He moved in front of me until we were chest to chest and then he shoved me to the ground. When I attempted to get to my feet, he shoved me a second time.
This was not taken from a script of a Lifetime Original Movie starring Joanna Kerns. These are the words of Astros GM Ed Wade describing his encounter with pitcher Shawn Chacon, who was put on waivers yesterday after admitting to putting his hand around Wade’s throat and throwing him down to the ground.
As a follow-up story, The Houston Chronicle’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz wonders what exactly is going on between the Houston pitchers and their coaches, more specifically, pitching coach Dewey Robinson.
De Jesus Ortiz recounts an incident back on May 17 – facing the Texas Rangers, Astros ace Roy Oswalt complained to Robinson of pain in his groin after completing the sixth inning. Instead of being taken out, Oswalt was asked to give the team one more inning, but instead failed to record an out in the seventh (gave up consecutive hits to Ian Kinsler and Michael Young) before being removed. Following the game, Oswalt told reporters:
What makes this strange, however, is that Astros manager Cecil Cooper recounted this very differently:
“He just said he thought he could go back out for the seventh,” Cooper said. “We felt we could get one more out of him.”
Sounds like someone’s lying, or to put it more nicely, someone has “communication problems”. Anyhow, back to de Jesus Ortiz’ column. Cecil Cooper obviously denies that there is a communication problem between the pitching corps and their coach. Oswalt, however, uses words that are probably a little too open to interpretation when talking about his first year manager and pitching coach:
“I won’t say it’s a communication problem. Sometimes we see different from them, and they see it different from us. You still have to play no matter what.”
“I think it’s a lot of (it happening to be the) first time they’ve done this job. You worry about too many things at one time instead of just being worried about being focused on the team and know that everybody here is trying to give 100 percent. Sometimes the game is starting to look a little easier from the sideline than it does on the field. Overall, it’s just trying to get accustomed to the job.”
I can’t say that I blame Oswalt if he’s sounding a bit frustrated. I mean, Dewey Robinson seems to endorse the most useless baseball “skill-enhancing” product I have ever seen. Apparently, pitchers’ in-game performances are elevated by 3 bazillion percent when you begin calling the outside corner of the plate “7″.
Thanks goes out to Zvee Geffen for pointing out the Oswalt-part of the story.