Roy Oswalt visits Astros camp

BY foxsports • February 20, 2014

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Roy Oswalt wasn't tempted to rethink his retirement when he dropped by Houston's spring training camp on Thursday.

The former Astros pitcher was, however, reminded by Roger Clemens that retirement doesn't necessarily mean the end of a career.

''Roger came in and told me anyone can retire once, so he may be challenging me. I don't know,'' Oswalt said.

Joking aside, the three-time All-Star who helped Houston to its only World Series appearance in 2005 is at peace with his decision to call it quits after a 13-year career in which he won 163 games.

He is working with agent Bob Garber and mentoring pitchers at Mississippi State. He says he could envision working with Houston's pitchers at spring training in the future. But for now he's content to spend more time with his family.

The 36-year-old Oswalt has enjoyed his work at Mississippi State and likes that it allows him to remain involved with the game while still leaving time to pursue other interests.

''Sometimes when you stay around the game a long period of time, you lose the energy and you just expect to do what you do,'' he said. ''The young guys have that energy about them where they want to learn. They want to get to the next level ... that part of it is really intriguing to me, to help a guy get to the level he wants to be at.''

Oswalt, who won 20 games in both 2004 and 2005, was drafted by the Astros in the 23rd round in 1996 and went 143-82 with a 3.24 ERA in 9 1/2 seasons in Houston. He was traded to the Phillies in 2010 in his 10th year with the Astros. He also pitched there in 2011 before throwing for Texas in 2012 and Colorado last season.

He and fellow former Astro Lance Berkman, who also recently retired, will be feted for their accomplishments in a pregame ceremony on April 5 in Houston. The pair will sign one-day contracts before the ceremony to allow them to officially retire as Astros.

''The Astros doing that for Lance and I is kind of icing on the cake,'' Oswalt said. ''That's where we're known. I consider myself an Astro, it doesn't matter where I played. I played in some great organizations after Houston, but Houston is home and it's great to retire in the city of Houston.''

Berkman was reticent to go along with the plan at first, but Oswalt talked him into it.

''You try to take yourself out of it,'' Oswalt said. ''Some of the fans that grew up in our era, it's something to give back to them. Retiring with the Astros is one of the things I wanted to do from the very beginning.''

Second-year Astros manager Bo Porter welcomed Oswalt to camp and said he'd love to see more of him.

''It's great to have all of those guys stop by,'' Porter said. ''We want those guys around as much as possible ... our door is completely open. They are a part of our family. It's always good for our players to get an opportunity to talk to the guys that have laid the foundation for some great teams around here.''

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