Terrible news in the baseball world, as Tampa Bay Rays bullpen catcher Jean Ramirez has died by suicide. He was just 28.
Ramirez, a Rays prospect who transitioned into the big league bullpen catcher role after the 2018 season, was clearly loved in the Rays organization, as underscored by Rays manager Kevin Cash: “Jean was an incredible teammate and friend. He brought so much passion and energy each day to our clubhouse and bullpen, and his love for the Rays and baseball was evident to all who interacted with him. He had the biggest heart and most infectious smile. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. Jean will be deeply missed.”
Ramirez’s family released a statement through the team, and I think their message is important to share as widely as we can:
“The loss of our son has been the most excruciating experience we have lived. Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t see the signs. Struggling in silence is not OK. It is our commitment to honor our son’s life by helping other families. No parent should have to endure the loss of their child. We are very grateful to the Tampa Bay Rays organization, whom we consider our family, for their love and support. Our son felt loved by all of you. Thank you to our family, friends and everyone else far and near for the outpouring of love and support. God bless you! Rays Up in Heaven.”
I hope the Ramirez family continues to get all the love and support they can, and that the Rays organization works their way through this loss. The relationships are very real, and this moment is no doubt very painful. I also hope the Ramirez family’s message reaches some people out there: it can be very hard to know when someone else is suffering, and it can be very hard to take the steps you need when you are the one who is suffering. We all need to have our antennas up as much as we can for these things.
Love to you all.