Tribe, Astros should win wild cards

Originally Published: September 9, 2005
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
News and notes while wondering whether the Cleveland Indians really are the best team in the American League, and whether Indians GM Mark Shapiro is about to be considered in the same light as Billy Beane and Theo Epstein.

• The Orioles, as you've probably heard, are attempting to sever their contractual ties with Sidney Ponson, which would save them $10 million in future compensation. As justification, the Orioles cite the morals clause of the standard player contract: "The Player agrees to perform his services hereunder diligently and faithfully, to keep himself in first-class physical condition and to obey the Club's training rules, and pledges himself to the American public and to the Club to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship."

Considering that Ponson has been arrested three times since December, and supposedly left the dugout twice this summer to hang out with pals in a luxury suite, the Orioles would seem to have a pretty good case.