Abreu Stands By His Countryman

Site Publisher / Editor
Posted Mar 3, 2006

Ugueth Urbina had hoped to parlay his performance with the Phillies last season into a big payday. Now, he'd simply like to have the opportunity to play anywhere for any amount of money, rather than face what's going on in his life now. One thing is for sure; Urbina has a supporter in former teammate Bobby Abreu.

Bobby Abreu said he visited former teammate and close friend Ugueth Urbina twice at the Venezuelan prison that has been his home for months after an incident at the reliever's home in which several men allegedly were beaten, burned and sliced with machetes. Urbina is awaiting trial for attempted murder in the case.

Abreu says Urbina is innocent.

"He's not doing too good. He's in a bad position," said Abreu of Urbina, who came to the Phillies last season in a trade with the Tigers. "I visited him a couple of times. All I can do is give him my friendship and support. I know him very well, and (the accusation) isn't true. It's something that really hurts me inside."

Urbina would have been a likely member of the Venezuelan entry in the inaugural World Baseball Classic and a teammate of Abreu's on that team.

After arriving from the Tigers in the Placido Polanco deal, Urbina went 4-3, 4.13 in 56 games with the Phillies. His contract was up at the end of the season and Urbina hoped to re-sign with the Phillies to continue playing with Abreu. He figured that even if the Phillies didn't re-sign him, there would be a team out there willing to give him a decent contract. Urbina had pitched very well in Detroit prior to the trade, compiling a 1-3 record, but posting a 2.63 ERA in 25 games. Overall, his ERA was a respectable 3.21 last season.

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