Fatty Sidney Ponson Busted For Weight Loss Drug

One of the universe’s greatest unsolved mysteries, up there with quantum physics and the question of extraterrestrial life, is the continued employment of MLB “pitcher” Sidney Ponson. Ponson, a known menace and professional DUI-getter, has a career record of 90-106 and an ERA of just under 5.00. His mediocrity on the mound is only a small part of the tale, though. Ponson has been jettisoned from nearly every team he’s every played for (a total of seven teams) for being some combination of bad/fat/drunk/stupid/unlikeable. Yet, the man still has a job on a Major League roster (well, OK, Kansas City, but still).

Sidney Ponson

(There is a link on Ponson’s Wikipedia profile titled “Sidney Ponson Uncut.” I suggest you not click it.)

Even more confounding than his continued employment is the news that Ponson, who maybe weighed 250 lbs in middle school, tested positive for a WEIGHT-LOSS stimulant at the World Baseball Classic. Weight. Loss. Sidney. Ponson. Head asplode.

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Speed Read: Is Brodeur The Greatest Goalie Ever?

It’s hard at this moment to put into perspective what Martin Brodeur accomplished last night by becoming the NHL’s all-time leader in wins as a goaltender. For one, there’s no such thing as a tie anymore and Marty has had his share of shootout wins over the past few seasons. But it’s clear that this is a big deal, especially since Brodeur — a Montreal native — passed his childhood idol Patrick Roy to get the record.

Martin Brodeur

(Would you know this was one of the 10 best hockey players of all time if you saw him walking down the street?)

But just think how huge the celebration of this record would have been if Brodeur had played his entire career just 5 1/2 miles east of at Madison Square Garden instead of at the afterthought that is the Meadowlands (and if he had led the Blueshirts to three Stanley Cups instead of the Devils. And yes, I know the Devils play in Newark now, but that’s only been a little over a year). As someone who’s lived in New York, I know firsthand that those 5 1/2 miles might as well be 500 miles, considering how little attention is paid to the Devils and Nets in the city.

That’s not a knock on the Devils’ franchise, which has quite clearly been superior to the Rangers for 15 years now, mostly because of Brodeur.  It’s just that he’s never really been a superstar — that guy who’s a must-see along the lines of Gretzky, Lemieux, Roy, Ovechkin, Crosby, and any number of other guys who draws huge crowds wherever they go. And that’s largely because he’s been fairly anonymous despite playing in the largest market in the NHL. He’s never even filled his own building on a regular basis. Heck, you can count the number of Devils sellout crowds on one hand most years. They can’t even pack their barn for playoff games. I bought tickets to a 2003 Stanley Cup Finals game the day before from Ticketmaster.

When Brodeur retires with what will likely be many more wins (100 more? 200?) than Roy, he will have set a bar that may never be topped. But will he be remembered as fondly as the NHL’s other greats? Personally, as a hockey fan, I kind of a agree with this guy:

Roy fan taunts Brodeur

I think Brodeur is a great technical goaltender who’s been fortunate to be able to play at high level for many years. But he always has had a great defensive team in front of him — something many other great goaltenders like Dominik Hasek and Ed Belfour were not blessed with on a regular basis. But for my money, but Roy is still the best I’ve ever seen.

Do you have WBC fever yet? Do you know it’s even happening? As if we needed further evidence that America’s attention is squarely on college basketball this month, America’s scintillating 9th-inning comeback victory over Puerto Rico last night — which avenged P.R.’s 11-1 mercy-rule win over the U.S. a few days ago and sent the Americans into the semifinals — was seen by an announced crowd of just over 13,000 at Dolphins Stadium in Miami. To put it into perspective, the Korea-Japan game in San Diego drew more than 15,000. To recap: it’s our national pastime, in our country, playing against an American territory with a large population in the Miami area, and we couldn’t outdraw the Korea-Japan game. The U.S. team is now apparently taking this all very seriously, after nearly deciding to drop out of the tournament because too many people were getting hurt. I’m going to put the probability at about 98% that this is the last World Baseball Classic.

As it happened, though, it was a great game. Shane Victorino drew the ire of the Puerto Ricans in the 7th inning when he “accidentally” deflected a ball thrown in from the outfield while he was running the bases, allowing him to take an extra base. If the game wasn’t close, he likely would’ve taken one off his ear flap the next time up. Puerto Rico had a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the 9th, but the U.S. rallied, culminating in David Wright’s 2-run single that won it, setting off a genuinely boisterous celebration.

WBC celebration

The NIT started last night with eight matchups, and “snubbed” teams like San Diego State and Saint Mary’s came through with victories. Stephen Curry did his usual thing, scoring 32 as Davidson won at South Carolina. Meanwhile, only 2,039 people bothered to show up in South Bend to see Notre Dame beat UAB. Kentucky played its first game at Lexington’s Memorial Coliseum since 1976 because Rupp Arena had a scheduling conflict, and the Wildcats downed UNLV in front of a sell-out crowd.

Stephen Curry

(Steph’s team wouldn’t make an NCAA run this year, so isn’t it better that we might see him take the NIT crown?)

• Should the Astros follow up their signing of Pudge Rodriguez with Pedro Martinez? Some commenters on BASEBALL PROSPECTUS think it’s all crazy enough to work, but BP’s Will Carroll is just shaking his head at Ed Wade (who says the team has had no conversations with Pedro, for what it’s worth).

Oh, God. Yes, that’s A-Rod making out with himself:

Alex Rodriguez making out with himself

Morehead State beat Alabama State in the game the NCAA refuses to call the “play-in” game.  Their reward? A beatdown by Louisville on Friday. In fact, the Cards beat Morehead 79-41 earlier this season, so expect the line to be set somewhere around 38 on this one. The tragedy in all of this? No more chances to see Grlenntys Chief Kickingstallionsims, Jr. play.

