Wilson Ramos returned to winter ball action in Venezuela

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Wilson Ramos was in the Aragua Tigers’ lineup last night, returning to Venezuelan winter ball action 13 days after being kidnapped at gunpoint and rescued by police 51 hours later.

Ramos went 0-for-5 as the Tigers’ designated hitter and cleanup man.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said last week that he supported Ramos’ decision to remain in Venezuela and continue playing winter ball, but Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that the 24-year-old catcher returned to the United States in the meantime to be examined by team doctors.

Ramos was also expected to meet with a specialist for traumatic incidents and according to Kilgore there was extra security in place last night. At no point has Ramos expressed fear of being involved in another abduction, which makes him a whole lot braver than me.

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however, and this season the descent has continued. Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a rebuild is in the club’s future.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.