FanDuel - WFBC

September 01, 2005

Orioles Void Ponson's Contract: Sidney Ponson was released Thursday by the Baltimore Orioles, who contend the pitcher's conduct and problems with alcohol the past nine months give them grounds to void his contract. He went from number 1 pitcher in the rotation to out of a job by his own bizarre behavior .

posted by evil empire to baseball at 03:01 PM - 40 comments

pretty weak move if you ask me. so the guy has a drinking problem...better than shooting roids. if Raffy still has a locker in the clubhouse, how can they kick out Ponson?

posted by Sweet Lou at 03:09 PM on September 01

7-11 with a 6.11 ERA and is in the second year of a three-year contract. He was set to make $10 million next season. Sounds to me like the guy had more problems than just drinking. With numbers like that, could he even find the plate half the time? $10 million......thats one hell of a bar tab!!!!!!!

posted by jojomfd1 at 03:26 PM on September 01

It's not the drinking, per se, that they are voiding the contract for. It's the NUMEROUS run-ins with the law (drunk driving, assault, reckless endagerment) in the past 12 months that are giving them reason to void the contract. All Palmeiro did was break a league rule. It's the same as putting cork in your bat or scuffing the ball before a pitch.

posted by grum@work at 03:41 PM on September 01

Palmeiro committed perjury in Congress.

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:44 PM on September 01

Raffy cheated and it helped the O's win games. Ponson is a drunk whose life is falling appart. So, who would you turn your back on?

posted by Sweet Lou at 03:46 PM on September 01

Ponson's has a problem. And he also refused attempts to help him and repeatedly put other people's lives at risk. I have a certain amount of pity for him, but it's up to him to make the decision to get help. Maybe this will be the shock he needs.

posted by 86 at 03:50 PM on September 01

Oh, you guys are barking up the wrong tree. Ponson sucked and cost a shitload - plus he can't seem to get in shape, drinks too much and punches judges in the face. If he was 11-7, or had an ERA under 4, they'd probably try harder to make it work. Why blame the Orioles?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:56 PM on September 01

Ok, how are Raffy's #'s doing? Not too good since the shit hit the fan.

posted by Sweet Lou at 03:58 PM on September 01

Other than being disgraced teammates, this really doesn't have anything to do with Raffy. He's certainly had a better career and a longer track record than Ponson, and I'd bet he brings more people to the ballpark. Maybe, if Raffy's numbers don't improve, they'll drop him too. Maybe not.

posted by cl at 04:08 PM on September 01

Palmeiro committed perjury in Congress. Can someone point me to the announcement where he was actually charged with a crime? No? Then I don't think it's the same thing as being charged with 4 or more crimes in a 16 month span.

posted by grum@work at 04:19 PM on September 01

Raffy cheated and it helped the O's win games. Ponson is a drunk whose life is falling appart. So, who would you turn your back on? Neither. But the question before us is "Who would you be willing to pay?" not what you're asking.

posted by yerfatma at 04:33 PM on September 01

Raffy cheated and it helped the O's win games. How many times has he contributed enough to actually help his team make it to playoffs? But fans will buy tickets to watch him hit the big flies. Still generates revenue. Too bad for Ponson that no one wants to buy tickets to come out and see how big his hangover is.

posted by imanage at 04:44 PM on September 01

Raffy more than likely wont be back next year! We dont know what kind of intereaction that Raffy and his people have had with the Orioles. They may be allowing him to finish the year out of respect for his long career--who knows!?! Ponson needed to be be dealt with, before something bad happened. He had a contract,which he was violating, obviously. Looks like he is at the point where he needs to hit bottom.....

posted by daddisamm at 04:51 PM on September 01

I agree with Weedy. The guy had a drinking problem, was an embarassment to the organization, but, above all else, he sucked on the mound. If he had all these run-ins with the law and alcohol problems, etc. but was still managing to win a lot of games and get guys out, we wouldn't be having this conversation. The team would ride it out until he couldn't pitch anymore (which, in this case, was months ago).

posted by dyams at 05:35 PM on September 01

Like all pro sports, it's a "what have you done for me lately" thing. Ponson was good, but this year he pitched like crap. So the Orioles got rid of him in a way they thought they were entitled. They figured his personality problems and drinking problem made his pitching lousy, and they were paying him for good pitching. This wasn't just some technical flaw that Ponson could work on in the bullpen to correct. If he was pitching well ... that's another story. But the stats and facts prove otherwise, so the Orioles acted.

