It's odd that no one's really gotten to the bottom of what happened with decorated reliever Ugueth Urbina in Venezuela in 2005. Just before the season began, his mother was rescued from kidnappers in a commando-style operation, after being held for ransom for five months. Just after the season, in which he pitched for Detroit and Philadelphia, Urbina was involved in an incident on his farm. He assaulted five workers he believed had stolen a gun from him, attacking them with a machete and pouring gasoline on them. Tom Verducci, get to the bottom of this!
Whatever the story, Urbina was convicted of attempted murder in 2007 and sentenced to more than 14 years in prison. Five years later, with good behavior, he's a free man.
"Finally with my father!" tweeted his son Juan Urbina, a pitcher in the Mets organization, attaching a photo of the two. The GM of Urbina's old Venezuelan team, the Caracas Lions, said he's paid his debt to society, and the club's doors are open to him.
Might any MLB teams be interested? According to Spanish-language reports, Urbina's been playing prison baseball—and can still throw 90 mph. That's irresistible, if you don't consider that there are hundreds of people who haven't been imprisoned for attempted machete murder and aren't 38 years old who can also hit 90. But none of them sell jerseys like Ugueth Urtaín Urbina.