Thank you Buster Olney.
Finally. Something worth thinking about.
On Friday, Olney posted new information on Twitter that created a spark in this otherwise cold, dark, quiet, and surprisingly rainy, Tigers off-season: The asking price for starter Roy Oswalt is now reportedly a mere $8 million.
$8 million. Half of his 2011 salary.
This is a guy who finished sixth in Cy Young Award votes in 2010. A guy who, just last season, pitched in arguably one of the greatest rotations in baseball ever. A guy who shares a career WHIP of 1.194 with one Justin Verlander.
If bloggers could bring a deal to fruition, Oswalt to the Tigers would have been wrapped up Saturday morning. (Of course, if bloggers could bring anything to fruition, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols would be playing for approximately, oh, I don’t know, all of the major league teams, and, well, why stop there?) Josh Worn (@docworn) of Walkoff Woodward and Garret Craig (@garretkc) writing for Motor City Bengals both convincingly endorse an Oswalt future in Detroit.
And so do I. Despite his age (34), his time on the DL last season (63 days) and the nature of his injury (degenerative disc disease), I still believe (especially after reading the above mentioned blogs) Oswalt has at least a year of solid pitching left in him. And he’s willing to accept just that – a one-year deal. Where do we sign?
There’s a great story about Oswalt and a shoulder problem early on in his minor league career. He’d been in pain for about a month and knew the injury threatened his major-league dreams. But something happened that would change everything. While working on his car one afternoon, he grabbed a spark plug and it sent a current of electricity through his body – a current that lasted for about a minute. The shock threw him to the ground. And an event that could have had – should have had – a devastating outcome, cured his shoulder. For good. No more pain.
That was 1999. In 2001, Oswalt would make his major league debut. That year, he would finish second in the race for Rookie of the Year to Albert Pujols, fifth in Cy Young Award voting, and be a candidate for the MVP. Not a bad rookie year. Not a bad year period. And it would continue.
The scientific explanation I read about the electrocution of Roy Oswalt said something about the electricity loosening up some scar tissue in his shoulder blah blah blah. I don’t know. I’m no doctor (obviously). But my point is this. Maybe a little shock to the system (metaphorical or otherwise) is just what Oswalt – and his aching back – needs.
I think a move to Detroit would do him good.
I’m sitting here in my Havana Cubans tee shirt, not thinking about Yoenis Cespedes (I swear), listening to my neighbor attempt to snow-blow the one inch of snow we (finally) received. I can’t blame him. I’ve been champing at the bit for some snow myself – because somehow it seems like if it doesn’t ever snow, spring will never come. And I need spring to come. So Buster Olney’s news couldn’t have come at a better time. Spring is truly on it’s way, and I’m inspired once again by the good, solid, baseball free agent speculation. By the blogger frenzy. By the anticipation.
Of course, I’d be even more inspired by a picture of Roy Oswalt wearing the old English D.
Something to put up on the mantle.
Right next to that spark plug.