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O, The Humanity: Oswalt Coming, Owens Gone

By Richie Whitt, CBSDFW.COM
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Roy Oswalt is 34. A losing pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies last year, he’s been on the disabled list five times the last six years. And, at this point, he’s a fly-ball pitcher.

Know what else: Despite that he’s a perfect fit for the Texas Rangers.

Why? Because he costs nada.

Thanks to Rangers fans that have already flocked to Arlington in record numbers, team ownership has more money in the bank than expected. It’s why the potential $5 million to rent Oswalt for half a season is a bargain. With no salary cap, the more the merrier. Right?

Oswalt isn’t Cliff Lee. But this also isn’t a Cliff Lee situation where the Rangers are forced to fork over prospects like Justin Smoak and Blake Beavan. This is a money move, and money – you listening, Tom Hicks? – is indeed replaceable.

“The bottom line is I think we’re better today with Roy in the fold,” Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday night. “Ownership stepped out. This wasn’t something we contemplated in the budget.”

Assuming he passes his physical Thursday and has no setbacks during 3-4 minor league starts at AAA Round Rock, Oswalt will be pitching for the Rangers in late June. He’s a veteran with two 20-win seasons and three All-Star appearances who won the NLCS MVP in ’05, helping the Houston Astros to the World Series.

When Neftali Feliz returns from his elbow soreness, I’m guessing he goes back to the bullpen. If he can regain his old form, Oswalt could be in the short rotation in a playoff series. And if he sucks, it cost the Rangers, well, next to nothing. With the addition of another Wild Card team to the post-season, teams will be less likely to part with veteran pitchers at the trade deadline, making Oswalt even more attractive.

And, at the very least, the Rangers are keeping Oswalt from joining the Anaheim Angels, who are in need of pitching in the wake of ace Jered Weaver going on the disabled list with back problems of his own.

There was a time when the Rangers couldn’t afford top-flight pitching and it didn’t matter because elite pitchers didn’t want to pitch in Arlington. Those days are gone. Oswalt reportedly turned down more money from the Phillies and Dodgers to pitch in Texas.

While we wait for Oswalt to arrive, can we – again, for the next last time – say goodbye forever to Terrell Owens?

The petulant former Cowboys’ receiver was cut by the Indoor Football League’s Allen Wranglers Tuesday, with co-owner John Frankel citing a lack of commitment on and off the field.

To be fair, criticizing and even disciplining T.O. for not wanting to play in playoff-impactful road games is asinine because Owens’ contract called for him to play only home games. But if he didn’t show up to a scheduled appearance at a children’s hospital we … are supposed to be surprised?

Said Frankel, “It’s disappointing and unfortunate, but he could no longer be tolerated by the Wrangler organization.”

T.O. is done. At 38 and with a disruptive reputation further cemented, no NFL team is that desperate. Next time we see Owens he’ll be in the ring of WWE.

Or worse.

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