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March 28, 2007
Urbina sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempted murder
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Former Red Sox reliever Ugueth Urbina was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch, the Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday.
Urbina, a former pitcher with the Expos, Marlins, Tigers and Phillies in addition to the red Sox, was also found guilty of illegal deprivation of liberty and violating a prohibition against taking justice into his own hands during a dispute over a gun on Oct. 16, 2005, according to a statement from the Attorney General's Office.
The 32-year-old free agent was accused of joining a group of men in attacking and injuring workers with machetes and pouring gasoline on them at his family's ranch, located about 25 miles south of Caracas.
“The ruling was too severe,” said Jose Antonio Baez, a former attorney who represented Urbina.
Urbina repeatedly has denied involvement with the violence, saying he was sleeping at the time of the attack.
The pitcher's lawyer, Jose Luis Tamayo, has said that Urbina surprised the workers by showing up at his ranch that night while they were bathing in the pool without permission. Urbina spoke sharply to them, but later left and went to sleep, according to Tamayo.
Urbina, a two-time All-Star, last pitched in the major leagues with the Phillies in 2005. He's 30th on the all-time saves list with 237. He had two saves in the 2003 World Series for the victorious Marlins.
-- ASSOCIATED PRESS
Posted by Art Martone at 11:39 AM | Permalink
Projo Sports Talk with Art Martone
Click here to hear the first edition of projo SportsTalk with Art Martone. This new weekly feature will usually appear on Mondays at noon.
In this week's edition, sports editor Art Martone, baseball writer Joe McDonald and sports department assistant Bob McGarry discuss the state of the Red Sox bullpen, particularly the decision to move Jonathan Papelbon to closer and the struggles of young Craig Hansen.
The MP3 file is about three minutes long. Enjoy!
Posted by Art Martone at 7:50 AM | Permalink
Baseball Today: Wednesday, March 28
Not a whole lot going on locally around the baseball world . .
ONCE AND FOR ALL: Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci gets the definitive word on whether or not Daisuke Matsuzaka throws a 'gyroball'. (SI.com)
OH MY PAPI: In an excerpt from his upcoming book (written with Boston Herald columnist Tony Massarotti), David Ortiz talks about last summer's heart scare, why he's called Big Papi, the fact that he's in much better shape than people seem to think, and what he and his teammates really think about the Yankees. (Note: If you're a Yankee-hater, you'll be disappointed. (Boston Magazine)
CHANGING TIMES: Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says the Sugar Daddy Era is over; most wealthy teams, including his, are now hanging onto their prospects (Washington Post, registration required) . . . The Black Athlete Sports Network is urging fans to boycott the Yankees because they won't have an African-American on their 2006 roster . (Derek Jeter is biracial, and Alex Rodriguez, Bobby Abreu and Robinson Cano are Latino) They counter the logical argument -- that very few teams have African-Americans (the Red Sox for instance, have only Coco Crisp) because blacks no longer play baseball in large numbers -- by saying blacks are being denied opportunities at the youth level.
OLD FRIENDS: The Todd Walker saga may not be over. It appears the players union may file a grievance, arguing the Padres released him as a monetary, rather than competitive, move (San Diego Union Tribune) . . . Tony Graffanino is suffering from back spasms (mlb.com) . . . Byung-Hyun Kim is waiting to be traded (Denver Post) . . .
LOCALLY: A week late but worth the wait: A Denver Post feature on Chris Iannetta, who is taking over as the Rockies' starting catcher (Denver Post) . . . When will Rocco Baldelli make it back into the Devil Rays lineup? No one seems to know (Tampa Tribune).
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:12 AM | Permalink