There are some professional athletes that many of us would love to punch in the groin if we could get away with it. Tiger Woods, LeBron James, and the hollow husk that was once Bret Favre immediately spring to mind. Then there are those you’d love to sit down with for a beer or three. Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Oswalt fits snuggly into the latter category.
The poisonous sports atmosphere of the ironically dubbed “City of Brotherly Love,” clearly hasn’t gotten to the former Astros ace — yet. The Mississippi native who called the Bayou City home since making his Major League debut with the Astros in 2001 took out a full page ad in the sports section of today’s Houston Chronicle to thank the throngs of Oswalt loyalists he left behind when Uncle Drayton shipped him off to the Philadelphia Phillies — in part, so Oswalt could take another shot at a World Series Championship.
In the brief-but-eloquent message, Oswalt thanks the fans, Astros owner Drayton McLane, and the Astros organization.
The timing was a bit bittersweet as the Astros Youth Auxiliary (22-16 since the All-Star break) just finished a midweek sweep of Oswalt’s Phils. While its fun to see the new look Astros lead by Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence — who may be the most electrifying young outfield tandem in the game — light the flickering flame of hope for next season, it’s nice to think of the 32-year-old Oswalt pitching in another Fall Classic before the close of what still-may-be a Hall of Fame career (Oswalt isn't retiring anytime soon, but World Series chances are never guaranteed).
Here’s hoping the two-time defending National League Champion Phillies don’t fail him.
Oswalt signs off with the following: “Please know that Houston will always hold a special place in my heart.” Right back atcha, big guy.
The three-time all-star and former National League Championship Series MVP (2005) has a lifetime 146-83 record in the bigs with a 3.23 ERA. Since joining the Phillies, Oswalt has gone 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA going into his start against San Diego tonight.