Andy Sonnanstine Needs to Mature | The Process Report

Andy Sonnanstine Needs to Mature

On Tuesday, the Rays agreed to a one-year contract with Andy Sonnanstine, avoiding an arbitration hearing.

Sonnanstine, 27, receives more than $900,000 dollars after a season in which he made $400,000 and posted an ERA higher than league average. More than a 100% raise for someone with declining statistics in each of his professional seasons?

Talk about a tough bill to foot.

On a team that saw clubhouse leaders and fan favorites like Jason Bartlett and Carlos Pena depart this offseason to greener – the color of money – pastures, what kind of sign does this send to the youngsters in the clubhouse?

Inconsistency pays?

Sonnanstine debuted in June 2007 and threw for a 3.73 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He worked the corners with marginal stuff. He made it work. He was tough. A warrior. A big game pitcher.

Perhaps the fame and newfound attention went to Sonnanstine’s head. His next season came and left with a worse strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Perhaps the media is to blame. The Brad Radke comparisons were too much, too fast, for someone too young and talented to handle.

Videos popped up on web sites like the You Tube of Sonnanstine recklessly playing ping pong instead of conditioning or studying pitchers.

Control is the key.

Unfortunately, Sonnanstine saw his strikeout-to-walk ratio continue its downward climb in 2009. A trip to the minors did little to affect Sonnanstine’s issues.

The Rays lost patience.

A move to the bullpen did not result in improved performance. Instead, Sonnanstine became distant. Sonnanstine did not gesticulate giddily upon recording an out. He replaced his smiles with stares.

Cold as ice.

During the season, Sonnanstine spent his time drawing on walls before games.

Vandalism instead of study?

You know the type.

When asked for comment, Sonnanstine declined. However a team official offered an excuse for the once electric prospect: “Sometimes players are not as good as they appear in their rookie seasons. It’s not uncommon, really.”

Excuses, like home runs, will continue to rain down for Sonnanstine.

For now, the Rays hands are tied. They have to pay Sonnanstine, lest he go elsewhere and hurt them.

Yet, his lack of motivation may ultimately cost them.

In wins.

A currency more valuable than dollars.


  1. fivetoolmike wrote:

    Wow, this is excellent.

  2. Jason Hanselman wrote:


  3. professortwain wrote:

    Pretty harsh. Do you have any evidence that his ping pong playing and cartooning really led to him failing to work on his conditioning or studying pitchers? He had a great start last season and fell off after an injury.

    Give him a chance.

  4. alreyes4ever wrote:

    I agree with the premise about bad signals to young players; this off season could discourage the most resolute. Recently I have seen you fiercely criticize people posting on Draysbay when they express concerns for Manny’s “character” and other behavior issues. This seems a little hypocritical to me; Manny used PED’s, punched an old guy, and made his displeasure with Boston a public farce(I liked that part). You made many points to people posting(likely young kids) that they had no legitimate sources and were silly for even having a negative train of thought in regards to Manny’s “character”. So what are your sources for looking at Sonny this way? If this stems from watching broadcasts and talking to a staffer then I could argue that there is much more “evidence” to question Manny than Sonny. Anyway, don’t take offense to this, just an observation from a fellow fan. Keep up the hard work.

    • Andrew wrote:

      First, I would take the post to be satire. Second, even if you took the whole thing seriously, I would consider that “Andy Sonnanstine Needs to Mature” should be translated as “Andy Sonnanstine Needs to Perform Better To Justify Being Paid Nearly $1 Million” rather than “Andy Sonnanstine Needs An Attitude Adjustment.”

      • alreyes4ever wrote:

        I am not a regular visitor so it seemed serious to me. When I thought this was serious it was the contradiction that caught me off guard; now that I know it’s satire, my point is pointless.

  5. mjn328 wrote:

    professortwain and alreyes4ever, I would like to point you to the definition of a specific word. The fact that one of your usernames has “Twain” in it and you missed the idea behind this post is fascinating.

  6. | flockaball wrote:

    […] I had a discussion this past season about whether he or Lance Cormier should grab the last bullpen spot on the Rays playoff roster.  (But there is this interesting piece). […]

  7. professortwain wrote:

    Satire of WHAT? The Professor gives you an F.

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