Baltimore Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson has been detained on suspicion of assaulting a local judge at a beach on Saturday, police said yesterday. Ponson, who was born in Aruba...

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ORANJESTAD, Aruba — Baltimore Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson has been detained on suspicion of assaulting a local judge at a beach on Saturday, police said yesterday.


Ponson, who was born in Aruba, has not been formally charged but is expected to be arraigned today on assault and battery charges, police spokesman Edwin Comenencia said.


Ponson’s attorney, Chris Lejuez, did not immediately return several telephone calls seeking comment.


On Saturday at a beach in Boca Catalina several people confronted Ponson, accusing him of harassing them with his personal watercraft and operating it recklessly, police said.


The 28-year-old right-hander allegedly struck one of the men in the group several times, police said. The man later was identified as a local judge, Comenencia said.


The judge was hospitalized but his condition was not known, authorities said. Ponson left the scene but police detained him late Saturday, police said. He is being held at a jail in the community of San Nicolas.


Ponson went 11-15 with a 5.30 earned-run average in 33 starts last season. He has a 69-80 career record in seven seasons with a 4.67 ERA and 802 strikeouts.


On their roster, the Orioles list Ponson at 6 feet 1 and 250 pounds.


In 1998, Ponson 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.


Sources say Millwood, Indians nearing deal


CLEVELAND — Right-hander Kevin Millwood is working toward agreement on a one-year contract with the Cleveland Indians, sources told The Associated Press last night.


Millwood is scheduled to arrive in Cleveland today for a physical, said sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. But there are still several details to work through before a contract can be finalized with the 30-year-old Millwood, who spent the past two seasons with Philadelphia.


“This is still a 50-50 proposition, at best,” one source said.


The sides are negotiating the eventual structure of the contract, which is believed to be worth around $7 million.


To this point, a starting pitcher has eluded Cleveland in its offseason search to upgrade its rotation. The team has offered multiyear deals to starters Jon Lieber and Matt Clement as well as a one-year contract to David Wells. But in each case, Cleveland was outbid.


The 30-year-old Millwood, who spent the past two seasons with Philadelphia, might fit in nicely into a Cleveland rotation featuring C.C. Sabathia, Jake Westbrook, Cliff Lee and Scott Elarton.


Millwood went 9-6 with a 4.85 ERA in 25 starts for the Phillies last season. He made a mere two starts in September after spraining a ligament and tendon in his pitching elbow. Millwood’s injury might be why teams have not pursued the eight-year veteran more aggressively.




Note


* Outfielder Carlos Beltran was impressed by George Steinbrenner after meeting with the Yankees’ owner on Tuesday, and told a newspaper in Puerto Rico he would not be intimidated by playing in New York.


Beltran, who played for the Houston Astros last season, told Primera Hora, “The meeting with Steinbrenner was very good. He is a professional person, super-educated. I’ve let them know my interest, and they have interest, too, about me joining their team.”


In addition to the Yankees and Astros, Beltran said the New York Mets, Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have shown interest.