I can’t remember the exact context of the quote (someone will correct me, I’m sure) but I believe Whitey Herzog once said the kind of shift he’d have preferred to use against Jim Rice would’ve involved putting a couple of guys atop the Citgo sign.

With all due respect to Jim Ed (and the Colonial line of meats), the only shift that’s gonna stop David Ortiz these days would be sending nine guys with gloves into the Fenway bleachers.

I’m not sure which commentator on BBTN made the Michael Jordan comparison last night (either Olney or Tino shouting from an adjoining room where he’s locked up) and I suppose it is telling those guys have to look beyond baseball for anyone nearly as hot with the game on the line (presumably, they weren’t referring to Jordan’s tenue with the Birmingham Barons). Still, I’d like to think the Minnesota Twins could’ve found a spot for Jordan.

I’m looking for something nice to say about the Sultan Of Sloth’s showing last night against the Indians, and this is really the best I can do : David Wells has just as much right to be playing professional baseball as Jose Lima.

Boston’s attempts yesterday to acquire Roy Oswalt for a package of 3 players, came to nought when Houston owner Drayton McLane vetoed the deal, according to the Globe’s Nick Cafardo. The Houston Chronicle’s Jose de jesus Ortiz predicts that Oswalt won’t soon forget yesterday’s machinations.

Oswalt was just reminded baseball is a business. At a time when Oswalt expected McLane to open negotiations with his agent, Bob Garber, Oswalt found out the Astros were willing to include him in a deal for Baltimore Orioles All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada.

Now Oswalt is prepared to dig in. He views himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he expects to be rewarded. You might not believe this now, but unless Oswalt is injured, he won’t give up his chance to test free agency after next season unless the Astros give him a contract this winter guaranteeing the first five years after his arbitration eligibility is done.

Oswalt won’t give up his opportunity to test the market unless he gets a deal worth at least $14 million a year for six years this winter or five years after next season. If you think he’ll give McLane a hometown discount now, you’re sorely confused. That much was clear when I spoke with Oswalt after the deadline.

Morgan Ensberg had a HR and a throwing error in Round Rock’s 14-5 loss to Sacramento last night, a contest that not only feature a brutally poor showing by Taylor Bucholz, but also featured the long-awaited Central Texas return of Jeremy “Soft Body” Brown (above), who doubled and had a pair of singles for the River Cats.

Tampa Bay promoted B.J. Upton today from Durham. Hopefully, he’ll enjoy the Evian showers.

Dodger Thoughts’ Jon Wiseman isn’t totally sold on the trade that brought Julio Lugo to L.A.

Joel Guzman’s 2006 performance in AAA ball basically defines setback. On the verge of almost whimsically stealing the starting left fielder job with the Dodgers in Spring Training, Guzman went to Las Vegas and found the city strangely devoid of high OPS for him – .817 with the 51s isn’t exactly like getting three cherries at the slots. But the guy remains a 21-year-old with exciting capabilities, someone you would think to save for the future or invest toward the future.

Someone who, at a minimum, could grow up to be as good as Julio Lugo.

Instead, Guzman was only able to combine with Cal State Fullerton graduate Pedroza to yield the 30-year-old Lugo, who has a sexy .302 EQA at shortstop but will be a free agent at the end of the season – and who might not even have a position in the starting lineup when either Jeff Kent or Nomar Garciaparra return from the disabled list, unless one of those two has an injury way more serious than previously reported, or unless Lugo himself moves to center field.

The message being sent by Colletti is twofold: 2006 isn’t a lost cause, and Guzman did not have a place in the Dodger lineups of the future. There are arguments to be made on both sides of these messages – and don’t forget, the Dodgers can pick up some draft pick compensation for departing free agents – but it’s hard for me to take Colletti’s side.

I’m not saying he’s wrong. You know Colletti has consulted with the Dodger minor league staff before making this deal. And if they don’t think Guzman is going to make it, then from the Dodger point of view, it’s simply two free months of Lugo and what’s the fuss?

I’m just saying it’s hard for me to be so cutthroat about Guzman, for me to feel sure that people aren’t focusing too much on what he lacks instead of what he offers. That can be a disease when you apply it only to your own players. One can just as easily point out that Lugo’s 2006 performance, with an OPS about 100 points above his previous career high, is fool’s gold.