Ugueth Urbina, Ribbons of Darkness, Fathers and Sons

The story of how Ugueth Urbina went to prison for attacking farm workers with a machete and gasoline has to be one of the most under reported stories of the past decade. The details were so vague, yet so incredibly violent and intruiging. The fact that the situation is so foreign makes it all the more riveting, all the more mind blowing. The entire incident seemed like it came from the pages of a long lost Peckinpah script.

Ugueth and a group of men attacked five workers with machetes. They then poured gasoline on them in an attempt to set them on fire. The entire incident was Peckinpahian to the core. It was the representative opposite, the calculated antithesis to the Hawksian hero. Peckinpah's men acted, but their motives were misguided.

When I first thought to write about the incident, I had the idea to frame it as a bit of narrative fiction. I wrote a few lines of generic exposition. I've deleted the original pieces, but the gist was Latin, generic Latin. I was kind of picturing the scene with the scorpion in Wild Bunch. I was picturing dust. I was making a caricature out of Ugueth. He was becoming a modern day General Santa Ana. He was becoming a mishmash of Latin stereotype.

Though the information about the incident is still insufficient, my apathetic internet search led me to his son. He signed in 2009. I imagine he is happy. There was a story recently that said something about Ugueth calling Francisco Rodriguez. He asked him to take care of his son for him. I imagine it was a short term thing. I think it had something to do with spring training.

It must be a messy business being Ugueth Urbina. I wish I knew more. I imagine his son misses him. I imagine they will communicate in some way this weekend. In this, we can hope. But there is still the mystery of the machete and the gasoline. There is still the element of the scorpion and the ants. I thought this might become a piece about fathers and sons, but it's wrapped in a ribbon of darkness. I guess I just wish I knew a little more about things that don't really make any sense.


Jesse Gloyd, usually can be found writing essays about baseball (among other things) at (which is where most of these posts live). Follow him on Twitter at @jessejamesgloyd.

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