Tony Jackson’s article on ESPNLosAngeles.com 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 in 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.
Dodger 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.