Elbo: Sidney Ponson, Sad But True

I realize I'm chiming in for the first time in weeks just to say something negative, but there's no question in my mind that Sidney Ponson was a bust for the Giants. Quite frankly, I think he'll be a bust as an Oriole again too.

Most of my impressions of Ponson were formed early in his career, when I still lived in Baltimore. He had a reputation back then for being quite talented, but was regarded as an immature pitcher who couldn't keep his head together once he got in trouble. (He also notoriously rented a limousine ride to New York and back for a Metallica concert the night before a start against the Yankees in Baltimore. Ponson didn't exactly ride the lightning against the Yanks the next day, as you might imagine!) Everything about his one winning season says "Dreifort" to me.

As for his tenure here in SF, I agree that he pitched better than his 3-6 record indicates. But that trade was supposed to round out a championship team, or at least get the Giants back to the World Series. Instead, as Shea states, we got a pitcher who was hammered in the playoffs, and didn't exactly dominate down the stretch, showing the same old lack of ability to pitch out of trouble. What's more, we lost Kurt Ainsworth in that deal (although, thankfully, we found somewhere to send Damian Moss.)

I'm looking for Ponson to be around .500 this year, for Javy Lopez to do a pretty fair imitation of Javy Lopez rather than Yogi Berra, and for a good solid .285/34/100 out of Tejada. Palmeiro should be just fine, if a step slower. The O's won't contend with the Yanks and Sox, though they may pass the Jays in the standings.


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