Are Roy Oswalt’s days in Houston coming to a close?
Let’s hope not.
But according to Fox Sports Houston’s Greg Lucas, it’s highly likely that Roy O’s final days with the Astros are upon us.
Unfortunately for Houston fans, Oswalt tossed one of the best games of his career in his latest outing at Minute Maid Park—with a handful of scouts in the stands, watching in awe.
First baseman Lance Berkman, also rumored to be in his last stand with Houston, had a phenomenal game with back-to-back home runs as the Astros took a 2-0 victory to the house.
So, what’s next?
Oswalt already made headline news earlier in the season when he officially requested to be traded, but now the non-waiver trade deadline is just a few weeks away.
And that likely means no more Wizardry in Houston come July 31.
“That’s the business part of it,” Oswalt told MLB.com beat writer Brian McTaggart. “The best part of it is when you step across the white lines you don’t have to worry about it. You go out there and play the game and give 100 percent and that’s all you can ask for yourself.”
Always a class act both on and off the field, Oswalt will be dearly missed if he does indeed depart from the Astros organization.
But it’s also, unfortunately, Houston’s best choice in terms of rebuilding for the future of the franchise.
“Should one or both of them cease to wear Astros colors in a few days or weeks no one should overly lament their passing from the scene,” Lucas stated on his blog on Thursday night. “That is the way of baseball. Veteran players move aside either by retirement, trade or free agency to open the doors for the next generation.”
Lucas is right on the money with that statement, and it especially rings true in Houston.
Regardless of where Oswalt lands, he’ll always be remembered as a legendary ace with the Astros—and a leader on the 2005 team that shocked the baseball world by making it all the way to the franchise's first World Series appearance.
“I’ve been here for 10 years now and there’s a lot of great pitchers who have come through here,” Oswalt told McTaggart. “You start talking about names like Nolan [Ryan], [Mike] Scott, [Joe] Niekro and [Larry] Dierker. That’s some pretty good quality names there. Any time you get mentioned in same sentence as them it’s pretty special.”
We’ll miss you if you go, Roy; but we’ll also wish you the best for your MLB future as you aim to continue to dominate the game with skill and ease.
The Astros are beginning to shuffle the cards in rebuilding a tattered team—in hopes of once again making Houston contenders in the National League and beyond.
That begins, as sad as it may be, with trading away franchise names like Oswalt and Berkman.
Will either of them still be wearing an Astros jersey in August?
Let the countdown begin…
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org