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Sidney Ponson Slims Down


Dmitri Young, who either weighs 25 pounds less or 46 pounds more than the new Sidney Ponson (Preston Keres photo).

I don't consider the Orioles to be a local team any longer, but due to complicated grandfather clauses I consider Sidney Ponson to be a local athlete now and forever. And I consider stories about the former Cardinals pitcher's weight loss to be roughly the equivalent of stories about the Redskins showing offseason restraint. Get back to me in about three weeks and we'll see. Anyhow, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Ponson " is said to have slimmed down to 245 pounds and cranked up his fastball to 91 mph."

Why don't I believe? Here's a link to a Balt Sun Ponson story from three springs ago:

Sidney Ponson's jersey hung loosely on his body Sunday during the Baltimore Orioles' first workout of spring training, a good indication that the right-hander worked hard this winter to trim his rather broad waistline.

More concrete proof came when he stepped on the scale. Ponson weighed 253, which looked a lot better on his 6-foot-1 frame than the 266 pounds he carried into camp a year ago.

"I feel more fit. I'm in better condition than I was last year," said Ponson, who went 3-12 in the first half before rebounding to finish 11-15....

Ponson's workout program was interrupted by a Christmas Day brawl in his native country of Aruba, which resulted in an 11-day jail stay. He faces a hearing next month.

It's like, really, I meant to go to the gym more this month, but then I started punching people instead. Anyhow, 245 pounds is indeed 15 pounds lighter than Ponson weighs on his official MLB.com bio, and yet you won't often see the words "slimmed down to" followed by the words "245 pounds" when discussing a 6-foot-1 baseball player. By way of comparison, Ponson's 245 pounds are still 30 pounds more than any pitcher on the Nats' roster except for the 6-foot-11 guy.

And in a related story, were Dmitri Young's 220 pounds on this official-looking roster recorded using standard measurement techniques, or is that moon-weight or dog-years-weight or something? Because if Dmitri Young weighs 220 pounds, I weigh about 14 ounces and Ralph Friedgen's a swimsuit model.

(NOTE: Barry Svrluga, no doubt writing from Panera, says he has a Nats roster that lists Dmitri's weight at 291. This means the online roster is off by 71 pounds. For an example of what 71 pounds means in the real world, look at this grouper. The Nats have somehow sliced a grouper the size of a young child out of Dmitri Young's midsection.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 3, 2008; 1:39 PM ET
Categories:  Orioles  
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