Is that a brilliant headline or what? I didn't steal it or anything. Pretty sure my old editors would laugh at me for it, but it would be out of jealousy.
My boy, Roy Halladay, is off to greener pastures in Philadelphia. He goes from a team that had little to no shot at the playoffs, to the favorite for the National League pennant. They grow up so fast.
Halladay has been one of the top five pitchers in baseball for the past four or five years. Unfortunately for him, he's been stuck in a division with the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox for his entire career. Despite facing these consistently stacked lineups several times each year, Halladay has had an ERA below four in eight of the past nine seasons. Now he is pitching in the National League, and in a division with the likes of the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves. I'm getting goosebumps.
I expect some will have concerns with how Halladay will adjust to the bigger and more passionate market. Let's be honest, baseball is not the big sport in Toronto and never will be. If he stunk up there, which he didn't, no one would have really known or taken note. If he struggles in Philly, people are probably going to call for his demotion, egg his house and send death threats to his children. The sad part is, I don't think I'm even exaggerating with that last statement.
To put more pressure on Halladay, the Phillies shipped their postseason hero, Cliff Lee, to the Seattle Mariners to make room for Halladay. Lee was practically perfect last year for the Phillies, and their fans won't forget. In fact, many are upset and questioning the move after all that Lee did for their team.
They shouldn't be.
As a big Blue Jays fan and someone who has actually been following Halladay for years, (be honest Phillie fans, you hardly paid any attention to him until last summer when there were rumors you would trade for him) let me assure you that Halladay will be lights out. And he will do so for next four to five years you keep him. No pitcher in the league has the work ethic of Halladay. He is the first player to the field and never whines. Despite years where his team was terrible and gave him no support, he never came out and demanded a trade or threw anyone under the bus. Even if people paid attention to baseball in Toronto, you would have never heard him complaining about not being one of the highest paid players in the game, because he understands that the team is bigger than he was.
I'm very excited that Halladay will finally get a chance to pitch in the postseason and show how great he really can be. It saddens me a little bit that he went to Philly. Just like Donovan McNabb, you guys don't deserve him. But at least he's not a Yank or a Sock (should it still be Sox when singular?).
I could try to analyze all the other players involved in this deal, but I have never seen them play. It sounds like every team made out well, but who knows with minor league players?
Simon and Garfunkel - The Boxer