Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, who had been abducted Wednesday night near his home in Venezuela, was rescued Friday night in a commando operation by Venezuelan police. Ramos made some statements to Venezuelan state TV by phone after the rescue:
"The truth is I'm still very nervous, but thanks to God everything turned out well," Ramos told Venezuelan state television, speaking by telephone after arriving at a police station in his hometown of Valencia early Saturday.
He thanked the police and National Guard commandos who rescued him, saying "the boys did a great job."
The article went on to say that five men were arrested in the raid, including a Colombian "linked to paramilitary groups and to kidnapping groups."
Ramos commented further:
"I don't know who those people were. I know they're Colombians by their accent," Ramos said. "Three guys grabbed me there in front of my house, they took me to another SUV and from there they took me into the mountains," in central Carabobo state.
He said his abductors spoke little to him. "They simply told me to cooperate, that they were going to ask for a ton of cash for me."
"They put me in a room with a bed. I was lying there," he said. "It was hard for me to think about, if I was going to get out alive first of all ... about how my family, my mother were."
Venezuela has been the site of many kidnappings in recent years, including relatives of major league players (in 2008, the brother of Henry Blanco was kidnapped and killed); there are 81 active major league players who were born in Venezuela and many of them return there in the winter, either to play or just to be with family members. It could be that in the future, MLB will have to take some action to help protect these players. In the meantime, everyone involved is glad that Wilson Ramos was rescued and is safe and uninjured, though he also said, "As soon as I feel all right, I'm going to start playing. They didn't physically harm me, but psychologically I underwent very great harm."