Sir Sidney’s last stand

Another year in the books for full season leagues
Joba a reliever until at least '09

When the Yanks took a 4-0 lead after the first inning yesterday, I optimistically figured that Sidney Ponson would be safe. When Ponson gave one of those runs back in the first inning, I told my parents I wouldn’t feel good about the game until the Yanks scored 12 runs. Little did I know how prescient my worries would turn out to be.

In the second inning, the missing Yankee offense scored another four runs. An 8-1 lead, that has to be safe, right? Well, Ponson gave up another run in the second and had to pitch his way out of a bases loaded, one out situation. His luck would not hold up.

Enjoying an 11-2 lead by the time the fourth inning rolled around, Ponson gave up a single, home run, single, walk. An error by Robinson Cano allowed the Tigers to load the bases, and Joe Girardi opted to remove Ponson from the game. Edwar Ramirez would allow all three inherited runners to score, and while Edwar would give up another run in the fifth, the Yanks would hold on to win 13-9. It was ugly, but it was a win. I’ll take it.

What I won’t take is another start from Sidney Ponson this weekend. On Monday, Ponson threw three innings, giving up six earned runs on nine hits and a walk. Over his last three outings, Ponson has thrown 9.2 innings, and he’s been utterly terrible. He’s allowed 24 hits and six walks — a WHIP of 3.10 — while giving up 17 ER for a 15.83 ERA. All of this has earned Ponson a stay in the rotation, according to Girardi.

Right now, I just don’t get it. What has Ponson done on the Yankees that warrants another start? He’s got a 6.36 ERA while on the Yankees, and he’s no longer giving the team innings. He also hasn’t won since August 6. In other words, he’s not doing anything that Ian Kennedy hasn’t done this year.

The Yankees aren’t out of it yet this year. To make the playoffs, they would have to overcome ridiculously long odds. To do that, they’ll have to put the best possible product on the field. Sidney Ponson just isn’t part of that product. Even when he was 3-1 on the Yankees, he was still allowing nearly two base runners per inning. Now, he’s not getting outs at all.

The Yanks could use Al Aceves. He had a great appearance on Sunday and would slot in nicely this weekend. They could use Chase Wright. They could attempt to throw Ian Kennedy again. Kennedy, admittedly a disappointment this year, could regain his 2007 form. At least Kennedy has the ability to surprise us. Nowadays, we know what we’re getting from Ponson, and it ain’t good.

Another year in the books for full season leagues
Joba a reliever until at least '09
  • Hitman

    Joe has already said Ponson will be staying in the rotation after today.

    • Ben K.

      Right. I said that in the post. That’s not my point. My point is that he shouldn’t be staying in the rotation (or really on the team). I don’t know anyone other than Girardi who seems to feel that way.

      • Hitman

        Maybe Giradi sees something we don’t.

        • Ben K.

          There really hasn’t been much to see. This guy’s been an utter disaster since practically day one, and I don’t think Sidney Ponson is getting better any time soon. What you see is what you get.

          • Hitman

            I think Ponson got a pass because we won today’s game.

          • RustyJohn

            Exactly- his first couple of starts fell into the category of “that wasn’t great, but at least we got some innings and a couple of wins” and there were no other alternatives at the time. Even those first couple of games, watching him was like watching a ticking bomb. Every time he got out of a jam there was a huge sigh of relief that the “big one” didn’t come along that evening.

            He has had I think two starts since he has been with the team where he looked somewhat dominant- every other game it seems he has baserunners on every inning. I’d be curious to see how many 1-2-3 innings he’s had in August.

  • Kyle D.

    “In other words, he’s not doing anything that Ian Kennedy hasn’t done this year.” … except for getting the Yankees a W. Kennedy hasn’t even done that.

    And yes, I’m aware of how misleading a statistic wins are.

    • Kyle D.

      This year, that is.

  • Ajit

    Regardless of the teams direction now, Hughes or Aceves or Kennedy should start in place of Rasner and Ponson, if we have a chance they are atleast no worse than those two, and if we are out of it, might as well let them learn on the job.

