Notes: Biggio to catch on Saturday

Notes: Biggio to catch on Saturday

CINCINNATI -- More than 15 years have passed since Craig Biggio suited up in a chest protector and shin guards, but on Wednesday, four hours before game time, the 20-year veteran seemingly stepped back in time.

Biggio caught Brandon Backe's bullpen session on Wednesday, in an effort to reacquaint himself with a position he played when he broke into the big leagues in 1988. Biggio's last season as a catcher was 1991, so needless to say, he has a bit of rust to shake off before he tries this again.

"I don't want to go back there and embarrass myself," Biggio said.

Biggio will catch for at least one inning, and maybe two, on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. He'll catch Backe, Saturday's scheduled starter.

Biggio's original plan to catch Roy Oswalt on Friday was canceled after Oswalt was scratched from that start. According to Oswalt and manager Cecil Cooper, the right-hander has been experiencing soreness in his side, stemming from the strained oblique muscle he suffered in August.

Unwilling to risk further injury, Oswalt removed himself from the rotation for the year. Matt Albers will probably start Friday's game in Oswalt's place.

Better safe than sorry: With nothing on the line this weekend, Oswalt saw no reason to push himself and risk further injury. He ends the season with 212 innings pitched, his fourth straight year of throwing at least 200 frames.

Oswalt had a cortisone shot in his left side a month ago and it felt better for two or three weeks, but lately, the pain apparently has returned.

"It's kind of sore again, and I don't want to tear something the last start of the season and have to worry about it in the offseason," he said. "I don't want to push it."

Proud papa: Adam Everett returned to Cincinnati from Houston on Wednesday, two days after his daughter, Paisley Christina, was born.

Everett started Wednesday's game, marking his first start since June, when he broke his leg during a collision with left fielder Carlos Lee.

Everett's stamina is understandably low, so he did not expect to play more than a few innings.

"It's just like going into Spring Training," he said. "I don't think there's really any way I could play nine innings that first day. I don't think [Cooper] wants to throw me out there for nine innings, anyway."

The month of September has produced nearly as many babies as wins. Roy Oswalt's wife, Nicole, recently gave birth to the couple's second child, and Juan Gutierrez's wife is due to give birth this weekend.

Celebrity status: Most players know they hit the big time when they are called up to the big leagues, but just in case Josh Anderson needs to be reminded that he's done well for himself lately, all he has to do is drive down the very street where he lives in Eubank, Ky.

Anderson lives on Highway 452 -- which, apparently, has recently been renamed Josh Anderson Way.

"It's weird," Anderson said, somewhat sheepishly. "I just found out yesterday. It's cool, I just never thought it would happen."

Anderson realizes when this information gets to his teammates, he's probably in for some ribbing.

"I'm sure I'll get heckled for that," he said. "What can you do? I love it, I love being from a small area."

Goin' fishing: Three years ago, Backe decided he wanted to host a fundraiser to benefit a charitable cause, but he wanted to do something different than the golf tournaments that are so popular among ballplayers these days.

So Backe came up with the idea of a fishing tournament, and on Saturday, Nov. 17, he'll host the event at Galveston Yacht Basin in Galveston, Texas.

"Growing up on the water in Galveston, knowing a lot of fishermen down there, I figured not only would I use my name, as far as being as Astro, to try to get something good to do, but to basically do something different other than a golf tournament," he said, adding that former manager Phil Garner was the first to make the suggestion.

"I just want to do something different, something I knew I could handle and raise money. A fishing tournament was kind of a perfect thing."

Proceeds will benefit Shriners Burns Hospital. Backe's father, Harold, has been involved with the hospital for many years.

The entry fee is $65 and covers the tournament, dinner and the party. For those who want to participate in the festivities but don't like to fish, $15 will cover just dinner and the party.

More information can be found at Backe's Web site --, or interested parties can also call 409-762-4860.

The event raised $25,000 the first year and $50,000 the last two years.

Phone call: Cooper has always considered Garner a good friend, and he was pleased to hear from the former Houston skipper, who called Cooper earlier on Wednesday to invite him to his annual golf tournament.

"He wanted to know how I was doing, it was a real good conversation," Cooper said. "I'm glad he called. He sounded good. He was happy that I got an opportunity."

Cooper replaced Garner late in August after Garner and general manager Tim Purpura were relieved of their duties. The fact that Cooper replaced Garner as skipper of the Astros has clearly not affected Garner's high regard for his longtime friend.

"We're friends," Cooper said. "It's not like it's an adversarial kind of deal. I'm sorry [he was dismissed], but it's an opportunity for me."

Coming up: The Astros and Reds will wrap up their three-game set on Thursday at Great American Ball Park, beginning at 6:10 p.m. CT. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (9-13, 4.66) will face Reds righty Matt Belisle (8-9, 5.43).

Alyson Footer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.