An Open Letter To Roy Oswalt


Dear Mr. Oswalt,

First, allow me to congratulate you on your one year, $5 Million dollar contract you signed with the Texas Rangers three months into the season.  Undoubtedly, your agent did excellent work on your behalf and your track record as a pitcher and a teammate promoted your reputation.  I’m sure you remember me, we met back in the fall of 2005 on the south side of Chicago and hung out for a very short time.  I am writing you this letter to discuss with you the actions purported of late in hopes to clear the air so that we may meet again this year.  

I remember you as a fierce competitor and someone who would never rattle in the face pressure.  You can imagine my surprise when I heard from your manager that you declined to pitch a third inning in relief against the lowly Kansas City Royals.  Even Montgomery Brewster can get anybody out for three innings.  Your silence on this matter for 3 days, however, I found even more discouraging.   Even Kenny Rogers would tell the media on camera that he didn’t have a comment (and then he smashed it in their face) instead of running away and hiding from them.  You were called out for quitting on your team, for pouting because you were demoted to the bullpen, and your Assistant General Manager refused to deny that you had demanded a trade.  Finally, late Tuesday afternoon from a dark place away from cameras, you decide to give your side of the story.

You claim that you had exceeded your workload for the week and that the Rangers failed to take into account a bullpen session you threw on a Wednesday towards your pitch count which had arrived at 200.  Fair enough, 200 pitches in a week for a reliever is quite a bit, but according to you, you’re a starting pitcher.  Let’s review your six 2012 starts.  You have a 3-2 record.  Ok, nothing glaringly disheartening about that.  However, your average ERA over your 6 starts this year is 7.12.  You allowed 25 earned runs in 34 and 2/3 innings including seven home runs.  During your six starts your average BABIP was .390 and opponents’ batting average was .345.  The point is that, as a starter, your results, frankly, weren’t living up to the contract you signed.  You did not prove yourself as a dependable option for the rotation on a team that requires their starting pitchers to eat innings and keep the ball club in the game.  You have 0 Cy Young Awards.  You have 0 league MVPs.  You have 0 World Championships.  Right now, the closest thing you have to getting into Cooperstown is Kendrys Morales’s bat that hit the first of 2 homers in an inning from each side.

Rather than give you your outright release, you were placed in the bullpen.  I know it stung.  I know your pride and confidence suffered greatly from this demotion.  After a decade of being a starting pitcher in the big leagues, your role dramatically changed.  Everyone understands that.  The best advice you can hear is to embrace change.  Live your life outside of your comfort zone.  Accept new challenges, and work hard to overcome obstacles.  You are being rewarded financially, probably better than any middle reliever in the big leagues, but the reward you will receive for your internal growth is priceless and irrevocable.   At your age, the bullpen can add years to your career a la John Smoltz.  In your 4 innings pitched out of the ‘pen so far you are almost unhittable.  You have yet to allow a run or a walk.  You have six strikeouts and a win against the archrival Angels.  You can do this and you can be very successful at it.  I don’t remember you as a quitter or a whiner or someone who was intimidated by difficult situation.  You are on the best team in the American League who is staring back to back to back league championships.  Your importance to this club is pivotal in that pursuit, but your role has changed.  Embrace change.  Plow it with your tractor from Uncle Drayton.  Because if you do, then we will surely meet again this year, and a glorious reunion it could be…


The Fall Classic


P.S. Can you show some damn leadership for Holland and Darvish

Will Mitchell

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