From the Associated Press :
Sidney Ponson is fed up with being a celebrity in his native land of Aruba, so the Baltimore Orioles pitcher no longer intends to call the Dutch Caribbean island his home.
“I think for my best interest — and my mom and sister, close relatives and friends — it’s better off I stay in the States,” the right-hander said Wednesday after a brief workout at Camden Yards.
Ponson spent a week in an Aruban jail while police investigated allegations that he punched a judge in a beach fight on Christmas Day. A court date has been set for March 3, the day the Orioles open their spring training schedule.
Ponson will return to Aruba to stand trial, but won’t make that country his offseason home. Instead, he will stay in south Florida.
“I have a nice home there, I’ve got some friends I’m close with,” he said of Florida. “My friends [in Aruba] can visit me; it’s a 2-hour, 20-minute flight.”
Ponson in 1998 became the third Aruban to play in the major leagues. In 2003, he was decorated in his homeland as a knight in the Order of the Dutch Royal House, but that honor is no longer important to him.
“They can take it away. It doesn’t matter to me right now,” Ponson said. “Right now, I’m worried about how my mom, my sister and family and friends feel, how I feel.”
There aren’t many places Ponson can go in Aruba without being recognized. It used to be fun, but now it’s intolerable.
“People think I have to talk to them for hours. I go to a restaurant, I need to talk to 100 people. People I don’t even know, people that never talked to me in school, now they want to be my friend,” he said. “There’s a lot of jealousy, and you can’t do anything about it. You have to live with it.”
There are so many things Ponson’s native Arubans must be envious of. For instance, he’s incredibly handsome. He’s man with the first name “Sidney”, which much like A Boy Named Sue, means he’s a real bad ass. And don’t forget, Ponson is the highest paid batting practice pitcher in the American League.