapped — some think he was chasing a girl — to how he was freed — some think that, rather than a firefight in the mountains, Miguel Cabrera paid the ransom.

It’s a great story that reads like a mystery. Highly recommended.

Report: Nationals to interview Alex Cora for managerial position

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.

Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.

Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.