Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt:
“I just kind of asked as an option, and what [the Astros] were thinking as far as which direction they’re going, do they plan to get young, or try to get some more players, or what direction are they going? They didn’t really have an answer for what they were going to do right now. I still don’t want people to think I’m leaving because we’re not doing well right now. The reason is I don’t have much of a window left to play, and I want another shot at winning.”
There are two reasons this quote is amazing:
- Assuming Oswalt is telling the truth – and there’s no reason to doubt that he is – this confirms what most already suspected: that the Astros have no idea what they’re doing. Most intelligent folks would agree that the best course of action for the franchise is to identify the players on the 40-man roster that could help them win in, say, 2015, trade as many extraneous veterans as they can for whatever prospects they can get, and pour more money into the farm system. It’s the classic rebuilding project, and it’s exactly what they should be doing. But if the Astros are still really and truly unsure of what the right play is, then that’s a huge indictment of the organization’s leadership at all levels.
- The last two sentences are fantastic. Paraphrased: “I’m not interested in leaving because we’re terrible. I’m leaving because I want to win before I retire.” I’m giving Oswalt a hard time, I know, but I really don’t blame him. He’s a baseball player, not a newspaper editor, so his phrasing isn’t all that deft. But he has given the organization 1,864 innings of 3.21 ERA pitching over the last nine years, and hopefully the Astros will do what’s best for all parties: honor Oswalt’s wishes while getting the best package of prospects possible in return.