This week I lamented the loss of Sir Sidney, admitting that I root for him, even in Pinstripes. What I didn’t consider and probably wouldn’t have considered had it not been for Daniel Cabrera’s complete game victory (look ma, no walks!), is that Cabrera is Ponson, Ponson is Cabrera.
Both guys are evil temptresses, registering in the high 90s and hurling the odd brilliant game in which they go the distance, exhibit control and stalk off the mound looking like the pitcher you believe they can be. Their shared problem, of course, is what’s between the ears. As a result, they get hit too hard, walk too many guys and repeatedly fail to live up to expectations.
Take a peak at their five-year numbers, and you can see that the results are similar (Cabrera’s are career to-date, Ponson’s his first five years):
That’s uncanny really. There are slight differences (namely that Sid gave up more hits and Daniel issued more walks), but if Cabrera shrunk eight inches, gained six around the waist and grew red-faced on obesity, booze and Aruban sunshine, we’d be talking about spitting images here.
The good news, if you’re an O’s fan, is that D.C. is having his finest year: the walks are down, his ERA is lower and he’s actually won more than he’s lost. The bad news is that El Sid had similar success (you don’t say) in his fifth and sixth seasons, before completely dropping off the table ever since.
As I chose to do with Ponson, I focus on and root for the former with Cabrera. It’s a hope against hope, because there needs to be a whole lotta magic in Birdland for a 6’9″ enigma to solve the riddle before becoming a career-long mystery. Too bad his doppelganger never could.