Ponson should not get a dime more from the Orioles. I dare any rational person to read the clause in his contract that led to his termination and say he didn't violate it about three or four different ways. Of course you're right about the MLBPA. I'm pretty sure they're only slightly less powerful than the mafia at this point (see also for further reference: steroids, collective bargaining, Kenny Rogers).
According to a page I found in an Google search, the deadline for postseason eligibility is August 31st. That may have had something to do with the timing of this.
But if he keeps them in the wildcard, or even helps them win the division, that's worth it for them, I guess.
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Ponson is almost certainly going to contest this ruling so that he can continue to collect all or most of the ten million dollars owed to him through next year. I'd assume he'd have to drop any appeal if he went to play for the Yankees this season, and I'd also assume that he'd have to take a very hefty pay cut in his new contract. Given that, I doubt he'd end up with the Yankees (or any other team) even if anyone was interested.
I can't wait to see what "resident Ponson hater" redsoxnation has to say about this.
In my mind, as long as the Angels DON'T pick him up, I'm happy.
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They wouldn't be the Cubs if they made smart or logical personnel decisions. But regardless, pending the hiring of a replacement, I have to say it's a net gain for Cubs fans, even though I agree with your sentiment here.