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.

Brandon Crawford homers off brother-in-law Gerrit Cole

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You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.

The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.

Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.