Baltimoron in DC
When You Get Caught Between Charm City and Chocolate City

Put the beer can down, Sidney

From the A.P. :

Orioles’ Ponson arrested, charged with DUI
Pitcher stopped on I-95 early today for following too closely
The Associated Press
Originally published August 25, 2005, 7:12 AM EDT

Baltimore Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson was arrested early this morning for driving under the influence and driving while impaired, WJZ-TV has reported.

The arrest was made after a traffic stop at 1:31 a.m. on southbound Interstate 95, south of I-395, said Maryland Transportation Authority Police Corporal Pamela Thorne.

Thorne said Ponson was driving a 2005 Mercedes-Benz and was stopped for following to closely. He was subsequently arrested for the traffic violation, DUI and DWI and has been released.

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Sad thing is, though – this isn’t the first time, second time, or even fifth alcohol-related incident he’s had.

When I lived in Canton, I saw him and Scott Erickson come into Looney’s on a Sunday night, and Sidney was *BEYOND* plastered. Couldn’t walk down the stairs. He slurred his words, babbled, spit up, punched at a stripper – all in a night of fun. He was scheduled to pitch in 36 hours.

I’ve seen him out at all sorts of Baltimore hot spots – Club One, Power Plant, Bay Cafe – and each time he was just buttered up. He can drink a goodly amount of booze, and he’s the life of the party, but he’s doing way too much. He’s now no longer a talented pitcher pissing away his talent – he’s an alcoholic pissing away his LIFE.

He is literally the life of the party when he gets going. Absolutely hilarious guy, boisterous, fun-loving – the kind of dude you want to have a beer with. He’s a laughing sort, always friendly, kinda like that fat drunk fraternity guy who you just couldn’t help but to like. He’d have been a fantastic Baltimore Colt, circa 1959, when you could walk into the corner bar and guys would buy you a Premium because you were a Colt. Well, Sidney’s in that mold, but he’s also getting the Grey Goose to chase his beer. He’s got great taste in drinks, but an unquenchable thirst.

But, just like the fat drunk fraternity guy, you also have to pity him, because fat drunk and stupid is no way to get through life, son.

If the O’s are smart, they shut him down this year, and put him in detox. They can’t mandate it because of the player’s union, but if there’s ever been a guy who needs it, it’s Sidney. He needs to get off the sauce. If he wasn’t a baseball pitcher, he’d be in jail for a while. This has been a bad year for him, and he’s hitting rock bottom. This is the moment of clarity for an alcoholic, if he has one, because he’s really in trouble now. 2 drunk driving charges, an assault on the beach and a fight at the bar, and that’s just the stuff we know about in the past 12 months. He also had a charge against him in the minor leagues. What else might be lurking on his rapidly-expanding rap sheet?

Sidney doesn’t need to go to AAA, he doesn’t need to go on the DL – he needs to go to A.A. and the Betty Ford Clinic before he kills himself or somebody else. Wasting baseball talent is one thing; wasting lives is another.

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