Uribe’s Last Stand

Like many others, I’ve made no bones about it and I am on record as saying it: the Juan Uribe experiment has failed… and miserably. He has been a disaster since the day that he arrived in Los Angeles. There is simply no kind or gentle way to say it – Juan Uribe sucks.

Heading into the third and (thankfully) final year of his ridiculous $21 million contract, Uribe has hit exactly six (count ‘em, SIX) home runs in his 474 plate appearances as a Dodger. This figures out to be one home run for every 79 plate appearances, or $3.5 million per home run. Three years and $21 million for this? For a guy hitting .199 since donning a Dodger uniform? This is absolutely unacceptable – period.

The two English words that Juan Uribe knows best are “Strike three!” (Photo credit – Paul Chinn)

But as much as Uribe is to blame for his complete ineptitude, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti needs to shoulder some of the responsibility too – something that he seems to have difficulty doing.

Now I certainly understand that “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” (that is, Colletti had very little money to work with under former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to build a winning team), but after Uribe’s absolutely horrible first two years of his insane three-year contract, Colletti has got to know that the Uribe experiment has failed too, and he needs to show Juan Uribe to the door. Why Colletti continues to belabor the Uribe disaster is truly one of life’s greatest mysteries.

And it doesn’t stop with Ned Colletti.

Just as I am on record for saying that Uribe is basically useless and a waste of a valuable roster spot, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is on record as saying that, for reasons known only to him, he likes Juan Uribe – more specifically that he likes having Uribe in his clubhouse. In fact, Mattingly has said on several occasions that Uribe is a great clubhouse guy. And while I cannot and will not dispute this, nor will I question that Juan is a great guy and all, at what point will his teammates become sick and tired of his absolutely pathetic, excessive and ugly strikeouts - especially when the game is on the line, as is usually the case when Mattingly brings him into games (usually as a pinch hitter with runners in scoring position)?

Nearly every time that I have been blessed to be in the Dodgers dugout for Mattingly’s pre-game media conference, he usually receives at least one question (and usually more) about Uribe’s ineptitude and when will the Dodgers cut their losses by designated Uribe for assignment. Without exception, Donny B does a tap dance around the question and moves on. Because of this and because of Colletti’s continuing and confusing reluctance to let Uribe go, I fully expect that the Dodgers will yet again play another season with a 24-man roster instead of a 25-man roster, as Uribe will once again be occupying a roster spot as nothing more than an $8 million cheerleader – but hey, he’s a great clubhouse guy.

Enter Mark McGwire.

Although I have no way to substantiate it (not yet, at least), I am willing to bet a pulled pork sandwich at Camelback Ranch that McGwire has already been told (for lack of a better word) that Juan Uribe is to be among his top priorities at spring training, or perhaps even that the Dodgers expect McGwire to somehow miraculously make Uribe the hitter that he once was; but here again, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” and expecting McGwire to accomplish in six weeks what no one (including the great Manny Mota) has been able to accomplish in two years is, quite frankly, unreasonable. To further this point, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see McGwire held accountable (i.e. blamed) for Uribe’s continuing failures rather than Colletti accepting (or even acknowledging) responsibility that the Uribe signing is clearly one of his worst free agent signings ever (stay for Andruw Jones and Jason Schmidt, of course).

With all due respect, expecting Mark McGwire to miraculously and suddenly make Juan Uribe a good hitter is simply unreasonable. (Photo credit – Jon SooHoo)

No matter how much responsibility-shirking or blaming Colletti does or how much tap dancing Mattingly does, 2013 will be Uribe’s last stand.

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12 Responses to “Uribe’s Last Stand”

  1. doyersfan34 says:

    I also agree that he has been taking up a roster spot for too long. I look forward to the day that we told why Uribe was kept on the roster for this long.

  2. Evan Bladh says:

    I’m hoping that the Dodgers finally come to a realization that it is more cost effective to pay someone the minor league minimum to take Uribe’s spot in exchange for more production. They need to look at it as if they are paying that 25th player $6.5 million. Two years of this guy has been a nightmare. I have a hard time believing that McGwire can turn him around. I’m sure he’ll get a chance in Spring Training.

  3. ebbetsfld says:

    His teammates love him, but he is a total liability and has to go. I doubt if McGwire will be held responsible if he continues to suck at the plate, just as I doubt Hansen, Mattingly, Wallach, or Pentland got any blame. He was a terrible signing and it’s clearly time to cut our losses and set him loose!

  4. Truebluewill says:

    I agree it’s just a waste having him on the roster. I’m sure that the Dodgers can find someone else that would give them more production then Uribe. For an organization that has spent so much money already on revamping the roster you think it wouldn’t bother them to eat the rest of Uribe’s contract.

    On another note, McGwire sure looks strange wearing blue instead of red.

  5. Bluenose Dodger says:

    It’s got to be an ego thing for Ned. He paid Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez and JP to play elsewhere. The Dodgers did play with a 24 man roster in 2012. Uribe might be an excellent clubhouse guy but he is needed on the field. I expect if he struggles through ST and early in the season he will be DFAed. At least his contract is finished at the end of 2013.

  6. CRANBROOK MIKE says:

    I tend to agree with you Harold. I think he will be given a very short leash, like April to see if he will be able to produce like he should. It has got to be driving Mattingly crazy in the pre game interviews to constantly have that topic brought up time and time again. Nice article buddy!

  7. funkyjam says:

    The fact that we have to talk about him the day he’s finally released makes me wish he never existed :/

  8. OldBrooklynFan says:

    I think it’s a good thing with Cruz, Ramirez and Gordon around at the moment, we have very little need for Uribe.
    I’m sure they’ll find a way, to use him, get rid of him or wait for his contract to run out.

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