By Joe Christensen
Barely a week into my blogging career, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: Don’t blog (yes, this is now a verb) about a story you’re going to write until you’re absolutely sure how you’re going to write it. Readers may recall my Friday entry with this quote from Sidney Ponson about Scott Erickson:
“Everybody said that he was the downfall for my career. He never was the downfall for my career. He made me work out — something I never did. He got me to ride the bike, lift weights, run, do all that. Yeah, we go out and have beers. But they only talked about that. He taught me about situations, how to think. The guy threw a no-hitter in Minnesota on turf. It’s really hard to do it on grass. You do it on turf, it’s pretty good. He won the World Series for these guys, won 20 games. It’s one of those things. People always look to say the worst about anything.”
Well, the Ponson story (which I just found on our home page, under the sports links) is so complex, I didn’t have enough space to delve into the Erickson influence. Didn’t even use the quote! And SBG is right: This needs some explaining.
Early in Ponson’s career with the Orioles, Erickson took him to a Metallica concert. Ponson struggled in his next start, and the media — as we are wont to do — had a field day. Those two were good friends who continued to spend time together. Hard rock and beer remained big parts of their lifestyle.
Erickson became less and less effective for Baltimore, as he battled through injuries, and Ponson never reached his potential. Fair or not, baseball people — not just the media — pointed to Erickson’s influence on Ponson as negative. … Hope that explains it better, and apologies for the blogger’s error.