• According to MLIVE, players for the Lions are no longer permitted to talk to the media unless it’s been cleared with the team’s media relations department first. Because if there’s any organization that has a pristine reputation to uphold, it’s the Detroit Lions.

• Florida State president T.K. Wetherell kinda lost it in a press conference yesterday, so says the ORLANDO SENTINEL. First, he referred to Bobby Bowden’s first school (Samford) as a “dipsh*t school,” then he outlined a hypothetical way that the ‘Noles could beat Florida, which includes a frighteningly well-thought-out fraud scheme involving Tim Tebow and fake schoolwork submitted in his name.

• PASSION AND PRIDE cautions against Phillies fans panicking about Cole Hamels‘ injury. It looks like he has no structural damage to his elbow, but still. 260 innings last year.

• ROYALS REVIEW warns against a cheeseburger shortage in KC, with Billy Butler and Sidney Ponson now both in town (and isn’t Ponson just the perfect Royals guy?)

Sidney Ponson cheeseburgers

Steve Nash is really excited that Vancouver’s going to get an MLS team, as his Twitter feed indicates. With the rate the MLS is expanding, Nash will probably be playing for them after his deal with the Suns expires.  So now the MLS has two Canadian teams. It’s all part of a master plan to start gradually putting MLS teams in other countries. The league clearly believes it’s about time that the rest of the world gets some exposure to soccer.

• Speaking of soccer, it’s time to bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups! The frontrunner? Gotta be Qatar.

• The AP reports that two sled dogs died in the Iditarod yesterday. Their hometown? Wasilla. The cause of death is unknown, but it probably has to do with running in the snow in ridiculously freezing weather.

If you needed to win one hockey game, who would be your goalie?

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Speed Read: Dominican Dream Done In by Dutch

The Netherlands’ World Baseball Classic team showed just how awesome colonialism was with their second victory over the Dominican Republic yesterday, 2-1 in 11 innings. This unlikely series of events pushes the Netherlands team into the second round and eliminates the Dominican squad.

Netherlands World Baseball Classic

The Netherlands team’s combination of Arubans, Netherlands Antilles residents, and the occasional Dutch person bested the Dominicanos behind the power of their pitching in both games, no doubt buoyed by pitching coach Bert Blyleven.

If Blyleven can turn Sidney Ponson into a nominal pitcher again, he should launch past potential MLB pitching coach jobs and apply for beatification.

(We kid.  While the WBC is a watering hole for semi-famous former ballplayers, it’s not exactly a test of coaching mettle. Also, 24 walks in 29 innings isn’t worth bragging about. Small sample size, thy name is “first-round WBC exit for the DR”.)

Jay Cutler Broncos

Apparently, Jay Cutler doesn’t picture himself as chattel. He leans into the mirror and he sees a diabetic, perhaps. He probably sees a Pro Bowl quarterback. However, he just can’t see the piece o’meat others do.

Therefore, the healing process after his near-trade (okay, his far-trade) from the Broncos to Tampa (or Kansas City or what not) hasn’t gone smoothly. In fact, it’s more of a scab-picking competition between Broncos management and Cutler’s people. An attempt at a long-distance group hug fell apart yesterday and both sides are the worse for wear for it.

We just finished listening to Bill Simmons’ latest podcast with Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and, yes, he’s brilliant. However, he kept referring to his players as “assets” he needed to accumulate to gather different assets down the line.

This is all fine and true, but you don’t engender loyalty when you refer to your employees with the same terminology as you’d use to describe your real estate holdings.

So yes, it’s a big bad business and Cutler knew what he was in for when he signed up to be a professional ballplayer, but he doesn’t have to like it. Also, if he has the leverage, he doesn’t have to put up with it.

And hey… if the Broncos don’t need a 25-year-old quarterback that has proved more than competent for the job, maybe they can’t value their assets or their people as well as they could.

Tony Zendejas Los Angeles Rams

Former NFL placekicker Tony Zendejas found himself acquitted of rape charges by a Pomona jury yesterday. (The rather painful details have been covered here previously;  those sensitive to discussion of “anal tears” are encouraged to pass on the link.)

Club Zendejas

At least he can safely return to Party Time, Zendejas Time!!!!! now.

And now the proverbial hail of bullets while wrestling an injured lunatic ninja kangaroo in your living room

Ben Woodside of North Dakota State

Hulk Hogan shopping at Wal-Mart

Who are you rooting for in the WBC now?

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The Netherlands Upset The Dominican Republic?!

Yup, it just happened. Baseball finally has its single game of incredible significance. In a stunning upset — and yes, we realize the World Baseball Classic has no ramifications whatsoever – the Netherlands beat the high-powered Dominican Republic, 3-2, on Saturday in Puerto Rico. Yes, the Dutch beat the Dominicans. In baseball. We’re not making this up. Make no mistake, this isn’t Giants beating Patriots, this is Appalachian State knocking off Michigan.

gold member netherlands

(They’re going for the gooooold.)

Wondering which high powered names are on that Netherlands roster? Sidney Ponson, Randall Simon and … well, that’s about it. Really. It should be noted that neither of those guys has a current team, either. Need a bigger indication of just how slanted the talent was between these two teams? In the eighth inning, the Domincan Republic pinch ran with Jose Reyes, a perennial All-Star shortstop. In the ninth, the Netherlands brought up its clean-up hitter … who spent 2008 in A and AA.

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Bloggy Blogg: Carrie Underwood Hits Cleanup

  • WITH LEATHER has the former American Idol playing softball. Or, standing around during a softball game, anyway.

Carrie Underwood Celebrity Softball

  • Darren Rovell has the name of the NBA supplier that you’ve never heard of before at CNBC. Read more…