Wilson Ramos found safely

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Rafael Rojas of the Meridiano newspaper in Venezuela just tweeted that Wilson Ramos has been found safely:

Internal Affairs Minister called Ramos family and told them they got him … VZ Information Minister tweets Ramos has been found safely by authorities at mountains at Carabobo state ..

Rojas says that Ramos’ recovery was announced on the PA System at Winter League games in progress and that the crowds went wild.

This is fantastic way to end what has been an awful week.  We’ll obviously pass along the details as they come available.  This report from NBC Sports.com will be updated as the evening progresses.

Whew.

UPDATE: Ramos’ teammate, Scott Drucker, tweets that Ramos is in Caracas now, getting medical attention.  He also passes along the ecstatic response of the Venezuelan crowds when the announcement was made.

UPDATE II: More details are beginning to pour in. Rafael Rojas reports that the internal affairs minister just said there are three detainees, so it looks like this was a rescue operation.

UPDATE III: Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Ramos has told his family that he is “healthy and well,” according to close family friend Marfa Mata.

UPDATE IV: Via Zuckerman, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has released a statement:

“The news from Venezuela tonight is reassuring. Though details are limited and we have not yet talked directly with Wilson, we are thrilled with reports that he has been rescued and is being safely returned to his family. We greatly appreciate all the prayers and thoughts of all who have joined us in wishing for this conclusion to what has been a nightmarish 48 hours. We are eager to see Wilson and let him know just how many all over the world have been waiting for this news.”

UPDATE V: Via Kathe Vilera on Twitter, here’s a photo of Ramos, who she describes as “healthy and safe.”

Minor League Baseball eclipses 40 million in attendance for 14th consecutive season

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Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.

ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:

Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”

Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.