ed’s note- I’m writing this separately from whatever I’m going to write about re. Halladay’s HOF induction because I have got some negative feelings.
I’m not angry at Brandy Halladay or her kids. This has to have been a difficult decision and she has a right to make it. I’m not arguing that Brandy Halladay’s decision is a terrible one. I’m just disappointed that this is the way it went down. It’s also tragic that this guy isn’t here to speak for himself.
Because when Halladay did, he said this:
I’m wondering what exactly is going on. Since his death, Halladay’s family has spoken through the Phillies organization, including this week when Brandy Halladay released a statement through the Phillies about Doc’s HOF induction.
Why are the Blue Jays not doing a better job of fostering relationships with the alumni and their families? One could argue that it’s a gargantuan task to keep up with everyone, but Roy Halladay is the greatest pitcher this organization ever developed. His legacy is a part of the team’s legacy.
Having Halladay go in as a Blue Jay is a statement about the organization's history and success. It’s a salute to someone like Mel Queen, who was a Blue Jay employee, who had an instrumental impact in Roy Halladay’s success. It’s very strange that in a sport that is so obsessed with its own history for there to be a team to have such a seemingly distant relationship with the family of one of its greatest players.
Maybe this is nothing and I’m reading something that isn’t there. Again, all of this must be incredibly difficult for the Halladay family, making these decisions when the one who should be making them can’t. It’s another added layer to the tragedy of Halladay dying so young- he’s not here to enjoy the celebration of what he achieved and worked so hard for.
This aspect of it the situation, the perceived distance, is just a thing that makes me go, “hmmmm.”
Brandy Halladay saying Doc was a “Major League Baseball Player” made me wonder something- isn’t every player in the HOF one? Maybe they should just toss the whole symbolic hat thing away.
It’s becoming increasingly rare that a player stays with one team for his whole career.
Why would Roy Halladay’s development and first Cy Young with the Blue Jays (and the context of him becoming elite pitching against the toughest teams of the first decade of the 21st Century, the early aughts Yankees and Red Sox) worth more or less than succeeding in the NL East, arguably a less tough division, in the second decade of the 21st century?
Sure, Roy Halladay got to go to the playoffs with the Phillies but the Blue Jays were facing some ridiculous competition in an unbalanced schedule. I mean, there’s a reason it was called the “AL Beast.”
The Blue Jays went 86-76 in 2008, which looks like a great season. They finished 4th in the AL East, the same place they finished in 2018 where they won 13 fewer games. Tampa (who went to the World Series that year), Boston and New York won more than 86 games. Would the Jays have gone to the playoffs more often between 1993 and 2015 if they played in the AL Central? The Chicago White Sox won the AL Central in 2008, winning only three more games than the Blue Jays. Three of the five AL Central teams were .500 or below (Cleveland, Kansas City and Detroit) whereas only the Baltimore Orioles were below .500 in the AL East that season.
Context is part of history.
I remember reading someone, in a late September game in Toronto in 2006, asking Joe Torre which team he’d dread facing in the playoffs. Torre, whose Yankees were in first place, pointed across the diamond and said, “That one.” Torre thought that the one-two-three punch of Halladay, A.J. Burnett and Ted Lilly was a tough, tough thing to face in a short playoff series like the ALDS. It doesn’t surprise me, because Halladay was one of the most dominant pitchers ever against the New York Yankees.
Mike Mussina is going to inspire a similar debate, but at least Mussina is going to be able to make his own decision.
Shut up, Bob
When the writers are done electing these guys to the HOF, it’s time for the idiotic takes.
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford wrote one of the dumbest articles I’ve read in a while, arguing not only that Roy Halladay should enter as a Philly but that he would’ve wanted it that way. Deadspin has already read it for filth, but I’m going to yell, too.
Halladay wouldn’t have gotten [into the Hall of Fame] without the 148 games he won for the Blue Jays, but if he were with us today and given the chance to relive one of his 395 career starts, the choice would be easy. Halladay would pick one of the five he started for the Phillies in the postseason. It wouldn’t even need to be one of the three wins. The winning and losing were up to the cards that evening. Just put him on the mound in that situation, with that chance to try.
Like the chance the Blue Jays gave him to rebuild and become better after he was stupendously terrible early in his career? It’s not just that Halladay was bad, he had one of the worst ERAs ever considering the innings pitched. Yes, all credit to Halladay for putting the work in but the Blue Jays gave him the opportunity.
Once again, SHUT UP.
Roy Halladay was a gracious man. He wouldn’t want to insult the Toronto Blue Jays. But, in my heart, having been around him, I believe he would want his Hall of Fame plaque to portray that grim, unflinching stare that batters knew so well. And, above the brim that shaded his eyes, I think he would want a “P.”
Seriously? You are discussing knowing this in your heart? Like you know him better than his wife? You are talking Doc not “insulting” the Blue Jays when the man SIGNED A ONE DAY CONTRACT TO RETIRE AS ONE? Did he do that to be gracious? Or because that’s what he actually wanted?
SHUT UP. SHUT UP.
Halladay was never more engaged as a player, never more fully alive in a moment, than during the final act of his first playoff start, as he stared in at Brandon Phillips of Cincinnati, already ahead 0-2 in the count, one pitch away from recording just the second no-hitter in postseason history.
Halladay ALWAYS PITCHED LIKE A BEAST! He always looked like he was enraged. Start days were vicious and serious. His focus was legendary. People were afraid of him. His work ethic intense. He didn’t develop this in Philadelphia. He didn’t get serious and hardcore because the Phillies inspired him to.
We, as Blue Jays fans, watched him do this for years.
No matter the uniform, his demeanor was the same.
There is a reason why Stoeten used this for years. It was recognizably true. It was Doc’s entire persona.
It’s one the reasons this Joey Votto story is so funny.
People who watched Halladay work for years recognized this. Doc always looked like he wanted to kill the batter. The Phillies didn’t bring that out in him. The Blue Jays didn’t bring that out in him. It has nothing to do with his hat, or pride in a particular hat.
It was HIM.
From the comment section of the Deadspin article: