idk about you but im feelin (like sleeping for) 22 (hours)
No THANK YOU Roy for everything. Although you’ll be missed throughout the entire MLB, Toronto and Philly will be mending their hearts back together for quite awhile. Baseball without Roy Halladay is a little less funner.
Toronto sports fans have become bitter these past 20 years or so. Toronto-based teams have not had very many elite players come through, much less an elite team to cheer for. And of those elite players, none of them left on very good circumstances. Chris Bosh went to play for the super team in Miami. Vince Carter basically gave up until he was traded to the Nets for a bag of beans. Tracy McGrady didn’t want to play in Vince’s shadow. Robbie Alomar didn’t want to sit around on a rebuild. Even the great Mats Sundin refused to waive his no-trade clause, leaving the Leafs nothing when he went to Vancouver. Now, because of all the bitter memories of being scorned by our heroes for other cities, when even minor players leave a Toronto team, they receive a toxic reception when they come back.
The one exception to this rule is Roy Halladay, who retired today after signing a one-day contract with the Blue Jays.
Roy Halladay is the best Blue Jays pitcher, and probably the best Blue Jay period, of all-time. During his 11 year tenure with the Jays, he won two Cy Young Awards (2003, 2010) and went to six All-Star games. He was one of those rare Toronto players who faltered badly coming out of the gate, got sent down to the bottom rung of the organization to rebuild, and actually came back to dominate. Every time he took to the mound, we had the rare privilege of watching a master in his prime at work. He won 148 games for the Blue Jays, was a 7-win player in his good years, and was the only reason to watch the Jays during many long, horrible seasons.
Halladay had spent his best years waiting for the Blue Jays to be contenders, but after 11 seasons and with his championship window snapping shut, the Jays not close to being a winner, and his contract expiring, Halladay needed to be traded. In the 2010 off-season, new GM Alex Anthoupolos brokered a trade with the Phillies who were trying to build a dynasty coming off a World Series victory. The Jays got three high-end prospects in Travis d’Arnaud, Kyle Drabek, and Michael Taylor (who immediately was dealt for Brett Wallace), and Roy Halladay got his chance to chase a championship ring in earnest.
Unfortunately, the trade didn’t end as either side planned. The three prospects the Jays received did not pan out all that well (Drabek had issues with his temperament and is stuck in Triple A, Travis d’Arnaud got dealt for RA Dickey right as he became Major League ready, Brett Wallace was traded for Anthony Gose who is having trouble with his bat). Roy Halladay, although finally reaching the post-season and throwing one of the greatest post-season games ever against the Reds, never made it to a World Series.
However, what Roy Halladay did win was the everlasting love of every single Blue Jays fan that ever had the pleasure of watching him pitch during his glory years. He was the reason to go to the Skydome for a long time. He never once complained about his position on a middling to bad team. No real Jays fan felt wronged when he left for Philadelphia. We all wanted the Doc to win his championship that he so deserved.
As I watched Vince Carter lose his hops and Chris Bosh fall down in agony after losing to the Mavericks, I thought, somewhat maliciously I admit, “good. I’m glad this happened to you”. However, watching Roy Halladay last season lose several ticks off his fastball and his masterful control was like watching Superman fall. It was sad, as it slowly dawned on him and on us that he wasn’t going to get that ring. I felt for him. I’m sure a lot of people did.
And so, let me say farewell to thee, Roy Halladay. We will never see the like of you again, and we are all poorer for it.