Uribe maintains innocence, expects case to be resolved

MIAMI -- Chicago White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe is confident his legal problems in the Dominican Republic will be resolved in a few days and will not keep him from attending spring training in February.

Contradicting media reports Friday that said Uribe was considering not playing in 2007, Uribe said he is optimistic the case will turn out in his favor Monday.

"I'm confident that this will clear up soon and will not affect my plans to be on time to the Sox camp from day one," Uribe told ESPNdeportes.com from his home in the Dominican Republic.

"This Monday will be key in the case because the accuser is going to present the alleged witnesses against me. I'm innocent, so I'm sure that nobody can testify that they saw me in an event where I wasn't present," Uribe said.

On Friday, a judge ordered Uribe to appear before him on the 15th and 30th of each month to demonstrate that he doesn't want to evade justice.

The shortstop, his brother Elpidio Uribe and mutual friend Jose Encarnacion are accused of provoking a shooting in which two men were injured on Oct. 3, 2006, in Juan Baron, a town south of Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital.

Dominican Antonio Gonzalez and Italian Dandolin Alessandro were injured. Alessandro did not press charges, but Gonzalez hired a lawyer.

"When [it] all happened, I was at home talking to my father. There are a bunch of people that can corroborate my version. Nobody saw me [at] that place during the shooting," Uribe said.

"Better yet, the Dominican police found out that my gun was not discharged, and the paraffin tests on me were also negative," Uribe said.

"I'm innocent and I will prove that in court. I hope that this can be solved very soon to [clear] my name, and my family can relax," he said.

Uribe, 27, batted .235 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI last season and will earn $4.15 million in 2007, his fourth season as the White Sox's regular shortstop. A club spokesperson said the team expects the player without delay for spring training.

"The White Sox know all about the case," Uribe said.