Another bullet dodged

Jeff · December 21, 2005 at 10:47 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Sir Sidney Ponson got out of jail and back into the major leagues in the same 24-hour period. Fortunately, it wasn’t the Mariners who took a flyer on him, but the Cardinals.

Besides getting into numerous scrapes off the field, Sir Sid has been wretched on the mound the last couple of years. This is a signing the M’s were wise not to make.

Another item of, uh, interest:

Ponson will be a different looking pitcher. Since reaching the major leagues in 1998, he has pitched with his head shaved. Photographed leaving the central booking center following his arrest Monday, Ponson sported a full head of dark hair.

That’s just the type of detail you expect from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Between this and ESPN’s coverage of the pressing “Johnny-Damon-will-have-to-shave” issue, it’s barber day in baseball.


77 Responses to “Another bullet dodged”

  1. Evan on December 21st, 2005 5:20 pm

    On offense, I see one hole. DH.
    On defense, I see one hole. LF.
    In the bullpen, I see no holes.

    But the rotation still isn’t good. Felix is good. Moyer is both bad and adequate. Washburn is bad. Meche is terrible. Pineiro is terrible.

    Last season, our offense was poor, but it was our dreadful pitching that killed us. Our pitching is still dreadful.

  2. Jim Thomsen on December 21st, 2005 5:31 pm

    #51: I think you’re being a tad pessimistic.

    The Washburn signing is bad because it’s too long for too much money, but he projects to be at least a league-average starter in 2006. Piniero should be about the same as the second half of 2005 … he’s only terrible in comparison to what he used to be. Meche is Meche. At best, he’ll sponge up 200 innings at 0.5 VORP level. They’re not good, but they’re not guaranteed to cost you every start.

  3. wabbles on December 21st, 2005 5:31 pm

    We are set at first, third, shortshop, catcher and right. We’re pretty good at second and center. We have gaping holes at DH (first time in a decade) and left field. The bullpen is solid. The rotation is King Felix, Washburn, Moyer and pray for rain. Perhaps not horrible, but not nearly what we M’s fans had come to expect for those few brief years. (And that’s for $90 million or whatever.)

  4. seddrah on December 21st, 2005 5:34 pm

    Until I had read all of these pro-Jeremy Reed sentiments recently on this site, I was pretty down on his [offensive] abilities. Enough so that I think I’ve referred to him as “hands-down the worst starter in baseball” That said, maybe I’ve been too hasty with the criticism, and I agree to give him another chance in 06, But…

    what would be so wrong about 1) signing Eric Byrnes and 2) trading Reed for Arrojo?

  5. wabbles on December 21st, 2005 5:47 pm

    So things look okay, but they may not stay that way. But my earlier point was that, given the way this off-season is going, we still could get a huge hole blown in center and who knows where else.

  6. Matt on December 21st, 2005 5:49 pm

    RE: Olivo I’m pretty sure he stunk up winter ball which didn’t help his case for a long term deal.

  7. Southpaw on December 21st, 2005 5:58 pm

    As long as Tony Womack, Neifi Perez, and the 2005 version of Christian Guzman have major league jobs, Reed isn’t within the universe of worse starter in baseball.

    Washburn isn’t bad, he might even be “good” he’s just a terrible sign for the years and money. But giving him SafeCo, I’d expect somewhere around a 4.00 ERA and 180-200 IP. It’s nowhere near good, and it’s nowhere near 9.25M good, but it’s better than average.

    The Ms still have holes, yes, but every team has holes. Lets face it, 06 success rests way more on Reed, Beltre, Lopez, Betancourt, Ichiro improving on 05 than the difference between Millwood and Washburn.

    That being said, there’s still a lot of time left and a lot more moves to be made this offseason. As far as I’m concerned, Millwood is still available and you gotta expect Meche is getting dealt.

  8. Southpaw on December 21st, 2005 6:01 pm

    Based on the new wave of media reports, which are usually 2-3 days behind actual GM conversations anyways, Reed for Clement or Reed for Arroyo just isn’t happening. Bavasi wanted more than that before Damon signed and now that Damon’s in NY (ouch, damn that lineup is scary for the next 1-2 years), Bavasi can basically start the asking price at Papelbon or Lester. Who knows, maybe Manny actually gets traded somewhere…

  9. joran on December 21st, 2005 6:19 pm

    What about Papplebon for Reed

  10. seddrah on December 21st, 2005 6:25 pm

    The Yankees have a knack for signing guys who’ve burned them in the past: Damon, A-rod, Giambi, Unit, Tino Martinez, and the list goes on.

    That lineup will be ridiculous, but I heard that even with the addition of Damon, the Yanks will end up shedding about $25 million from the payroll from last season.

