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MLB Trade Rumors: Astros’ Roy Oswalt Must Stop Demands; Go to Phillies

Roy Oswalt is one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. Even at the age of 32, he’s still got the talent to pitch at All-Star caliber.

However, his brains are a whole other story.

Jayson Stark of ESPN reported today that the Astros’ ace would okay a deal to any team that acquires him with only one condition. Sadly, the condition is nuttier than pecan pie.

He wants the team to guarantee his $16 million option.

In 2012.

This kind of demand seems so ridiculous, it’s as if Oswalt is extremely reluctant to leave town. He’s said multiple times how loyal he is to the city of Houston, and by making the prerequisite so high, he’s making it very hard for himself to leave.

And that’s his mistake. He needs to make like a newborn and head out.

Staying in Houston is a death sentence for Oswalt’s career. Yes, the Astros have had some good seasons in the past, but since the team’s World Series run in 2005, Houston hasn’t returned to the playoffs, and attendance has dropped each season.

Should we cast Oswalt for the Green Mile remake?

Not so fast. Oswalt’s clearly the diamond in Houston’s rough. While Oswalt is well below his career averages for ERA and WHIP this season, his record is a subpar 6-11, and that’s due to his teammates.

The Astros’ roster isn’t the worst in the majors, but some of the people surrounding Oswalt are more qualified to work at Denny’s than play baseball.

That’s why his demand makes as much sense as underwater arson. There won’t be much winning in Houston during the rest of Oswalt’s career, so why make it nearly impossible to go to a winner?

Even Einstein’s stumped.

If he waives this demand, everyone comes out as a winner. The Philadelphia Phillies are the front-runner to acquire Oswalt’s services, and he fits in that city better than the cheesesteak.

At this point in his career, Oswalt must be craving a return to glory and a chance to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy. Why not join a team in a tight division race who has represented the National League in the World Series the past two years?

The only better way to guarantee winning is if he takes his talents to South Beach.


Both teams should be egging the pitching ace to give up his standards. The Astros are in a clear rebuilding process and can use solid prospects to build up their core. Oswalt is the kind of player that commands a couple of top-tier minor leaguers.

And no one has more young talent than the Phillies. Not even the Chinese gymnastics team.

On the other side, the Phils are struggling. Roy Halladay has been great, but not as dominant as Cliff Lee was. All their injuries have limited their offense, and the pitchers toward the end of their rotation are as trustworthy as Benedict Arnold.

Add another Roy, and that’s a chimera no one wants to face. In a seven-game series, seeing Halladay and Oswalt possibly five times is scarier than any Saw film. 

Yes, there are reasons why Oswalt would put this huge price tag on himself. He clearly won’t get $16 million in 2012 as a 34-year-old free agent, and if he’s being sent to a contender, it’s another year that he gets a chance to get the bling.

Those reasons, however, make even less sense.

First, if he can keep up near his career stats through the end of next year, he’s bound to get close to that value. For a nine-year veteran, does eight million dollars really matter if he’s holding more trophies than Cooperstown?

Second, what if he gets dealt to some chump squad? I’m sure he will regret being stuck until 2012 if he gets shipped to a team with a history of winning similar to the Cubs.

Obviously, the Phillies or another team could bend, and Oswalt could get what he wants: a trade and the guaranteed money.  That seems extremely unlikely, so why should Oswalt wait for Godot?

Just waive the clause. Hire some Astros fans to come into the office and do the Waive.

He can be loyal like Lassie in a different city. It’s a win-win-win for all sides involved, and if his only consequence is that he will lose the love of Houston, I’m sure a player with his skills can find some loving somewhere else.

Hell, he could switch to football, and his cannon arm would still be valuable.

Or he can stay in Houston, and get used to his ragtag bunch of teammates. He won’t see the playoffs until he’s on his couch watching FOX at 40 years old.

But hey, at least he’s not ditching town like LeBron. Pleasing everyone else should matter before pleasing himself, right?


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2010 MLB All-Star Game: Comparng American & National League Starters

On Tuesday night, the city of Anaheim will become relevant again as the top players in the MLB hit the field for the 2010 All-Star Game.

On Wednesday, it will go back to being a city that just added Los Angeles to its name for publicity.

But until then, there are two teams wrestling for something very crucial: home field advantage in the World Series.

While the exhibition may seem trivial to you, players want home field in the World Series as much as the Kardashians want their names in the news.

