Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Inmate No. 41

Former major league relief pitcher Ugueth Urbina received a 14-year jail sentence for attempting to murder five people employed on his family's ranch in his native Venezuela.

I'm not really sure there's a joke here. Anyone who followed Urbina's major league career is aware that falls somwhere between "a little disturbed" and "batshit insane", but about two years ago, he had some problems that brought to light the downside of being a wealthy, Venezuelan export. A group of Venezuelan street toughs kidnapped Urbina's mother and held her hostage for five months, demanding a $6 million ransom. She was eventually rescued unharmed. Point is, big league players are wealthy, and in Venezuela, they're big-time targets for gold diggers.

Thing is, we don't know that anyone has anything to gain by having Urbina put away for 14 years; I'm not sure how effective the country's civil court system is. I guess it stands to reason that if you could just sue the pants off of someone there like you could here, nobody would have kidnapped Urbina's mother or shot Richard Hidalgo. It's really hard to say if this conviction has any validity. Everything we ever hear about the goings on in Venezuela has an over-arching theme of sketchiness.

Bold Prediction: On the next edition of Baseball Tonight, Steve Phillips will boldly predict during the Bold Prediction segment that with the Yankees in need of bullpen help by early June, George Steinbrenner will produce a brown paper bag full of unsequenced, unmarked, green evidence to the Venezuelan government that proves Urbina's innocence. Ugie will be released from prison, sign with the Yankees and carry them all the way to the World Series, while simultaneously patching up the A-Rod-Jeter friendship.


Amerigo Vespucci said...

Bold Prediction 2: John Kruk will laud Ugie's competitiveness and intensity, and say he's a perfect match for Ozzie Guillen's White Sox.

Spin Move said...

Good point. This raises Urbina's intensity averages to what I'm sure would be a league-leading level, were he on a team instead of in a Venezuelan prison.