Thursday, December 17, 2009

Goodbye Roy!

I know we're all getting caught up in BOYLE UNITED mania, (the new video is posted here), but I really do need to take a moment to address another issue close to my heart.

Merry Christmas Phillies fans!

Next season, Roy Halladay, the ace of the Blue Jay pitching staff, and arguably the best pitcher in all of Major League Baseball, will be tossing complete games in the city of brotherly love.

As a Blue Jay fan, I am deeply saddened.

Halladay is a pitcher. Plain and simple. He is not an entertainer. He is not a media hound. He is not a tabloid star. He is…a ball player. Which is a huge compliment! Because, unlike many of today’s elite athletes, Roy Halladay, was all about the game.

I was quite prepared to produce a lot of statistical evidence to prove how great a pitcher he is, but I have decided against it.

Why? Because I realized that there was simply no need. Every once in a while, an athlete performs at such a high level, for such a long time, that they no longer need stats to speak for them.

Roy Halladay was simply the best…on the team and in the league.

In the 33 years of this organization, there are two pitchers who stand head and shoulders over all the rest.

Dave Stieb and Roy Halladay.

One day, down at Sky Dome (a.k.a Rogers Centre), Halladay’s #32 will take its rightful place, beside Stieb’s #37, on the Level of Excellence.

Now, Dave Stieb is my favourite Blue Jay…ever, so if Halladay had finished his career as a Jay (which I hoped for) and, in doing so, surpassed many of Stieb’s pitching statistics, he never would have passed Stieb in my heart.

That being said, among pitchers, Halladay is still #1 on the All-Time Blue Jay pitching list (even though it’s a 1b).

Roy is a class act…all around. He will be sorely missed.

So, I am sad but not surprised.

The news of his departure was not shocking. Once the trade talks started circling, late last season, then it was only a matter of time.

As that time passed, it became painfully clear that Roy Halladay was not going to don the Blue and White (and sadly, "black") again. No matter what anyone says…he wasn’t coming back.

But, I am sad but not angry.

Halladay has pitched for the Jays in parts of 12 seasons, with his last eight being absolutely dominant. He has done everything asked of him, he has represented the Jays, Toronto and Canada incredibly well, and despite some bad teams and management, he has never once cried foul.

He has earned the right to become a free agent; He has earned the right to play for a winner; He has earned the right to leave to a standing ovation.

Last season, I was fortunate enough to attend two games that Halladay pitched. I treated both as if it would be his last. I took many photos, filmed lots of video footage and…stood to clap, over and over again.

Go win a championship, Roy. I’m sorry we couldn’t make it happen here.

And, no matter how many logos you end up wearing…you will always be a Blue Jay.

One of the All-time greats:

Dave Stieb, George Bell, Tony Fernandez, Tom Henke, Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Carlos Delgado and...

Cy Young award winner, Roy Halladay.

Have a good one,

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