  • Jamal G.

    I think too big a deal is being made of Joe Girardi’s post-game comments. Why would Joe Girardi say anything other than Sidney Ponson is “still in the rotation” before the Yankees can come to a conclusion on who will replace Ponson? Saying anything other than this would just lead to endless inquires on Ponson’s replacement that neither Girardi, Brian Cashman, or Ponson can answer at this time.

    Why play your hand until it’s time to do so?

    • Steve

      Exactly, when has Joe ever said anything except “He’s in our rotation”? He said that about IPK just before he was sent down both times.

      I agree completely with the sentiment of this post, but I can’t get too worked up about it. Its not like its the difference between us making the playoffs or not. But one of the things that I have left to look forward to in this season is seeing the kids we’ve all watched come through the system perform in the bigs. I’m just not sure Girardi is ready to raise the white flag and ‘play the kids’ just yet.

  • RustyJohn

    At this point I’d rather see Igawa instead of Ponson. If Pavano can be a blessing for a week, why not Igawa?

    The only ratonale I can see for starting Ponson over Hughes or Kennedy is that they’ve given up on the season, but don’t want to put Hughes or Kennedy in there for fear of 1) destroying what confidence they’ve built up in the minors or 2) attempting to increase any potential trade value they might have in the offseason.

    That being said, those two rationales are a stretch by any means of the imagination. So, that leaves us with a third explanation which is they are just being stupid.

    My disgust, for some reason, does not carry over to Rasner. He is a AAAA guy, who guts it out on not so great stuff- however, I never liked Ponson even when he was with the Orioles- he was a wasted talent. I like him even worse today, watching him go out there and suck ass.

    Watching Pettite pitch lately has been annoying too- there is no way they should bring him back next year unless he give a serious hometown discount.

    • Steve

      I think I’d rather be waterboarded in an Egyptian prison than have to watch Igawa again.

      I don’t think we’ll ever see Igawa pitch another game for the Yankees.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      “If Pavano can be a blessing for a week, why not Igawa?”


      10: Theological determinism
      9: The laws of thermodynamics
      8: Einstein’s theory of relativity
      7: Kepler’s laws of planetary motion
      6: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
      5: The Faraday constant
      4: The Kubler-Ross model
      3: Pope Gregory XIII’s 1582 papal bull “Inter gravissimas”, establishing the Gregorian calendar
      2: Popper’s criticism of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle
      1: Kei Igawa fucking sucks

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Wasn’t Faraday a starting pitcher for the Orioles in the early 80’s?

  • dkidd

    joba’s in the pen for the rest of the season, according to the daily news

  • http://2009 Haggs

    Say it ain’t Sidney.

    Seriously, anyone but him.

    I’d add though that if I/we liked Sidney, I/we would be sure to point out that things went from decent to downright terrible yesterday immediately following the groundball up the middle he tried to catch bare handed off the bat of the fourth inning’s leadoff batter. He did sail right through the heart of Detroit’s 3-4-5 hitters in the bottom of the third.

    If Sidney was someone that I/we wanted to succeed, I/we would most definitely bring this up. But he isn’t, so screw him and give someone else the ball.

  • TurnTwo

    i dont understand why this is such a big deal.

    the organization realizes that the yankees are 7 games out of the playoffs with what, like 25 games to play?

    time for everyone else to just come to terms with it and move on.

    theyve made it known that unless they bust down the door, Hughes and IPK will stay down in Scranton and prob just move on to their offseason training programs.

    Igawa isnt seeing the light of day in pinstripes again.

    do we REALLY know that Chase Wright is any better than Ponson or Rasner?

    i’d guess if anything, we’ll prob see a start or two from Aceves before Sept closes out.

    • http://2009 Haggs

      At this point I’m just looking for a reason to leave the game on the television.

      Sidney invariably forces me to pick up the remote. He is a bad movie that I have seen too many times, and I know exactly how things are going to end up at this point.

