Nocturnal Emissions is a series in which members of the media gush over some member of the Astros with no real reason.
Richard Justice gets in on the NE with a column on Roy Oswalt.
As bad as things got around the Astros last season — and they were very bad at times — Roy O. never lost his love of baseball. He never stopped trying, never stopped caring...
Yes, he was unhappy at times. Through it all, though, there were still those moments when he got to walk out to the mound and do the thing he loves more than almost anything else in the world. None of the ugliness and losing could touch his love of that one thing. If you thought otherwise, he wants you to know you're absolutely wrong.
He tried to be above it all. Lord knows, he wanted to be above it all. He wanted to be the tough-as-a-cheap-steak country boy who did his job and didn't worry about the tension and incompetence around him.
He couldn't. He got caught up in a losing environment. He won't say it publicly, but he had no use — and very little respect — for either the manager (Cecil Cooper) or the pitching coach (Dewey Robinson).
He'd come up through the minor league system when the Astros won at every level, and losing chewed him up and spit him out at times. He remembered when the Astros were considered among the smartest, classiest and most successful teams in baseball, and then here they were, just losing and losing and losing.