Juan Uribe was let go by the Cleveland Indians in August of 2016, but his short tenure on the team was filled with memorable moments.
Cleveland Indians fans were left with a collective feeling of sadness following the loss in the World Series, but as time goes on we remember all the reasons we were given to smile throughout 2016.
Juan Uribe provided fans with plenty of these reasons, even though he was only on the team through July.
Uribe’s on-field contributions were not what he will be remembered for. It is what he gave the team in the dugout and in the clubhouse that made him a special part of the team.
Uribe opened the season as the starting third baseman, but it quickly became clear that Jose Ramirez was preparing to take over that role. Uribe’s .206 batting average didn’t help him keep his job, and his fielding was sub-par at best.
But he never let this affect his mood, and even served as a mentor to the young Ramirez. His presence in the clubhouse was clearly more valuable than his presence on the field, although that does not bode well for a player trying to keep a spot on the 25-man roster in the midst of a playoff race.
Perhaps the most memorable moment came in June when the Indians traveled to Anaheim to take on the Angels. Uribe went to field a sharp grounder and didn’t stop it with his glove. The result was the horrifying injury known as a testicular contusion.
He took the injury with a sense of humor, casually revealing he didn’t wear a cup because there wasn’t a size that fit him. Just a casual tidbit of information.
Perhaps the positive view of Uribe exists because he wasn’t around when to do anything negative when the games got important in October, such as what happened with Mike Napoli, but regardless of what may have happened, it was hard to get too frustrated with Uribe.
He realized his role on the team and embraced it. The two-time World Series champion helped develop a future star, and could be a great coach one day if he wants to stay in baseball.
He only spent four months of his long career as a member of the Indians, but fans will always remember the smiles he provided with his play and carefree attitude toward his dream job.