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Union challenging Ponson's release

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In today's "sun rises in the east" note, the MLBPA is challenging the Orioles' "improper termination" of Sidney Ponson.

I touched on the Orioles' decision to Neagle Sidney Ponson last week...although, according to the Orioles, there was an "addendum" to Ponson's contract allowing them to convert the contract to a "non-guaranteed" deal. Virtually all baseball contracts, of course, are guaranteed contracts, and this is the first time I've heard of such a conversion addendum. I have no idea what the details of it are, although I'd be fascinated to know what, exactly, it provided...

Anyway, there is some unusually harsh language being used by the Orioles general counsel, H. Russell Smouse:

"[The] facts speak to a history of a player who totally disregarded his contractual obligations and, as a result, was in clear breach of his contract and not in the physical condition to be a productive member of the club. . .Sidney Ponson's pattern of contempt for what can reasonably be expected of a Major League Baseball player is most disappointing."

Wow. Pretty harsh.

Absent a settlement -- something I don't expect, given the litigious nature of Angelos, who made his fortune litigating mass tort asbestos actions -- the matter will be arbitrated by Shyam Das. If the union prevails, the Orioles will be on the hook for $11 million and change, the balance of what was owed to Ponson on his contract.