Former major league pitcher Ugueth Urbina was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch, the Venezuelan Attorney General's Office announced yesterday.
Urbina, a former pitcher with Montreal, Boston, Texas, Florida, Detroit and the Phillies, 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.
He 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 for Urbina.
Urbina, 32, repeatedly has denied involvement with the violence, saying he was sleeping at the time of the attack.
Lawyer Jose Luis Tamayo has said 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.
The 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.
* Dodgers outfielder Jason Repko underwent surgery to reattach two hamstring tendons to his pelvic bone.
* The Nationals placed first baseman Nick Johnson (broken right leg), righthander Luis Ayala (reconstructive elbow surgery in March 2006), lefthander Mike O'Connor (left elbow surgery in November) and outfielder Alex Escobar (right shoulder surgery in September) on the 15-day disabled list.
* Indians lefthander C.C. Sabathia's pitching forearm was bruised when he was struck by a line drive in his final spring training tuneup.
* Veteran righthander Roger Clemens, 44, told a group of fans at a golf event in Texas he won't know whether he will return for a 23rd season for "about a month."
He set no timetable, but repeated that he'll choose among the Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, all of whom he has pitched for.
* Mark Prior, who won 18 games for the Chicago Cubs 4 years ago, before a series of injuries slowed his career, was optioned to Triple A after his final spring training start.
* George Steinbrenner's daughter, Jennifer Swindal, filed divorce papers this week against husband Steve Swindal, Steinbrenner's choice to succeed him as head of the Yankees. The action comes a month and a half after Steve Swindal was arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.