Wednesday, December 21, 2005

FROM THE RED STATES

Well I imagine the STL Police Dept. is now placed on a high state of alert because the St. Louis Cardinals just signed Sidney Ponson to a 1 year incentive based contract. Ponson, who was just released from jail about a week ago now finds himself in a Cardinal uniform.

I have mixed feelings on this deal. On one hand Ponson has tremendous upside, alot of talent , and if we get the Ponson of 2003 then this would be a tremendous signing for the Cards. However, Ponson has a history of not being able to stay away from the booze. He's had several DUI's and was just released from jail for punching a federal judge. This is a huge gamble for Walt Jocketty, especially if he is now planning on trading Jason Marquis for a much needed outfielder, that means we are counting on Dave Duncan and his magical pitching dust to resurrect the pitching career of Ponson the way he has done for the likes of Chris Carpenter, Daryl Kile, Kent Bottenfield, Dave Stewart, and Bob Welch from years past.

The Cardinals have a long history of taking guys with a troubled past and turning their careers around. Jim Edmonds was considered a problem child in Anaheim, Scott Rolen was productive in Philly, but also had a reputation as a trouble maker. Even going as far back as George Hendrick in the early 80's. This is a low risk signing, only giving him a one year deal, laced with incentives so if Ponson goes off the deep end then were not really out too much. But if he realizes that his career is on the line and pitches up to his talent level then a big contract is a year away, but if he bottoms out then this time next year he might be coaching the Bad News Bears.

I think it is a safe gamble with the professionalism of this team with the likes of Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen, Carpenter, and Suppan that Ponson will fall in line. With our defense and the new ballpark which from the sounds of it will be a pichers paradise, Ponson could have a big year in St. Louis.

We might be looking back on this deal as another one of those little deals that make Jocketty one of the best in the business. We better, especially if we trade Marquis for an outfielder because if that happens we go from just taking a chance on Ponson to needing him as our 5th starter. Then if Anthony Reyes is not as good as advertised and combine that with a drunken, beligerant Ponson, than 40% of our rotation is screwed, as well as our 2006 season.