The rotund righthander was released by the Orioles after getting busted for DUI. Baltimore hopes not to pay Ponson the $10 million he was to make in 2006, believing the pitcher's behavior--he also got a DUI last January and, last December, was jailed in Aruba after punching a judge--violates a conduct clause in his contract. Team general counsel H. Russell Smouse said the Orioles "were compelled" to let Ponson go. Hmmmm. Wonder if his unsightly 6.21 ERA was a factor.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Forget the Chase. A season after battling for the championship until the final race, Junior blew out an engine on the California Speedway and was officially eliminated from NASCAR's playoffs. Running with a new crew this year, he has had just five top five finishes in 25 races and has led for only 17 laps all season. Of Sunday's 38th place finish he opined, "We ran like crap."
One of her $40,000 diamond chandelier earrings fell to the court, holding up her first-round match against Yung Jan-Chan. She got zinged in the press for pledging $100 per ace to Katrina relief (critics said it was chintzy), and then she slipped up in a sloppy fourth-round match with big sister Venus, losing in straight sets.
Reality still bites. The world's most lusted-after quarterback (sorry, Tom) thanks to his stint on ABC's The Bachelor is now an out-of-work TV star. The Giants cut the rose-bestowing backup--who then rejected wooing by CFL teams. Said Jesse's father, Bill, "His NFL days are not over."