CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) Former major league pitcher Ugueth Urbina returned to baseball Friday after serving 7 1/2 years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family's ranch.
Before taking the field in his native Venezuela to play for the Lions of Caracas, Urbina described himself as ``more mature'' and said he was ``very excited to play baseball again.''
``I'm excited to be here,'' Urbina told reporters at the University Stadium in Caracas, where the Lions played the Zulia Eagles.
The 38-year-old pitcher was released from prison Sunday after serving roughly half of his 14-year sentence for attempted murder during a dispute over a gun on Oct. 16, 2005.
Urbina was found guilty of attacking and injuring workers with a machete. Several other men participated in the attack at his family's ranch, located about 25 miles from Caracas.
Urbina, who pitched for the Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies, has repeatedly denied involvement with the incident that landed him in prison, saying he was sleeping at the time of the attack.
A two-time All-Star, Urbina saved 237 big league games from 1995-2005. He had two saves in the 2003 World Series to help the Marlins beat the New York Yankees, and last pitched in the majors with the Phillies in 2005.
Urbina told reporters he hopes to play professional baseball in the United States again.
``The first order of business is pitching in Venezuela,'' he said.
The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM after he served in the role on an interim basis since April 2.
Let's take a look back at the moves which earned Sheppard the long-term GM job:
April 2: The Wizards fire GM Ernie Grunfeld. Tommy Sheppard takes over the role on an interim basis.
June 20: The Wizards select Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Later in the evening, Washington acquires Jonathan Simmons and the draft rights to Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield from the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons was placed on waivers on July 7.
July 5: The Wizards acquire Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga, and Jemerrio Jones, and a 2022 second-round draft pick as part of the deal which sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers.
July 6: The Wizards trade Dwight Howard to the Grizzlies in exchange for C.J. Miles and acquire Davis Bertans from the Spurs in a three-team deal with Brooklyn and San Antonio, sending the draft rights of Aaron White to the Nets.
July 7: The Wizards re-sign center Thomas Bryant on a three-year deal and trade guard Tomas Satoransky to the Bulls for a 2020 second-round pick.
July 9: The Wizards sign guard Ish Smith to a two-year deal.
July 10: The Wizards sign guard Isaiah Thomas to a one-year deal.
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The Wizards are naming Tommy Sheppard their permanent GM, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes has confirmed.
Sheppard had been serving as Washington's interim GM since the firing of Ernie Grunfeld on April 2. He oversaw the Wizards' 2019 NBA Draft selections of Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield, as well as their offseason transactions this summer.
According to Hughes, the Wizards will announce the decision next week, with more changes to follow.
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