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Ugueth Urbina working out with Caracas Lions, hopes to return to MLB

Dec 29, 2012, 2:44 PM EDT

Ugueth Urbina AP Getty Images

We heard earlier this week that former MLB reliever Ugueth Urbina was released from prison after serving a little over half of his 14-year sentence for the attempted murder of five workers on his family’s ranch in his native Venezuela. Now he’s ready to embark on an unlikely comeback attempt.

In a story that was published on the website for the Caracas Lions, a Venezuelan Winter League team, Urbina threw a bullpen session yesterday and expressed hope to pitch for the club soon.

“The idea is to return this year. The mechanics are not very good, but that’s normal.┬áThe important thing is that my arm is healthy.”

According to the Associated Press, Urbina aims to professionally in the United States again, but said his “first order of business is pitching in Venezuela.” We can probably file his comeback under “never say never,” but one wonders if he could have trouble obtaining a visa to come to the United States after his legal issues.

Urbina posted a 3.45 ERA and 237 saves from 1995 through 2005, making stops with the Expos, Red Sox, Rangers, Marlins, Tigers and Phillies. He was 31 at the time of his incarceration and will turn 39 in February.

  1. yepurwrong - Dec 29, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Karma says he’ll get cut.

  2. themagicfanguy - Dec 29, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Is it wrong of me to hope he blows his shoulder?

  3. jhorton83 - Dec 29, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    I’m sure if he starts torching opposing hitters, some team will take a stab at him.

    • Old Gator - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      “…take a stab at him…”

      Heeeehoooohahahahaheeeeeehahahahahah…….

  4. buffalowned - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Why would anyone sign this clown he tried to kill a guy..if anyone it will be the marlins

    • Old Gator - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      Not a chance. The Feesh are lovers, not fighters. And anyway, who do you think Johnny Cueto would like to have closing games out for him if not such a kindred spirit?

    • barriocolo - Dec 31, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      This makes perfect sense since the Marlins are in the business of…killing the team. That would be a great move!!!

  5. randygnyc - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    Why does this guy deserve another chance. I’m sure there are plenty of hard luck, morally sound folks kicking around in the minor/independent leagues that wouldn’t kill for a chance to play.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      just because he attempted to murder five farmers in Venezuela and served time for it doesn’t mean he should never be allowed to pitch in the good old USA.
      do you know how many people have committed murder for USA and they live normal lives now.

      come on buddy have a heart.

  6. yankeepunk3000 - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    you know I was thinking why is everyone wishing him ill…im not rooting for him but I’m not hoping his arm breaks off..isn’t everyone always talking about mistakes being made and he did serve over 7 years in prison. that’s a long time to rot…so really why even really care what he does…he served his time and now he’s out obviously he needs to find work now and what he knows is baseball so there you go…

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 29, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      My thoughts almost exactly.

  7. styx630 - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Would he even be allowed back in the country?

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      good question, let me check. I’ll let you know.

  8. djjackson81 - Dec 29, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Here ya go Dodgers

  9. dcwal152 - Dec 29, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    This was reported earlier on Philly.com

    “Urbina chasing down workers with a machete and gasoline might seem out of the ordinary, but his behavior isn’t too bizarre when you consider what happened to his mother, Maura Villarreal, in September 2004. She was kidnapped from the same family ranch and held for a ransom of $6 million. Dressed as police, the kidnappers opened a tall, sliding gate, showed a fake search warrant and left with Villarreal.

    The family, at the urging of authorities, refused to pay the ransom and she was eventually rescued by an anti-kidnapping unit on Feb. 18, 2005.

    And in 1994, Urbina’s father, Juan, was murdered by bandits in a botched robbery attempt in Caracas.

    It is little wonder that Urbina put up such an unusual defense of his family’s home.”

    I’m not saying what he did was right, but it does put things into perspective a little. If anyone had one family membered murdered and another kidnapped, who knows what anyone would do…

    • yahmule - Dec 29, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      I think it might make them especially cognizant of the pain the families of victims of violent crime suffer and not wish to inflict that kind of misery on someone else.

      • jimeejohnson - Dec 29, 2012 at 9:37 PM

        A sports blog is most likely the wrong place to be non-violent. After all, sports channels our violent urge into constructive, athletic endeavor. I went to a fight and saw a hockey game! There are two sides to every story.

      • mazblast - Dec 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

        Turning the other cheek works SO well when dealing with your everyday, ordinary psychopathic criminals. Right. All it accomplishes is getting your other cheek smashed in.

        Not that I think the mess UUU got himself into in Venezuela has anything to do with the violence against his family. More likely it was something political, perhaps he didn’t pay off one of Chavez’ thugs or something.

    • yahmule - Dec 29, 2012 at 10:25 PM

      And, clearly, a court of law soundly rejected Urbina’s side, considering he was sentenced to seven years in prison despite being able to afford the finest legal defense in his country.

  10. mojosmagic - Dec 29, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    Marlins owner Loria might take a shot. He will come cheap and he can draw fans from Miami’s criminal element.

  11. digbysellers - Dec 29, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Don’t wish ill will upon him! He just wants his slice of the pie.

  12. historiophiliac - Dec 29, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    Note to A-Rod: do NOT walk across his mound!

  13. philliesblow - Dec 29, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    He’s got easy gas.

  14. pooinyourface - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    He conspired to kill 5 workers on his ranch who were behind the kidnapping of his mother and held her in the jungle for ransom. Good for him. I hope he wins one more ring.

  15. pooinyourface - Dec 30, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    mojosmagic made me just literally shart my pants laughing

  16. Carl Hancock - Dec 30, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    Whoever said he attacked the workers because they were involved in kidnapping his mother is 100% incorrect. His mother was kidnapped, but over a year earlier. He attacked the workers because he accused them of stealing a gun from him. It’s usually best to have a firm grasp of the facts before posting.

    • yahmule - Dec 30, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      But then idiots would never have their say.

  17. simon94022 - Dec 30, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    The “court of law” which convicted Urbina belongs to Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. It was a farce and means absolutely nothing.

    Urbina’s real crime was becoming wealthy at a time and place where his government openly encouraged violence against people who had money.

    • yahmule - Dec 30, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      Yeah, those guys accidentally fell onto machetes by themselves and then decided to clean their wounds with gasoline.

  18. rayfeathers - Dec 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    ugueth is a great first name. gonna name my son that.

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