posted by roberts at 06:02 PM on September 01

If he had all these run-ins with the law and alcohol problems, etc. but was still managing to win a lot of games and get guys out, we wouldn't be having this conversation. See: David Wells.

posted by LionIndex at 07:08 PM on September 01

My point is that both guys have a drug problem. And both guys have crap stats lately. The O's claimed to release a guy for his drinking problem. Why not the same for the other guy with the drug problem since that guy dragged down his 20+ years in the sport, the O's, MLB and all pro-sports?

posted by Sweet Lou at 09:30 PM on September 01

The O's claimed to release a guy for his drinking problem. They released him because of his run-ins with the law. If he had been sober and gotten arrested for starting fights and had this bad a season with this big of a (future) contract, they would have still released him. To say they cut him because of his drinking is to twist the story just to make the Palmeiro connection. Also, they could cut Palmeiro because of the 10-game suspension, but I think the Players Union would have filed a greivance with an arbitrator. You are not allowed to release a player from your roster less than 60 days after the suspension. Finally, they might not be able to drop Palmeiro's contract under the same provision ("for conduct which violated the terms of his Uniform Players Contract") because the failure of a drug test probably not qualify as such under the collective bargaining agreement (and may be explicitly outlined as such in the agreement).

posted by grum@work at 11:11 PM on September 01

if the O's cut him becuase his record lately has been terrible, that would one thing. but they cite the "morals clause" in everything i've seen about Ponson. they signed Ponson when he was 16 years old. 13 years ago. you really think they would cut him for havign a bad patch in his pitching? that's when guys get sent to the minors for a while. the guy has got a drinking problem and his stat stink right now. but Raffy has a roid problem and his stats suck even worse. only one of those guys deserves some help and support.

posted by Sweet Lou at 07:09 AM on September 02

Oh my god. Ponson cost 10 million a year and is an asshole. They tried to make him a number 1 starter for 13 years. He isn't. Bye bye. The morals clause is just a lip service PR sound bite. Why are you being fooled by this? I absolutely fail to see how Palmerio (who isn't making as much money) is related to any of this in the slightest. Prior to his suspension, Raffy stats did not suck worse, in fact, they currently do not suck worse. You equate his steriod use with Ponson's drinking - there is no relationship. One is performance enhancing and not a self-medicater. The other... Is the opposite!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:18 AM on September 02

... What I mean is - the Orioles feel that they can get out of the mistake of Ponson's contract by using the morals clause - the reality has nothing to do with his off-field activities, but his on-field activities. I suspect that this will fall apart for the Orioles on appeal, and they will be forced to buy the contract out, or pay him - but he'll never pitch for them again.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:02 AM on September 02

Just imagine , San Diego actually WANTED him in a trade for Nevin. What were they thinking (or smoking ).

posted by evil empire at 09:18 AM on September 02

A Drunk Millionaire.... ? He must have been drowning his sorrows out after each start.

posted by Sports Sage at 09:53 AM on September 02

San Diego actually WANTED him in a trade for Nevin. What were they thinking (or smoking ). That he'd be a better value (production/$) than Nevin's bloated corpse. Tough math, corpse valuation. I guess they figured changing leagues might help, but it didn't do Sid much good in SF.

posted by yerfatma at 10:01 AM on September 02

You don't have to be charged with a crime to have committed one.

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:45 AM on September 02

And vice-versa.

posted by yerfatma at 12:03 PM on September 02

How the mighty have fallen. From number one starter to nothing at all in a matter of hours. Baseball is a crazy sport isn't it?

posted by melcarek69 at 12:13 PM on September 02

You can watch his congressional testimony for all the evidence you need. He's under oath up there. Raffy's lies are perjury.