      Even if the guy who replaces him is no better (hard to be worse), he is at least a different bad movie and one that might hold my interest for a while.

      Ponson is unwatchable.

      • Tony

        Why is it you hate Sidney so much? Not like he’s a jackass like Pavano, Sid accepts blame-all too easily, but that’s what playing on a horrible team like the Orioles does if you come up as a kid and stay too long. You learn to accept defeat, you have to. I wish Sidney the best, I find him refreshing, too bad he’s in need of some more work on his confidence-no reason a guy who can (or could) throw the pitches he can (maybe could) should have such a hard time with any team. It’s psychological mostly, I think he needs a sports psychologist at the least. Girardi saw what he did before, Ponson can pitch, but I think he’s pressing and feels he alone is ruining the Yanks’ chances. Despite what too many critics say, Sidney has helped the team, hurt them, and is no more responsible for them missing the playoffs than Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, or anyone else who pitched for the team and had a part in a loss or win. And the batters, and fielders…a shame pitchers are the only guys with ERAs, and won-lost records. DON”T KEEP BLAMING SIDNEY, GIRARDI, ANDY, RASNER or even A-ROD. Sorry, the Yanks aren’t the dang Red Sox ( I loathe them!) or the Rays-but they aren’t the Royals either. Not everyone makes the playoffs. So what? Quit hating players and managers and taking cheapshots.

        • Ben K.

          I too find 17 earned runs in 9.2 innings refreshing. Refreshingly bad.

  • TurnTwo

    if Sidney is the only reason why you cant watch this team right now, than you are a much better fan than I am.

  • OldYanksFan

    The Yankees’ FO understands that the season is over. Yeah, mathimatically, if we go .800 and both Minn and Boston play .500, we could eek in. Boston has +10 games at home and shows NO sign of slowing down. It will not even be close. The question is do we tank to get a protected pick, or do we ‘fight’ for 3rd place.

    Both Phil and IPK were rushed up last year when we DID have a chance for the PS. Both did well (aside from Phil’s hammy) so they were slated as starters for this year. Well, reality caught up with these two.

    Confidence and work wise, they are both better off on the farm. You want to bring them up and take risks for a lost season? Just so you can see the kids? The Sorry, the Yanks ain’t taking any chances.

    Anything they do now is for 2009. Sad but true, this is the reality. Cool Standings has them with a 1.4% chance… a 1 in 72 shot. That may be optimistic. 2 Weeks ago, when they needed to play .700 ball, they played under .500 ball.

    Think 2009 guys. That’s life. (and I have been following these guys since 1965)

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      “The question is do we tank to get a protected pick, or do we ‘fight’ for 3rd place.”

      That’s not a question. No organization, especially this one, ever “tanks” games just to get into the upper half of the round of a draft that’s one of the biggest crapshoots outside of Vegas, protection implications or not. This ain’t the NFL/NBA.

      “Anything they do now is for 2009. Sad but true, this is the reality. “

      Wrong. Just because you’re packing it in on the year doesn’t mean anybody in that organization is, until they’re mathematically eliminated. Everything they’re doing now is in efforts to make the postseason, until those efforts would truly be wasted because making the postseason would be impossible. Not unlikely, not doubtful, not miraculous… impossible.

  • A.D.

    Basically there is no reason to start Ponson, if we’re in it he doesn’t give us a good chance to win. If we’re not in the hunt, then he’s not in the future and long range plans, so they should give someone else a shot

  • JohnC

    Why not start Geise next time in Ponson’s spot? He’s supposedly gonna be activated this week.

  • steve (different one)

    do you guys really think that Girardi, Cashman, etc. don’t KNOW that Ponson sucks?

    i am not saying i know the reason that Ponson is still here, but i am fairly confident that there is an alterior motive.

    the yankees are just playing out the season at this point. the team has conceded the season. if Ponson is here, it is because developmentally, they feel that Hughes/IPK are better off in AAA.

    it could be as simple as the fact that they plan to trade IPK after the season and don’t want to expose him any more to the majors and just want him to keep ringing up great AAA numbers to regain some value.

    it could be because what Hughes needs most of all is INNINGS and getting knocked out in the 4th inning in the bigs isn’t going to help get his arm ready for next year.

    i don’t know.

    but what i do know is that the Yankees don’t think that there will be a miracle turnaround with Sidney Ponson leading the charge. whatever innings he takes, he is taking to protect something more valuable.

    or, maybe Aceves takes his next start and Girardi is just concealing a decision that isn’t final.

