Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz reported to Spring Training yesterday. This comes weeks after his mother was kidnapped in Venezuela.
Just over a week ago, Elias Diaz found out that his mother had been abducted in the city of San Fransisco in Venezuela. At the time, there were not many details about what exactly occurred, other than she had been taken at some point while at a friend’s house. Obviously, there was great concern for Diaz and his family. The Pittsburgh Pirates family had Diaz and his family in their thoughts. However, just a few days after the report came out about her being abducted, it was announced that she had been successfully rescued.
This came days before pitchers and catchers had to report to Pittsburgh Pirates camp. This was obviously positive news. Not only was his mother saved, but it was relieving for Diaz and his family to get back to normal life. Diaz was afforded extra time to spend with his family instead of reporting with the rest of pitchers and catchers. This was a classy move by the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, and well deserved for Diaz and his family.
Diaz ended up reporting to camp yesterday. Among the players at camp, he was the most popular player for interviews. He did multiple interviews about the process of events that took place over the last week. He revealed that it was not just anybody who kidnapped his mother, but rather family friends who received help from the police to pull off the crime. Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette revealed more specific details about the situation:
"The realization that police officers and a longtime family friend were involved has Pirates catcher Elias Diaz pondering his future in his native Venezuela."
This was quite shocking to see. There has been plenty of kidnapping that has effected MLB players over the last few years in Venezuela. This includes Wilson Ramos and former big league pitcher Victor Zambrano, who were both kidnapped along with other player’s family members. However, those have been by gang members, not friends and police. Elias Diaz told Bill Brink that his perspective on Venezuela has changed even more because of what happened:
"Going back and realizing that situation, it kind of just removes the trust, the trust of your roots and makes you want to detach from your roots and maybe even question, do I want to go back, do I want to remain there,”"
All in all, it is good to see that everyone ended up okay in the end. Obviously this will have a profound effect on Diaz and his family’s life. However, now that he likely will be on the big league club for a full season, he might be able to “detach” from his roots and move his family State side.