Roy Hobbs said that some mistakes you never stop paying for. He apparently wasn’t talking about attacking the help with a machete and pouring gasoline on them, because you do stop paying for that. After about seven years or so:
That tweet is from for major league pitcher Ugueth Urbina’s son Juan Urbina standing with Ugueth himself. The son is saying “Finally with my father!” Juan Urbina, by the way, is a 19 year-old pitcher in the Mets’ system.
This courtesy of our friend Nick Collias, who tells me that Venezuelan newspapers are reporting that Urbina is out of jail after serving a little over seven years for attempted murder. Urbina was sentenced to 14 years, but no one is quite sure why he was released early.
Urbina pitched from 1995 through 2005 with the Expos, Tigers, Red Sox, Rangers, Phillies and Marlins. He twice saved 40 games or more and was still an effective pitcher, aged 31, at the time of his arrest and incarceration. He turns 39 in February, but unless the Venezuelan prison system has an intense baseball program, we probably won’t be hearing from him again in the majors.
UPDATE: NOT SO FAST! Nick Collias updates us:
Alexander Mendoza at El Nacional reported this morning that Urbina’s fastball was still touching 90 while he was playing in the pen in Venezuela. Juan Vicente Zerpa, the general manager of the Leones de Escogido (Urbina’s old haunt in the winter leagues) said after welcoming Urbina back to society, “I heard that he’s going to come to the park and we’re going to have a conversation.” Kind of ominous-sounding, no? If this were a Scorcese movie, I’d be wary.
So it would seem that all of your “heh, the Marlins are gonna sign him now” jokes may not be so funny after all!
Just kidding, they’ll still be hilarious.
Jered Weaver, a 12-year big league veteran and a three-time All-Star, has announced his retirement.
Weaver was struggling mightily with the Padres this year, going 0-5 in nine starts and posting a 7.44 ERA,, a 2.6 BB/9 and 4.9 K/9 ratio over 42.1 innings. He hadn’t posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2014 and his velocity had, quite famously, sunk into the low 80s and even high 70s at times in recent seasons. A spate of physical setbacks contributed to that, with a hip inflammation ailing him this season and nerve issues in his neck and back afflicting him for the past few years.
But even if his recent seasons have been less-than-memorable, it’s worth remembering that he was, for a time, one of baseball’s best pitchers. He posted a record of 131-69 with a 3.28 ERA in his first 9 seasons, leading the American League in strikeouts in 2010 and leading the circuit in wins in 2012 and 2014. He likewise led the league in WHIP and hits allowed per nine innings in 2012.
He finishes his career with a record of 150-98, an ERA of 3.63 (ERA+ of 111) and a K/BB ratio of 1,621/551 in 2,067.1 innings. He pitched in four American League Division Series and the 2009 ALCS, posting a 2.67 ERA in seven playoff games pitched.
Happy trails, Jered. A first-ballot induction into the Hall of He Was Really Dang Good, Even if We Forgot About It For A While is in your future.
Last November it was reported that the Marlins planned to build a memorial for Jose Fernandez, likely including a statue. The effort was said to be a pet project of the Marlins owner, Jeff Loria, who was close with Fernandez.
Today the Miami Herald reports, however, that those plans are in limbo due to the sale of the team:
The planned statue to honor Jose Fernandez, which was departing owner Jeffrey Loria’s idea, is now very much in question because it will not be erected before Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter take over, and it will ultimately be the new owners’ call. That matter has not yet been discussed, with the sale agreed to only in the past few days.
There’s nothing in the report suggesting that they’re opposed to the statue — it’s possible this was placed in the Herald by people close to the new group in order to test the waters — but there always was the sense that the idea was something of a priority for Loria personally. One wonders how much momentum it will have once he’s gone.
Then, of course, there’s the fact that Fernandez was eventually found to have been under the influence of alcohol and cocaine and was behind the wheel of the boat at the time of the accident that claimed his life and the life of two others, making any memorial to him suspect in the eyes of some people.
Thankfully we don’t spend a lot of time and energy discussing the ethics of statues in this country, so I’m sure it’ll have no bearing on the matter.