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Oswalt named to NL All-Star squad

Oswalt named to NL All-Star squad

HOUSTON -- Roy Oswalt spoke with owner Drayton McLane before he decided to accept an invitation to play in the All-Star Game.

So does that mean Oswalt's got another tractor coming his way?

"I wish," Oswalt said. "We haven't gotten to that point yet. Me and Drayton have a pretty good relationship, so we talked about [the All-Star Game]."

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OK, no second tractor for Oswalt, who received one for his performance in the postseason last year. He's still excited about the opportunity to play in his second career All-Star Game, though.

"It's always special when you get to go," he said. "I was kind of hoping to go straight out without someone falling out of it, but any way you get to go is great. Hopefully, I'll have a good time."

The player to bow out of the game at Pittsburgh's PNC Park next Tuesday was Mets right-hander Pedro Martinez (7-4, 3.45 ERA), who was placed on the disabled list Thursday.

Oswalt (6-5, 3.10) doesn't have as many wins as Martinez and some of the other pitchers on the National League team. But Oswalt suffered consecutive complete-game losses over his past two outings.

"Some guys only have a few more wins," Oswalt said. "I don't know if that cost me or what cost me."

Maybe being an Astros player -- and not a member of a more high-profile team -- hurt Oswalt's chances the first time around.

"I think sometimes we get overlooked with us not being a big-market team," Oswalt said. "Hopefully, things can change. If you get in the World Series, somebody's gonna notice."

Still ...

"The system is not perfect," he said. "A lot of times, you have to take guys from teams when another guy may have better numbers."

Well, Oswalt was certainly worthy in the minds of Lance Berkman and his manager, Phil Garner.

"He definitely deserves it," Berkman said of Oswalt.

"I am happy to be able to add Roy," Garner said. "I think everyone knows what I think of Roy, and I'm excited to watch him pitch."

Initially, Oswalt was open to the All-Star invite when it was presented Thursday.

"Then, he decided that he wanted to go home for a few days," Garner said. "But he should go. He's a deserving All-Star."

Does Oswalt deserve to start?

"I don't think I deserve to start, personally," Oswalt said. "There's a lot of guys who are having great years. I know [Mets left-hander Tom] Glavine is having a great year and [Reds right-hander] Bronson Arroyo of the Reds is having a great year. Hopefully, one of those guys gets to start."

Oswalt joins Berkman on Garner's club, which is supported by coaches Mark Bailey, Cecil Cooper, Jose Cruz, Gary Gaetti, Jim Hickey and Doug Mansolino.

Kevin Yanik is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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