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:56 PM on September 02

Not if he didn't know he was taking them. Remote sure, but if you're just going to speak of it all black and white, well - that's his defense. Prove him wrong and then you can boldly and with absolute certainty convict him of perjury.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:38 PM on September 02

You can watch his congressional testimony for all the evidence you need. He's under oath up there. Raffy's lies are perjury. Except, you don't know that for sure. He tested positive for banned substance AFTER the congressional hearing. At the time of the hearing, he might have been steroid free. Sure, it's probable that he did use steroids before that time, but it's not "beyond a shadow of a doubt" (with the current information). So with your "evidence", he'd probably avoid conviction for perjury. Heck, he'll probably avoid prosecution entirely. Which Ponson was unable to do.

posted by grum@work at 01:41 PM on September 02

Oh come on...who's being naive now?

posted by Sweet Lou at 02:03 PM on September 02

Accusing him of doing steriods knowlingly is one thing - accusing him of perjury is another. Naive is not knowling the difference.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:14 PM on September 02

Accusing him? Raffy got caught and hasn't even really denied it. We're all still waiting for his explanation. but, it's starting to feel like OJ's search for the real killers.

posted by Sweet Lou at 02:28 PM on September 02

The idea that he would come out so hard against 'roids, then try them for the first time immediately afterwards, stretches credibility to the limit. All Palmeiro did was break a league rule. This is what I responded to. If he didn't exactly perjure himself (and even armchair lawyers like youse can beat that rap), he certainly embarrassed himself, his team, and the league at a time when MLB was red-faced already. That's more than just breaking a league rule.

posted by Hugh Janus at 03:01 PM on September 02

Accusing him? Raffy got caught and hasn't even really denied it. He didn't get caught BEFORE the congressional hearing, and that's the difference between accusing him of perjury and actually charging him with the crime of perjury. My point is that Palmeiro hasn't been charged with any crime yet, while Ponson has been charged with numerous crimes (in the USA and Aruba). That's why the comparison between them is very weak. he certainly embarrassed himself, his team, and the league at a time when MLB was red-faced already. That's more than just breaking a league rule. No, it's not. It is just breaking a league rule. It's not a criminal offence. Ponson has been charged with many criminal offences, and Palmeiro has not been charged with one. Ponson's acts could have/have already caused injury to other people (assault, DUI), while Palmeiro has done nothing to injure (or potentially cause injury) to anyone with his steroid use. Ponson's acts could land him many days in jail, while Palmeiro's act got the same level of in-game punishment as having the equipment on the mound to doctor a baseball (see Donnelly, Brendan). If you can't tell the difference between what they've done...

posted by grum@work at 03:47 PM on September 02

Ponson hasn't come into my discussion of Palmeiro, and shouldn't. For Raffy to speak out so strongly against 'roids in Congress, and get caught afterward using them, is terrible for baseball. Performance enhancing drugs are worse than scuffed balls. if a kid wants to be a spitballer, he'll throw spit. You can run it out of him. If he wants to power hit, he'll juice up. Why not? Palmeiro did.

posted by Hugh Janus at 09:22 PM on September 02

Performance enhancing drugs are worse than scuffed balls. if a kid wants to be a spitballer, he'll throw spit. You can run it out of him. If he wants to power hit, he'll juice up. Why not? Palmeiro did. I'm not sure what you are saying here. P.E.D.s (supposedly) give a player an unfair advantage. Scuffing the ball gives the pitcher an unfair advantage. What does "You can run it out of him." mean?

posted by grum@work at 01:28 PM on September 04

Throwing spitballs doesn't cause lasting damage to Little Leaguers' bodies. Performance enhancing drugs do. You can teach a kid (with plenty of windsprints - "run it out") to stop scuffing balls. You can't discipline liver damage. If you can't tell the difference...

posted by Hugh Janus at 06:50 PM on September 04

I just had no idea what the phrase "run it out of him" meant. I'll remind you we are talking about adults doing their job in the majors, not kids in Little League. I'm pretty sure no professional pitcher has had the idea of cheating "run out of them". If anything, it's probably a nod and a wink and a "don't get caught next time" response from the manager/team. For evidence of this, check out the Hall of Fame resume of Gaylord Perry, admitted cheat.

posted by grum@work at 07:18 PM on September 04

What HOF shoo-ins do influences kids' behavior. I think that's a big reason why the league avoids bad publicity -- MLB has a big young audience. They trot these guys out before Congress with this message: don't do these drugs. They're harmful to your body. The target audience for this message is kids. Congress doesn't care if they scuff balls. They just don't want America's young jocks dying of testicular cancer before they reach the majors.

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:12 AM on September 05

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