Oswalt Scratched From Saturday’s Start

The funny thing about Roy Oswalt's back, Jules, is that it might be hurt after all (this pun will just not leave me alone).

According to our man J-Mac, Roy Oswalt has been scratched from tomorrow's start with a sore back. He could go on the DL. Uh oh. What happens when a guy spends a week at home moving trees with a bulldozer then comes back to the team with a stiff back? Exactly what you are about to see happen over the next few days, that's what.

Yesterday, Oswalt talked about family coming first: [PhillyBurbs.com]

"I've always said this right here, baseball, is a gift that you're given to play, but this comes third or fourth on my list. I could walk away from the game today and be happy. As long as you have your family, they're going to be there a lot longer than the game will be."


For the record, Oswalt did the right thing in going home this past week- it was an extenuating circumstance. However, there is a flip side to this argument. He spent eight days at home, four of which were on a tractor. No one in his family was hurt. There was some damage to his property- not his home. His back problems, suffered before the disaster in the midwest, are still present after a week of clearing trees and debris. As noble as his journey home was, there's going to be some folks who have a problem with the length of his stay. After all, his family was safe, and the tradeoff of making $16 million (his 2011 salary) is that sometimes baseball does have to come first- or at least it's expected to. That's how Charlie Manuel feels: [Philly.com]

"To me, as a manager, the game is the No. 1 priority," Manuel said. "The game itself, the priority is to win the game, if you want to be a winner. To me, that's how I feel. Do I think that's right? To me, it's right."

And what of Oswalt's take?

"I've always heard people say their family is first and things like that, and to a certain degree I agree," Manuel said. "But if you start looking at everything and you start wagering what goes on in your life and where you're working and what you have to do, I would think baseball definitely brightens your life from a financial standpoint."


He has a point. Under normal circumstances – this was not a normal circumstance – players are expected required to miss many personal tasks that most of us would absolutely leave work for. But you shouldn’t feel too bad about that – Ryan Howard will be making $41,000 per at-bat during the final three years of his contract. And that requirment is also part of the reason why even rookies get paid at a rate of $400,000 the minute they make it to the show. It is a major (heh, get it?) commitment. 

That being said, this wasn't a plumbing leak at Oswalt's home. It was the largest natural disaster this country has seen in a few years. He rightfully gets a pass for this. However, if his team third attitude ever comes into play again, well, you can expect those quotes to come back to haunt him.

– Other news: Chase Utley is expected to play in an extended spring training game tomorrow. It moved.


11 Responses

  1. MLB should have had a rule that allowed them to replace Oswalt while he was gone, like the new paternity leave rule. But at least now they’ll get to have a full 25 man roster again, albeit without Chooch and Roy for a few weeks.

  2. yeah i think hes getting a bit too much leeway with this. fly home to make sure your family is ok, batten down the hatches for a day or two, but you have big obligations in philly, phella. you are responsible for your days here, and to jeopardize your ability to meet those responsibilities is, um, irresponsible.

  3. Missing a single start isn’t a big deal but missing out on valuable rehab or back treatments which now may cost him additional starts may be. Even if he didn’t actually aggravate the injury while away from the team, the fact is that he was hurt, but then made two successful starts before leaving. Now he’s back and suddenly he’s in too much pain to start tomorrow, three weeks after the original injury? Sounds to me like leaving the team for so long had at least some effect on his health.

  4. He’s got young kids at home, one of them less than a year old. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a difficult time dealing with the aftermath of a tornado. I’ve got even more respect for Oswalt after hearing that he took the time he felt was required to give them not only hugs and kisses, but also some of his precious time to see that everyone’s okay.
    Not all the injuries done by these terrible natural disasters are physical, y’know. We’re lucky here on the East Coast. The worst we get are some pretty bad downpours and twenty feet of snow per winter.
    I can’t believe anyone’s got a problem with Oswalt doing what his family needed him to do.
    And I honestly think that Charlie, in his own way, was actually giving something of a backhanded, awkward stamp of approval. He knew if Oswalt had allowed himself to be forced to stay when he knew his family and kids needed him elsewhere, his head would be all over the place.
    I’m not even a parent yet and I know when your kids need you, you go to your kids.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with Kate. Family comes first. End of discussion.

  6. I am glad all is well with Roy’s family and he did what he had to do. My opinion doesn’t matter and I am happy he is back with the team although he is now hurt. But, all things being equal, can you imagine the outcry if Cole Hamels left the team and said baseball is # 3 or 4 in his life and returned injured? He’d be killed in this town!!

  7. In the big picture, family absolutely comes first – I don’t think too many good parents or spouses would argue with that sentiment. But, I do think it’s fair to point out that someone who’s making $16 million dollars this calendar year, which is more than many people make in a lifetime, does have a greater obligation to his craft than others. I don’t think most people have an issue with Roy leaving to see his family and ensure his children are physically and emotionally well for a week. I think it’s the fact that he was on a bulldozer for a week with a tweaked bad back, and now he’s on the DL.

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