Is Oswalt having as much fun as the final few months of last season?
“Yeah,” he said flatly.
It was an unconvincing answer…
–Matt Gelb, Philly Inquirer
We’ve been calling the guy “Lil Roy” for months and we’re just now suspecting that he’s irritated? There’s pictures of this guy on the internet holding a deer carcass by the horns and not smiling. He might actually hate us right now.
I’m gonna step off here and say I have no idea what’s ailing the dude. Back problems? Family worries? Recurring night terrors about all the deer he’s killed coming back to life as zombies and vandalizing his tractor with bats?
And obviously there’s not a whole bunch of things to complain about right now, so it’s more out of concern that we approach Roy, hat in hand, and ask, “What’s wrong?”
He will certainly not tell us.
“HE’S TOTALLY FINE,” the Phillies say, as if their front office wouldn’t be capable of a massive cover-up. But let’s assume they’re telling the truth, because I don’t know, we’re idiots in this scenario.
Think about it. Roy Halladay is an untouchable madman. Cliff Lee was the center of the action all winter thanks to Cliffmas. Even Cole Hamels’ voice changed this year. And then there’s Joe Blanton!
So to be the guy in the group whose consistently referred to as “Lil” anything is downright insulting. These are grown men playing baseball we’re talking about here, not How I Learned to Drive. We can claim we mean it endearingly all we want, that’s not going to change what it is.
For instance, my uncle habitually called me “assface” for thirteen years until I stood up at Thanksgiving one year and told him to burn in hell when I realized he’d written it on my place tag. Then he died in a car fire. So that was messed up.
Am I concerned that Roy Oswalt is going to kill us all in a car fire? Only sometimes. The point is, what we construe as”hilarious” and “fun-on-the-internet,” Roy may consider “horse shit” and “killworthy.” And maybe that’s eating away at his psyche out there when he’s trying to pitch, causing him to be the least acey ace we got.
There are plenty of real reasons behind his lapse, but this one seems like it makes the most sense. What if his kids started calling him “Lil Roy”? What if that shit winds up on his Wikipedia page? What if it becomes a weirdly unstoppable facet of his legacy that the writer of his biography deems fit for mentioning?
So basically, what we need is a new nickname for Roy before all of the things I said happen for real. I suggest something that stems from him healing his shoulder by grabbing a spark plug and getting electrocuted. “Elect-Roy-Ic?” That might piss him off even more. But you get the idea.