Mar 14, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe (left) puts eye-black on shortstop Alfredo Amezaga before a game against the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Imagining a Uribeless Dodgers

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Let’s be honest here. Even with Juan Uribe on the Dodgers, he has been essentially nonexistent over the past two seasons. He played in just 66 games last season, which was the least of his twelve season career. Weeks went by last season when we only saw Juan Uribe get one at bat, and that lone at bat was usually sadly predictable.

Saturday night Uribe was scheduled to start against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch, but a late scratch and replacement with Alfredo Amezaga stirred up the unremitting wish that we all share as Dodger fans. The release of Juan Uribe.

 

Juan Uribe has a tight hamstring, but he’s still a Dodger. Photo: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

I wasn’t going to get my celebratory drink ready just yet. After all, Hanley Ramirez just underwent surgery on his thumb ligament, and the Dodgers don’t want to thin themselves out even more. Even though Juan Uribe has been completely useless at the plate with the Dodgers, and his .204 and .191 batting averages while in L.A. have been cringe worthy indeed, he is the best defensive third baseman the Dodgers have right now. Luis Cruz, whom the Dodgers were planning to start at third, is actually a natural shortstop. Cochito has said that he feels most comfortable at short rather than the hot corner. With the only other options for possible third baseman during Hanley’s disability time being Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker, Jerry Hairston Jr., or possibly non-roster invitee Alfredo Amezaga, the stars are beginning to align for one portly third baseman who has had been relegated to the bench.

The Dodgers could survive without Uribe. There’s really no reason to hold on to him. Yet we must accept the fact that he will be on the roster for another fateful and punch less season. But let’s imagine a day when we don’t have Uribe to discuss anymore. The day when he either is released, traded (okay that was just plain silly to write), or when his fruitless contract finally expires at the end of this season. What will we complain about? Who will be the butt of our new jokes? Can we ever eat a delicious empanada without thinking of Uribe again? These are hard hitting questions that we will have to deal with when that glorious day comes.

It will be a fiesta. Complete with music, merriment, and the ushering in of a new Uribeless era. Even though there will always be useless and disappointing players, there hasn’t been one who has been so mocked than one certain ex-Giant. His 6 homeruns as a Dodger will never be forgotten.

Once Juan Uribe moves on in his career, we must use his futile time as a Dodger as a lesson. The first lesson is to never sign ex-Giants. The second lesson is to never sign someone with a swing like that. The third lesson is to cut your losses.

The Uribe story is a bit sad, and I don’t like watching any Dodger struggle for so long. Yet it’s time to imagine our team without Uribe, and we must decide on the third baseman for the future. Third base has been somewhat of a black hole ever since Adrian Beltre, but we can move Hanley to third and we also have Corey Seager who may eventually be moved to third base.

The tale of Juan Uribe is in its final chapter. Will he go out with a bang and prove us all wrong, or will he quietly play 50 games as he rides off into the sunset come September 29th? Until then, let’s make the most of his glove and try not to let him, you know, bat.

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