Roy Oswalt endeared himself to nobody but the Angels when he came out of Sunday's game against the Royals after two innings of work when the team wanted him to throw another inning.
It was easy to jump on Oswalt's decision to opt out of the game. He had recently been demoted from the rotation in favor of Scott Feldman, which feels like the kind of thing that would upset a veteran starting pitcher with a certain level of success under his belt, and it smacked of a player putting himself ahead of the team. That's not the "Ranger Way," according to columnists like Anthony Andro of FoxSportsSouthwest.com.
It also might not have been the truth.
Oswalt spoke to reporters on Tuesday for the first time since the incident and admitted that he would prefer to be a starter. But he also said he'll do anything the Rangers want him to do and that he won't ask for a trade because the only reason he asked out of the game was because he'd thrown more than 200 pitches over the course of a week.
"I think people are trying to make too much out of something that really was nothing to make anything out of,” Oswalt said. “We’re talking about throwing 200 pitches over a seven-day period and that’s the reason my outing got limited. I didn’t say I was quitting. Everything got out of whack by people assuming things."
Ron Washington played dumb during his own session with the media by saying he didn't realize that there was any problem related to Oswalt. Which is odd, since he also said that the two men met to clear the air and air rarely needs to be cleared unless there's a problem with the air in the first place.
What Washington didn't say and what remains at the heart of this whole situation is why he went in front of the media on Sunday and made it clear that Oswalt asked out of the game without ever mentioning concerns about his workload. Assuming Oswalt is telling the truth, and there's no reason to assume otherwise, then Washington surely knew how much he'd thrown and how much he'd be available to throw on Sunday.
If Washington knew those things and still chose to put all of the onus for leaving the game on Oswalt, it's hard to believe things really are as hunky dory as they would have us believe. Managers don't leave their players hanging out to dry for no reason, so this might not be the last we hear on this front before the year is out.