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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

 

Second Chances and Tempered Expectations

Commentary from Cards fans spans the spectrum of reactions, with some being particularly harsh, with several seeming to think it's a bad signing based solely on his off-field problems. Here's the thing. Yes, I'll make the occasional drinky-drinky reference, but it really sounds like the guy is sincere about wanting a second chance. Right now, we have to take him at his word on that. It's also a positive sign that he seems willing to admit his behavior was a problem, unlike Leonard Little who just kind of got to walk away from manslaughter without admitting any sort of personal culpability in the matter. Ponson could have easily blamed his problems on some other demon and waited for the players union to reach a settlement for him against Baltimore for cutting their ties with him and then retreated to some Aruban beach to drink umbrella drinks the rest of his life. There is no shortage of cliches you could insert here, so let me just say that it takes something extra to admit you screwed up and harness a sincere desire to overcome those mistakes. Giving people who are willing to earn one a second chance is one of the more admirable planks of our cultural foundation. I am willing to grant him that as a human being, and I sincerely hope it works out for the best, as a human AND as a Cardinals fan. Now, let's remember what role Ponson is being expected to assume. Clearly we have signed ourselves a 5th starter, not an ace, not even a middle of the rotation guy. This isn't someone that needs to go out there and post 8 K/9, he needs to go out there and give the team a chance to win the game. The fifth starter doesn't need to put up a sub-3.00 ERA, he just needs to throw the ball over the plate for six or seven innings without giving up 6 runs every time he starts. At $1M guaranteed, he's way below the market for 5th starters this year, and if he reaches the incentives for $2.5M all the better for us because he'll still be an incredibly cheap option. Welcome to St. Louis Sydney, let's hope it's for the best.
Comments:
Hell Yea this is a good move. Look at the market and what we got this guy at. 2 years ago he was a blue chipper at the trade deadline. Let's get rid of Marquis for an outfielder and watch Ponson settle in for a few years in his new role. I believe he will exceed expectations. When Carpenter came here he had a career high 12 wins.Get ready to watch a transformation and a possible 20 game winner (unlikely but possible).
 
i'll take 12 even
 
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