Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has become a freedom fighter of sorts. He plays the people's game of baseball to uphold the principles of truth, justice, and the winning way. Not surprisingly, this bugling backstop plays his best baseball when celebrating a nation's day of independence.
Ramos was not born in the United States, a baseball-loving nation that marked its independence on July 4. But he provided the fireworks, nonetheless.
In his return to the Nationals' lineup after a 44-game absence, Ramos helped the home crowd celebrate America's freedom with a three-hit, five-RBI performance against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals' Park.
Ramos hit a two-run single in the sixth to extend the Nats' lead at the time to three runs. Then, in the seventh, Ramos hit a three-run home run with two outs to give the Nationals a three-run lead they would not relinquish.
In response to his performance, the fans at Nationals Park liberated themselves from their seats and gave Ramos a standing ovation.
That performance was the first indication that Ramos enjoys playing on Independence Days. His team joined him in the celebration, winning 8-5 and snapping a two-game skid.
Luckily for the Nationals, Ramos' native Venezuela celebrated their independence on July 5, or El Cinco de Julio. Ramos was again feeling patriotic, and he played accordingly against the San Diego Padres. "The Buffalo" hit a two-run single in the second and an RBI single in the third.
For the second straight game, the Nats won 8-5, and moved within five games of the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East Standings. Ramos provided the winning margin in both games while driving in a total of eight runs.
As the Nationals struggle for freedom from the shackles of second place, one wonders:
What will Ramos do next as he fights for freedom, independence, and a winning team?
Well, Malawi celebrates its independence day on July 6. Washington should rush international scouts to this tiny African nation to discover the next great Malawian baseball player. That way, Ramos can lead the Nationals to another victory as he celebrates Malawi's independence day with his new found teammate.
Whatever it takes to keep hope alive.
Note: All statistics updated through July 5 courtesy of MLB.com unless noted otherwise.