    • TurnTwo

      exactly. well said.

  • JohnnyC

    Aceves probably gets the start. Cashman’s high on this guy and Hughes & IPK will probably at least get to play through the playoffs in Scranton. Girardi couldn’t just say Ponson’s out. They’re on the razor’s edge of being eliminated from contention. If we sweep Tampa we have a prayer. If not, then you call it a season. To announce that Ponson’s out of the rotation right now would be waving the white flag to his players. Remember: players don’t have the interest in or regard for our prospects that fans do. They’re only interested in trying to win today, this week, this month. And, frankly, how much confidence would you have in any of these prospects if you were a player on this year’s team?

    • Hitman

      Aceves looks like he’s got the goods. In addition to having very good control he supposedly has up to 6 different pitches and a 94 mph fastball. Joe prefers Rasner and Ponson over this guy? Lol!

  • JohnnyC

    Any idea what a package of IPK and Cano would get on the open market in the offseason? Interestingly, Kevin Russo got an invite to the AFL. He’s a guy with a good bat, decent defense…might be a good stopgap at second base. Certainly he’slayed his way into the picture the last 2 seasons.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I’m still not interested in dealing Cano. He’s the only quality under-30 bat we’ve got. He should remain untouchable.

      • JohnC

        I agree Tommie. But the organization needs to have a long talk with this guy this offseason and tell im to get his head on straight and stop being so nonchalant. Look at Dustin Pedroria. That guy plays hard all the time. Can just tell that he has that burning desire to win. If Cano applied himself that way, he’d be a superstar.

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          Maybe Cano show grow a 3-day growth beard, rub some tobacco juice on his uniform, smear pinetar all over his batting helmet, stuff his hat in his back pocket when batting, and bleach his skin a shade lighter than pale. Oh yeah and shrink 4 inches. Then he could be considered scrappy and hard-nosed.

          • steve (different one)


          • tommiesmithjohncarlos

            Andy, for shame on you. You should know better than that.

            Pedroia didn’t “grow” that Faustinobeard-neckscruffle. That’s clearly hand-drawn on his face with a brown Sharpie. Badly.

            Probably by Papelboner.

  • pounder

    Trade Cano,Matsui,IPK,AJax,and Montero to the SF Giants for Rowand,Linecuem,and Cain.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Pounder, I’m not sure if you’re joking or serious, but you scare me either way.

      • pounder

        Kidding……but moving Cano is a option,esp. with Hudson or Ellis as FA.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Mark Ellis currently blows, and he’s 31… he ain’t gonna get better anytime soon.

          O-Dog is decent, but a bit injury prone (only played in more than 145 games once) and unless he takes a below market money, we’d probably regret the contract the day we sign it, a la Gary Matthews Jr.


  • mustang

    “In other words, he’s not doing anything that Ian Kennedy hasn’t done this year.”

    8/1- 7 IP 0 ER vs. LA
    8/6- 6 IP 3 ER vs. TEX
    8/11- 7 IP 4 ER vs. 4 MIN
    8/16- 7 IP 2 ER vs. 2 KC
    8/27- 7 IP 4 ER vs. 4 BOS
    When was the last time this year IPK did anything even close to what you see above?
    I know Sidney Ponson has been bad, but if you think replacing him IPK is the solution think again.

  • mustang

    “They could attempt to throw Ian Kennedy again. Kennedy, admittedly a disappointment this year, could regain his 2007 form. At least Kennedy has the ability to surprise us. Nowadays, we know what we’re getting from Ponson, and it ain’t good.”

    This would be the third time for IPK this year how many times do they need to be hit over the head could they at least give someone else a chance?

