By Mike Silva ~ March 17th, 2010. Filed under: Independent Baseball, Mike Silva.
Former Yankees pitcher Sidney Ponson has signed with the Long Island Ducks.
To see how far the Yankees pitching has come, Ponson started 15 games in 2008, going 4-4 with an ERA of 5.85. He also made a cameo with the team in 2006 starting 3 games. Last year in Kansas City Ponsonís ERA was just under 8.00.
I always find it interesting what former stars will sign in the Independent League. You never know what could come out of it since just a couple of years ago Brandon Knight was starring for the Somerset Patriots, was signed by the Mets, and wound up pitching big games for them in September.
Ponson, an Aruba native, is known for his brushes with the Law. In 2004 he was charged with punching an Aruban judge following a complaint about how he handled his power boat. This incident landed him in jail for 11 days.
A year later Ponson was arrested for a DUI while driving in Florida and almost couldnít enter Canada to pitch in a series against Toronto that season. A couple of months later he was again arrested in Maryland for a DWI and subsequently was released.
Knowing Ponsonís history, I canít see this as a long term relationship in Long Island. I also think teams focus on youth versus age is going against Ponson. The baseball gods may finally have come calling for his career.
Ponson is actually a celebrity back in Aruba. When I was there for my honeymoon in 2005, the Marriott sports bar has a huge signed photo of him hanging up the restaurant. It very well may be the only one of its kind in existence.
Good luck Sidney, I am sure I will see you at the ballpark.