Becoming a professional baseball player should mean you're pretty much set, right? Forget the odds that a fringe (or star) professional athlete will go broke before he's a certain age—if you spend much of your twenties and thirties making millions or near millions of dollars for playing a game, you've made it in at least the brute economic sense. You should be relatively worry-free. For some MLB players, though, the heightened notoriety is hardly worth the risk.
Venezuelan baseball players—about 8% of the major leagues—who seek to live at home in the offseason become targets for their wealth in a country where kidnapping has risen sharply in recent years. Those that don't often travel home still risk letting their family in Venezuela bear the brunt of their reputations. This past winter, kidnappers abducted Wilson Ramos, then of the Nationals; he was rescued two days later after a gunfight between police and his captors. Ramos said at the time, "They didn't physically harm me, psychologically I underwent very great harm." At ESPN, Didier Morais writes that teams, police and players aren't treating it like an isolated incident: