BALTIMORE, April 7 -- The legal problems of two Baltimore Orioles pitchers could keep them from making appearances in Canada in the near future.
The Orioles are facing the possibility that pitcher Sidney Ponson won't be able to travel to Toronto for the three-game series against the Blue Jays on April 22-24 because of his pending DUI case in Florida. Also, pitcher Eric DuBose likely won't be able to pitch in Class AAA Ottawa's first several home games because of his DUI from spring training.
"We're looking into that possibility," Orioles Executive Vice President Jim Beattie said. "On both cases, it depends on a conviction."
The Orioles are trying to acquire a Minister's permit for both players, which would allow them into Canada while their court cases are pending.
"Under certain circumstances, it's necessary to obtain one," Beattie said. "A DUI is one of those cases."
The Lynx begin the season on the road and don't return to Ottawa until April 15. If DuBose's situation isn't cleared up by then, he would likely have to pitch for a lower affiliate.
DuBose was arrested for DUI on March 21. Ponson's DUI is from January. . . .
B.J. Surhoff and David Newhan both made their first appearances of the year on Thursday. Newhan started in center field in place of Luis Matos. Surhoff started in left field in place of Larry Bigbie. Manager Lee Mazzilli said Newhan would get several starts in center field when the team opposed a right-handed pitcher. . . .
Non-roster spring invitee pitcher Jay Witasick, who was reassigned to the team's minor league camp on Saturday, refused the assignment and was granted his release. . . .
Mazzilli has had a different lineup in each of the team's first three games.