Many times, when considering the MLB player's attempt at athletic reincarnation, the reasoning for another shot at living the dream are simple: Injuries, proving age means nothing or possible home-life boredom; ESPN wasn’t hiring that day; and the always fun, second-chanced steroid user (yes, currently steroids in the MLB would classify as simple).
From Alex Rodriguez to Bo Jackson to Barry Bonds and the not-me-no-way Roger Clemens, the attempt, and coverage of MLB players making their up-and-down struggle back to the show is always fun—and with mixed results.
Sometimes the comeback works; sometimes the comeback fall short—attracting more media types then scouts and general managers. Regardless of the conclusion, getting back into the inner circle of the MLB's rosters is never easy.
So, with that stapled in the cranial feed, just imagine how difficult a comeback would be if "attempted murder" was the strife a player attempted to downplay on their way back to America's (when NFL is dormant) pastime.
Judging by other circumstances, that scenario would seem almost impossible. But one player, however, is attempting to do just that.
Ugueth Urbina, the flashy right-handed relief man (and greatest stumper in the baseball name game), is out of the slammer after serving seven years of his 14-year sentence. For attempted murder! With a machete!
The Venezuelan version of Jason Voorhees (Urbina) was sent to prison back in 2007 for allegedly attacking farm workers on his property. Their crime: Urbina accused the men of stealing a gun.
And that, as my Spanish dictionary tells me, is no bueno.
Now, seven-years removed from his crime, Urbina has big plans to get back into the major leagues—possibly to get locked up by a willing organization.
He is currently working out in Venezuela with the Caracas Lions (Winter League) and feels his stuff is getting back to the old Urbina of the early 2000s.
Here is what he had to say in an interview with Reyes Urena of El Nacional:
The objective is to pitch. When? My arm will say, and that's why I'm here. I'll work out two times a day if it's necessary, but my primary goal is to suit up with the Lions. After that, we'll know if any doors open to me up north (in MLB), which is what I want. I know that right now my mechanics aren't very good, but my arm is healthy. I only have to work on the details.
The rumor floating around town, according to Alexander Mendoza of El Nacional, is that Urbina's fastball is somewhere in the 90 MPH range, and he was lucky to get an opportunity to workout and play softball in prison in order to stay sharp.
Which is good, because nothing keeps a pitcher warm for the MLB like softball with inmates.
And, will this journey from the depths of incarceration back to the bright-light mounds of the MLB actually work? I sure hope it does.
The 39-year-old Urbina will certainly make for some quirky news during his comeback. Just imagine this: Anderson Cooper interviewing Urbina's first minor league roommate, live, from the "road trip of terror!"
That, at the very least, will make this dysfunction enjoyable; not to mention watching Commissioner Bud Selig coming up with the perfect PR sentence to explain why he gave Urbina another shot.
"Well...um...ya' know? Um...he has paid his debt and...awe hell, it's not like he did something like steroids."
"It was just murder...attempted."
Perhaps Urbina can go to the New York Yankees—on the cheap—and help them field a team while “cutting” payroll.