Well, unless they play for the Cubs. Then they know they aren’t going to the World Series.


Many people think the starters for these games aren’t important because they rarely play more than three innings each. However, many of the recent All-Star games have had runs scored early, so if a team wants a cushion, it will come down to these nine guys.

So who has a chance to make an impact early on?

Note: I chose Marisa Miller to give you all something pretty to look at.

If you’ve watched any of the recent All-Star games, it’s the last thing pretty thing you will see during the break.

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A Match Made in Heaven: Oswalt Should Join the Boys in Blue

Tony Jackson’s report on Wednesday reported that the Dodgers are not discussing bringing Roy Oswalt. Too bad too, because that would have been the most perfect marriage since Bobby and Whitney’s.

Perfect may need rephrasing. But it’s still ideal.

The Astros claim they have no interest in dealing Oswalt at this point, but just like when Roy Halladay went to the Phillies, it’s going to happen and all that matters is when the Astros decide to look ahead to 2011. If Oswalt is getting fed up in Houston and publicly asks for a trade, why not send him off to a team with one of MLB’s top farm systems?

Sorry Billy Beane, but the Dodgers turn their talent into playoff wins, so they get the edge here. Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, and James Loney are just a few players that have left L.A.’s farm recently to make All-Star appearances and big impacts in the League.

Any Astros fans think they could use bats like that, on a team with the MLB’s lowest batting average?

If not, we can improve your IQ with a brain swap with Paris Hilton. She’s game.

But the real winner here is the man himself. Oswalt is 15th in the majors with a 2.66 ERA, yet is 2-6 due to the lowest run support in the league.

And people are surprised he asked for a trade and questioned the direction of the team? He’s 32-years-old and a top-tier pitcher—he deserves a chance to be dealt to a contender for all he has done in 14 years with the organization.

Name another All-Star pitcher with that kind of tenure. The best (and only) answer is Mariano Rivera. Now name one on a losing team. The answer is no one.

Put him in blue and he fits tighter than Panic! At the Disco’s jeans. The Dodgers score nearly 5 runs per game, which are more runs than Oswalt’s opponents have scored in all ten appearances. L.A. hitters bat over 50 points higher and starters have more than double the wins than their Astros counterparts.

There’s a reason the Dodgers won 12-of-15. And it’s not Chavez Ravine’s all-you-can-eat right field pavilion, a.k.a. God’s gift to baseball fans.

Dodger Stadium has to be another reason Oswalt would waive his no-trade clause good-bye. He goes from the launching pad of Minute Maid Park to the spacious confines of the same stadium where Hideo Nomo actually looked decent.

If you need a clue about how small the juice box is, ask Brad Lidge. Albert Pujols devoured his soul.

Look at it from the other side now. The Dodgers need a front-line starter. The reason they won their last title? Orel Hershiser dominated 1988, leading the league in wins, win-loss percentage, complete games and shutouts. The reason the Yankees and Phillies met in the World Series last year? Lee and Sabathia owned.

If this is a coincidence, then LeBron will go to the Lakers. I’m praying.

Oswalt slides into the Dodgers rotation perfectly as the veteran leader and mentor. They tried it with Greg Maddux, but he was past his prime, unlike Oswalt. While Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley have good stuff, they don’t have the experience and poise which the Astros’ ace steps to the mound with every game.

And experience matters. The problem with the Dodgers past two playoff bouts with the Phillies was that Joe Torre didn’t know who should fill out the shortened three-man rotation. Kershaw? Billingsley? Hiroki Kuroda? A seven-game series requires a stud you can go to for games one, four, and seven.

Dodgers fans can tell you they don’t trust those three names for three starts in a series. And don’t rely on Charlie Haeger’s knuckle toss to be a big threat on the mound—a good pitch requires an actual chance of not being hit into orbit every time.

But Oswalt has pitched in a World Series, faced some of the greatest hitters of all-time (despite steroids), and dealt fire through his nine years in the Show.

Rick Ross has a word for people like this: Boss.

So what’s the moral of this story, kiddies? Get the deal done. If you have a chance to get a pitcher with a career 3.21 ERA and 65% winning percentage, make more secret phone calls than Tiger Woods to do it. Frank McCourt, let the Astros know you’re not a businessman, but a business…man. Yes, you are having legal and marital issues that are consuming your time, but everyone forgives you if you are winning.

And if it’s money you need, call Woods. He’s soon to be supporting only himself.

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