  11. Jeff on December 21st, 2005 6:50 pm
  12. Ralph Malph on December 21st, 2005 7:40 pm

    Why Olivo’s San Diego numbers are not likely to be sustained:

    With Seattle in 05 (K/BB): 4/49
    With San Diego in 05: 4/31

    Do you realize Olivo’s OPS+ for Seattle in 2005 was 17? Of course if you think that’s bad, Spiezo’s was -23.

  13. msb on December 21st, 2005 8:32 pm

    KOMO was playing a little snippet of Gammons gammonsing on about the likelihood of Reed to Boston, opining that a month ago the Sox could have had him for Clement, but now, esp. as everyone in baseball knows that Reed might be the best defensive centerfielder in the AL….

  14. Jim Thomsen on December 21st, 2005 8:35 pm

    Bill James wrote years ago in one of his Baseball Abstracts that any BB/K ratio worse than 1/3 was a strong indicator that success in other offensive categories — power and batting average, primarily — was unsustainable over more than a few career-peak seasons.

    Which is partly why analysts keep predicting that players like Alfonso Soriano are due for a monster numerical nosedive.

  15. Revenant Edgar on December 21st, 2005 9:01 pm

    Is it too early to decide who won the Garcia for Reed-Morse-Olivo trade?

  16. Jim Thomsen on December 21st, 2005 9:12 pm


  17. joran on December 21st, 2005 9:21 pm

    I disagree with anyone who thinks willie is a poor fielder. He is awesome hitting and fielding.

  18. eponymous coward on December 21st, 2005 9:24 pm


    If we trade Reed for Balki Arroyo, though, I pretty much know what my vote is going to be.

  19. Typical Idiot Fan on December 21st, 2005 9:30 pm

    Peripheral study:

    Washburn: K/9 4s-6s – BB/9 2s – GO:AO less then 1 – ERA 3s-4s
    Ponson: K/9 4s-6s – BB/9 3s – GO:AO 1.6-2.0 – ERA 4s-6s
    Garland: K/9 4s-5s – BB/9 2s – GO:AO 1.3-1.4 – ERA 3s-4s


    Washburn had only one good year, guess what his peripherals were then.
    Ponson just needs to walk fewer people with his groundball tendencies.
    Garland is better then Washburn by a measurable groundball tendency.

    I have a theory that you can have a good K/9 to offset a bad GO:AO. Washburn himself did it in 2002. Chris Young did pretty well last year with it. Etc.

    I also believe a good GO:AO can offset a bad K/9. Garland did it last year. Ponson has done it before. There are others.

    But if you have a bad BB/9? Well, you’re Kip Wells:

    Wells: K/9 6s-7s – BB/9: 3s-4s – GO:AO 1.2-1.6. ERA: 3-5s.

    Guess which years he had 3 ERAs and which years hs had 5s. Give you a hint, the BB/9 was lower then it is now.

    The ultimate thesis to my theory?

    K/9: 3.2 – BB/9: 2.4 – GO:AO: 3.08 – ERA: 4.05

    Keep an eye on Chien-ming Wang.

  20. Revenant Edgar on December 21st, 2005 9:37 pm

    68 – If that happens, my vote will be the same as yours – Bavasi lost.

    69 – would you provide a legend for those acronyms?

  21. Jim Thomsen on December 21st, 2005 9:53 pm

    #67: I agree … Willie Mays is awesome.

  22. Revenant Edgar on December 21st, 2005 9:59 pm

    71 – I thought of Willie Mays as well.

    Happy Birthday! Josh Gibson!

  23. joran on December 21st, 2005 10:19 pm


  24. Revenant Edgar on December 21st, 2005 10:23 pm

    Here are Willie’s OPS+ for the last 3 seasons:

    2003 – 72
    2004 – 65
    2005 – 66

    Should it be renamed OPS- in Willie’s honor?

  25. Revenant Edgar on December 21st, 2005 10:29 pm

    The gives this entry for todays birthdays:

    1911 Josh Gibson, baseball player for the Negro Leagues, Home-Run King

    Home-Run King!

    Historians are well-known for checking facts and here is yet another example of good work.

  26. Dick Pole on December 21st, 2005 11:00 pm


    Ponson, in addition to throwing more strikes, needs to drink less, screw his head on, stay out of jail and God only knows what else is going on with him. Besides that he’s had only one, maybe two good seasons. Mariner’s don’t need to add codependency to the list of ills they’ve aquired over the past few seasons. They’ll have their hands full with Carl. That said, a team like St. Louis has little to lose if/when Ponson flames out.

  27. goodbye baseball on December 22nd, 2005 9:04 am

    Ponson will have another reason to drink — when deposed Mets closer Braden Looper ruins whatever strong performances he has with some horrible late-inning relief. Isringhausen can’t close games if Looper keeps giving up the leads. Guess the Cardinals will be fine as long as their starters go eight innings.