The Astros aren't shopping Oswalt, but did the Dodgers inquire anyway?


ESPN Los Angeles’ Tony Jackson reports that “a source with knowledge of the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity” said that the Astros aren’t looking to trade Roy Oswalt right now.

Of course we always hear this about big trade chits. Remember last year how J.P. Ricciardi was saying that he wasn’t really trying hard to trade Roy Halladay . . . after he basically told everyone that he was going to trade Halladay?  Yeah, it’s kind of like that.  Everyone is always available if the offer is right. If Steve Phillips gets hired by someone tomorrow and offers Ed Wade his team’s top five prospects, Oswalt will be at the airport ten minutes later.

But I’m more interested in this report’s source than its facts. Tony Jackson is a Los Angeles guy and he’s dealing with an anonymous source. I’m not exactly a seasoned reporter, but I have found that you kind of need to know your anonymous source for a bit before they’ll give you anonymous information.  This leads me to believe that Jackson’s source is an L.A. guy he’s known for a bit.  Maybe I’m crazy, but does it not seem likely that his source is a Dodgers guy who knows this information because the Dodgers inquired about Oswalt and were rebuffed?

A Dodgers source would call for anonymity far more than an Astros source with this kind of thing too. The Astros have already implied that they weren’t shopping Oswalt, and it would actually help their position if this line was underscored through more official comment, thereby obviating the need for leaks like this.  The Dodgers — or any other team — however, would hurt themselves if their interest was known, partially because it would stoke expectations in the press and the fan base, and partially because it might stir competition among rivals for Oswalt’s services. In their case, whispers are the only way you’ll hear this kind of thing.

So, yeah, this all just armchair deduction on my part, but I tend to live by the two obs, and this kind of deduction usually works for me. I think the Dodgers have inquired about Oswalt.

CC Sabathia checking into an alcohol rehab center

sabathia getty

This is totally unexpected and definitely unfortunate: The New York Yankees just released a statement from CC Sabathia saying that he is checking himself into an alcohol rehabilitation center.

Sabathia, who was involved in a relatively minor incident outside a nightclub back in August, has battled injuries and ineffectiveness for the past three seasons but has, in his last few starts, shown himself to be effective, even if he’s not to the level he once was. And, should the Yankees advance past the Wild Card game, one would have assumed that the Yankees would’ve been counting on him for the playoff rotation. Now, however, that seems both doubtful and completely superfluous.

And for what it’s worth, Sabathia’s statement, just released by the Yankees, suggests that he is aware of the need to get his priorities in order:

“Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.

“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.

“I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.

“As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.

“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids — and others who may have become fans of mine over the years — to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.

“I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.”

Here’s hoping Sabathia deals with whatever problems he’s facing and comes out healthy on the other end.

Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey

Oliver Perez, Mike Harkey
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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.

That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.

Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.