    What has IPK done to show anyone that he can “regain his 2007 form”?

    And yes we know what we’re getting from Ponson and we also know what we are getting from IPK we seen it three times with the same results.


    • Ben K.

      In missing my point, you actually made my point. Congratulations. The point isn’t that they should go to IPK. It’s that they should give someone else — someone else who gives us some hope and isn’t a washed up, fat and ineffective pitcher — a chance. As much as it would probably explode your brain, that does include Kennedy.

      • mustang

        Oh Ben please there is no stat to even back IPK return. How can you even say that IPK have done the same as Ponson? You would not give anyone else on this earth another chance except for IPK with what he has done this year ?IPK. He should get a chance after the Yankees have gone with EVERYONE else first again a few good starters in the minors and things forgotten.

      • mustang

        “gives us some hope and isn’t a washed up, fat and ineffective pitcher”

        Someone that gives us hope for what to make to the 4th inning you can’t be serious. I agree with the “washed up, fat and ineffective pitcher”, but your asking to replace him a young, cocky (for no reason) ineffective pitcher.

      • mustang

        “could attempt to throw Ian Kennedy again. Kennedy, admittedly a disappointment this year, could regain his 2007 form. At least Kennedy has the ability to surprise us.”

        I don’t know maybe I’m missing your point, but it looks like your campaign for IPK to me

  • mustang

    Wow just when you think the IPK “SPIN MACHINE” was dead for this year it rises again.
    I can’t believe his name would seriously even come up again this year.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Mustang, of all the potential (i.e. moderately close enough to the majors) options to take Ponson’s spot in the rotation for September, they rank in the following order in terms of predictability for MLB success, both now and into the future:

      1) Hughes
      2) Kennedy
      3) Aceves
      4) Giese
      5) Coke
      6) Wright
      7) Marquez
      8) Hacker
      9) Kontos

      Eleventy-jillion) Igawa

      It’s not the “IPK spin machine”, it’s the fact that he’s still a better pitcher with better stuff and better projectability than almost every other option we’ve got, even with his 2008 struggles. I know lots of us have lost the faith, but the organization hasn’t, and not losing the faith with talented young pitchers is generally a good thing.

      I understand your desire to give someone other than IPK a shot, but frankly, the rest of them haven’t shown compelling reasons to be bumped up on the food chain in front of him. The gap is smaller and IPK’s margin for error is shrinking, but he’s still a good prospect, a better one than Aceves and the lot. Best case scenario, he and Aceves are neck and neck, and if so, it’s probably moot, as we should be dumping Rasner as well — so they’ll both have opportunities in September…

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        remind me to stop making numbered lists using the closed parenthesis sign. I hate seeing that stupid 8) symbol more than anything…

        Emoticons blow.

      • mustang

        Tommiesmithjohncarlos seriously do think if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s IPK that we would even be talking about this. I don’t have anything against the kid, but this year from the minute he hits the field until he leaves the Yankees clubhouse he been wrong.
        If the Yankees think the season is over then fine let him pitch, but I don’t see any other reason to give him yet ANOTHER chance this year.

  • mustang

    Also if IPK goes out for FOURTH time and gets bombed again they wouldn’t be able to trade him for tickets to the New Yankees Stadium in the winter.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Dude, I just gave you a reason to “give him yet ANOTHER chance this year”: he’s still a better pitcher, now and into the future, than Aceves, Coke, Wright, etc. etc. etc.

      He’s sucked so far. It happens. It doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t get another chance. The potential is there, you keep riding it until there’s nothing left. We’re a long way from that day.

  • Hitman

    I think for all intents and purposes Kennedy will remain in AAA next year. He probably won’t end up proving anything with a callup now. Same goes for Hughes. I’d call up Wright now and hope he does well so he can be packaged in a deal for something. He serves absolutely no purpose pitching in AAA year after year. Free up that roster spot for someone else. At some point the yankees will lose him anyway. Aceves and Wright should take over for Rasner and Ponson.