Trade is best option for Oswalt

Should Roy Oswalt eventually leave Houston for a playoff contender, he will have been one of the best pitchers in Astros history.  After making his major league debut in 2001, Oswalt has made three all-star appearances, and one NLCS MVP in 2005.

Can you really blame Oswalt for wanting out of Houston?  Outside of Lance Berkman, “Roy O” has been the face of the franchise.  He’s given everything he’s had to the organization, causing little problems.  It’s amazing Oswalt has a 6-11 record with an ERA so low at 3.12.  Or is it that surprising considering the talent of the Astros bats?

The two leading candidates for Oswalt appear to be St. Louis and Philadelphia.  The only problem I have with him going to the Cards is that Houston will have to face him consistently for the rest of his career.  Oswalt, who turns 33 next month, is signed for $16 million for next season, with that same option for 2012.

One person who’s impressed by Oswalt’s season this year is his former teammate and current Philly pitcher, Brad Lidge.

“He’s never going to be a guy who lays down,” Lidge said. “It doesn’t matter what team he’s on. He’s got a lot of pride in what he does — a lot like that other Roy.

“I’ve known him for a long time and I saw it day in and day out. He’s a horse out there.”

The one deal-breaker which could turn teams off is that Oswalt appears to not be wavering on the $16 million option for next season.  For now, the Phillies don’t seem to be sold that Oswalt deserves that much money next season.  The fact that there are other pitching prospects that may be available could hurt Oswalt’s chances of being dealt if he decides to stay firm on his contract.

Has Roy Oswalt seen his days as an Astro come to an end?

As of now, it’s unclear which players would be heading to Houston from Philadelphia, but pitcher J.A. Happ appears to be on Houston’s wish list.  Happ was the runner-up for rookie of the year last season in the NL, and has been pitching in Triple-A after an early season forearm injury.

One thing the Astros have to acquire out of this trade is talent for the future.  After all, you better when you’re dealing your ace.  Unfortunately, no matter who comes to Houston, there’s still a tumultuous uphill climb to the top of the NL Central.

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Ken Griffey Jr. Retires After HOF Career

Ken Griffey Jr. will be remembered as one of the greatest baseball players of all time.  The “kid” from Pennsylvania announced his retirement after a stellar twenty-two year career in the majors.  After years of following baseball, I can honestly say that the smooth-swinging lefty was the player I admired the most.  After all he and I share the same birthday, November 21.

Not only was Griffey a great player, he exemplified what it meant to be a professional.  At the age of 19 he made his major league debut for the Seattle Mariners.  In his first tenure with the Mariners, Griffey made one spectacular catch after another in center field.  He was named to the gold glove team every year from 1990-1999.

Perhaps the greatest memory I have of Ken Griffey Jr. is the image of him sliding into home scoring the series-winning run versus the Yankees in the 1995 ALDS.  Unfortunately the furthest post-season play he would ever reach would be the 1995 ALCS.  The Mariners were beaten that year by the Cleveland Indians in six games.

After a decade of greatness in Seattle, Griffey made a move to Cincinnati.  The 1997 AL MVP was returning home to the place he had grown up while watching his father play for the Reds.  The perennial all-star didn’t seem himself during his years in Cincinnati as he was frequently plagued by injury.

Griffey would remain in Cincinnati garnishing all-star appearances in 2004 and 2007 before signing with the Chicago White Sox in 2008.  In February of 2009, after just one year in Chicago, he accepted an offer to return to the place he felt was his baseball home, Seattle.

Then, after 630 home runs, 1,836 runs batted in, and nearly 3,000 hits, the soft-spoken kid announced his retirement.  I will remember Ken Griffey, Jr. for his heroics on the field.  He was what baseball analysts call a 5-tool player.  Oh yea, did I mention he played in the so called “steroid area”, yet never tested positive for anything.  Kudos to you Ken Griffey Jr.  You will be remembered as one of the greatest of my generation.

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