What Fresh Hell Is This?

Sidney Ponson?

Come on, seriously: Sidney Ponson?

You have to be kidding me.

Truly, there is very, very little that could give me more displeasure than seeing that fat Aruban hump toss a complete game gem in the Metrodome.

My displeasure wouldn’t be much diminished even if he had been wearing a Minnesota uniform.

(Here’s an aside from the Department of Incredulity: You all surely know that Sir Sidney Ponson was knighted in 2003 by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Still, though, that fact continues to boggle my mind, and I must confess that I didn’t even know that the Netherlands had a Queen, let alone a Queen named Beatrix. A year after being knighted, of course, Ponson slugged an Aruban judge and spent eleven days in jail. Five years later he should have been out of baseball and working in an Aruban Arby’s; but, no, there he was, the human grease trap, once again making a hazardous waste dump of the pitching mound and throwing a complete game against the Minnesota Twins, the team for which, in 2007, he posted a 2-5 record with a 6.93 ERA. Sometimes baseball sucks so much it can make you throw up your microwave burritos.)

As for the Twins, well, fellow fans, things aren’t exactly looking cheery for the local nine of late.

You all want to get your panties in a bunch about Delmon Young? Come on. We’ve got a whole lot of big problems that are a whole lot bigger than Delmon Young. Has he been a disappointment? Sure, but why pick on the new kid when there are so many of the old kids (Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel, for starters) deserving of your ire? The bottom of the order is –just as I feared– even worse than last year’s bottom of the order.

It seems like every day there’s another mangled or broken thumb or finger, and there are an awful lot of guys on that pitching staff of late who would look right at home in a Sid Ponson mask (the 2004-2007 model).

For years we’ve been spoon fed a party line that insisted the Twins played the game the right way. Something about that always struck me as 80% unreconstituted horseshit, but I’ll be damned if this current outfit hasn’t gone and kicked in the additional 20% and made me almost miss Tom Kelly. The defense and the bullpen –regarded as the strength of the team throughout the Gardenhire era– have been mostly brutal, and night after night we’ve been subjected to fundamental lapses that would give even a Legion coach fits.

Right now this team is next to last in the AL in homeruns, first in homeruns allowed, 12th in OBP, last in walks, and next to last in fielding percentage. They have a leadoff hitter who’s fifth in the league in strikeouts, ahead of Richie Sexson. All of those numbers would sure as hell seem to be a recipe for disaster.

Yet somehow the Twins are hanging in there at .500 and holding on to second place in the Central. If they’re going to maintain even a .500 pace, however, they for damn sure are going to have to stumble across some good news that’s a whole lot better than the bad news they’ve been running into on an almost daily basis.







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