CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- The mother of Detroit Tigers pitcher Ugueth Urbina was kidnapped by four unidentified men disguised as police officers, police said Thursday.
The men took Maura Villareal from a house owned by Urbina in suburban Caracas on Wednesday, said Joel Rengifo, director of the country's anti-kidnapping police force. The men have not contacted family members, he said.
The Tigers said Urbina had left the club to go to Venezuela, and the team is working with major league baseball and its Venezuelan contacts to assist the pitcher.
I don't have any idea what this means, but I'll try to find out. I do know that baseball is the most popular sport in Venezuela (whereas soccer is king in the rest of South America), and that Venezuelans are proud of their players who have made it to the major leagues. At one of the dance clubs we went to in Caracas, a guy pulled me over to a wall and showed me photos of big-league stars from Venezuela, past and present. Urbina is one of three currently with the Tigers, and was the closer for last year's World Series champion Florida Marlins.