ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Proposed Switch Enrages Ponson

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By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 1, 2005

BALTIMORE, July 31 -- One of the Baltimore Orioles pitchers with a hurt hand has hurt feelings also. Though Sidney Ponson's bruised thumb is not hurt seriously enough to miss a start, the Orioles had hoped to push his next outing, scheduled for Tuesday, to Wednesday. This decision enraged Ponson, who yelled at pitching coach Ray Miller less than one hour before the Orioles' Sunday night game against the Chicago White Sox.

Miller had simply tried to get Ponson to speak with Manager Lee Mazzilli about the decision, but Ponson refused and said he did not want to speak to him. Miller tried to reason with Ponson but the pitcher walked away from the coach.

Ponson continued to yell at Miller, asking why he had to be pushed back instead of Bruce Chen. Ponson insisted that he wanted to stay in his regular turn on Tuesday. A clearly frustrated Miller went back to the manager's office without Ponson.

"They want to get rid of me anyway," Ponson said as he sat on the chair in front of his locker, while a coach and teammates tried to console him.

Ponson, after a trade to the San Diego Padres fell through last week, was offered to other teams.

Less than an hour before being yelled at, Miller had watched Ponson throw a flawless bullpen session and said his pitcher would be ready to make his next start. "He'll be good to go," Miller told reporters.

Whether if was his tirade, or that Chen was used in relief Sunday night, Ponson ended up getting his way -- he will start Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels.

Baltimore's other injured pitcher, Daniel Cabrera, will start Monday. Cabrera injured the back of his right hand when he was struck by Joe Crede's line drive in the second inning on Saturday.

"It's minimal pain," Cabrera said. "I did my normal routine after the day I pitch. My doctor said that I was lucky. I was struck on the part of my hand where the bones are fragile."


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