Rays catcher Wilson Ramos is excited to be starting in the All-Star Game next week for many reasons, but it's also special to have the game at Nationals Park, where he played from 2010-16.
"It's going to be fun, because I have good memories in that stadium, with those fans," Ramos said before Monday's home game against Detroit, where he was batting cleanup. "When we played there a couple of weeks ago, that was very loud. They shouted my name. It's going to pretty exciting for me to hear that again."
Ramos leads the Rays with 47 RBIs and is second on the team with 12 home runs, and a .289 batting average. He's due to be a coveted free agent in the offseason, which means there's a good chance he'll be traded by the end of the month. The Nationals have gotten next to nothing from their catchers offensively, so he's been mentioned as a possibility to return to Washington.
"I don't want to think about that right now … This is a business," he said. "All those fans like me so much. If I got traded to them, it would be fun to be back there, playing for them again."
Ramos echoed his frustration that teammate Blake Snell wasn't initially named to join him at the All-Star Game, passed over despite leading the American League with a 2.09 ERA and tying for second with 12 wins.
"I got really mad. The guy had good numbers. He deserves to be in the All-Star Game," Ramos said. "He's my teammate. We've been working really hard this year. It's not right that he's not going there."
Snell returned the praise for his catcher, recognizing how well he's handled the Rays pitching staff this season in addition to his offensive numbers.
"We're talking the best catcher in the game, I think," Snell said. "For him to do that this year is special, especially coming off knee surgery. To hit the way he did, to catch the way he did, to call the games. Being a catcher is hard. It's not easy. … Catcher is the hardest position, and to see him get it, he earned it."