Tired Rangers pitching staff looked forward to the return of Vicente Padilla for a Friday start against Tampa Bay.
But things turned south.
Reports quickly surfaced, around game time, that No. 3 starter Sidney Ponson had been designated for assignment and released by the organization.
Ponson was a shot in the arm for the Rangers when he was brought up from Triple-A on April 26th; he currently has a 4-1 record with a 3.88 ERA.
General Manager, Jon Daniels; and Team President, Nolan Ryan has been fairly quiet about the details around the breaking news.
"He had disrespectful and adverse reactions to situations that were unbecoming of a teammate; we want guys who want to be here,” Jon Daniels said. “We're trying to put together a team here, and based on some comments and reactions, he didn't want to be part of that. That's not something we're going to tolerate."
Nolan Ryan stated that this was a surprise to him, but that the team made it clear to Ponson that he was being given a "one-strike" policy.
Unconfirmed reports state that the problem started last week in a Tampa Bay, where Ponson was seen in the hotel bar the night before a start.
A few days ago Ponson was asked to make a start on only three days of rest, he did, and along with some infield errors had a short night.
A post-game incident with second-baseman Ian Kinsler, in which Ponson said some inappropriate comments to Kinsler, has been rumored.
Ponson, yesterday, was told that he was going to receive an extra days rest, so that Kevin Millwood could get back on his normal schedule.
Reports that an incident with manager Ron Washington ensued, and minutes later Ponson cleaned out his locker and left the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Ponson stated his good riddance with the team and that another team would look merely at his numbers.
In 2004, Ponson, then with the Baltimore Orioles, spent eleven days in an Aruban jail for punching a judge. Also, Ponson was roughed up in a day games against the Yankees after attending a Metallica concert the night before.
In 2005, the Orioles released him after his second alcohol-related incident in nine months.
The Rangers now have ten days to release, trade, or put Ponson on waivers, but the team has made it clear that he will never again pitch in a Rangers uniform.
Texas is likely to promote Triple-A pitchers Kason Gabbard, Luis Mendoza, or top prospects Eric Hurley or Matt Harrison.
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