The Roy Halladay we saw this afternoon during his retirement press conference was about the most aloof and least intense version of the man that I’ve ever seen– not that I’ve ever been near him up close– and it was that guy who showed up this afternoon on the Fan 590′s Prime Time Sports, effusively speaking about the injury troubles that have ultimately derailed his career (he said this morning that he’s pitched through a fracture in his back for the last two seasons!), and about the trials and tribulations along the way. He seemed like a man truly at peace with the decision to hang ‘em up, which is the way he said he was leaning even before his final, disastrous season began.
Much of what he said to Bob McCown and Damian Cox, including his deep expressions of gratitude to the Jays organization and its fans, was also covered during the presser this afternoon in Orlando– an eight-plus minute segment of which you can find at the bottom of this post– but there were a few new revelations worth noting…
For one, there’s the stuff that Shi Davidi gave us a taste of earlier in the afternoon with this tweet:
AA says #BlueJays have invited Halladay to join organization in some capacity, expects it to happen at some point.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) December 9, 2013
Apparently it wasn’t just some token invite with vague parameters, as according to Halladay’s radio hit, he’s been invited to be at the Jays facility in Dunedin during Spring Training. Maybe not all the time or anything, but he’ll be there– and since he still lives nearby, in Clearwater, that makes sense. It can’t hurt– especially if he’s the guy we saw this morning and heard this afternoon on the radio.
He also said that his interest in working with the club in some capacity didn’t extend to just on-field stuff, as he expressed interest in getting a chance to be a “fly on the wall” in the front office, and to see how things operate from that perspective, which it sounded like the Jays would be accommodating with. Cool! Suck it Phillies!
Y’know, at least until the Jays move to Palm Beach Gardens and Roy defects back.
Oh, and one more thing:
In talking about his return after nearly crashing out of baseball early in his career, he cites– as we’ve heard before– the work of Harvey Dorfman, author of The Mental ABCs of Pitching, as being very important. He says he had nightmares– and it sounded like he meant literally– and saw sports psychologists about his failings on the mound and seemingly no longer being any good at the one thing he knew how to do. But what he said “made all the difference” was that when J.P. Ricciardi came on board with the Jays, and Halladay asked him about Dorfman. It turned out ol’ J.P. Moneyball had worked with Dorfman in Oakland, and he put the two in touch.
So… I’m pretty much just going to give Ricciardi credit for Halladay’s career. That’s how that works, right?
Ahh, OK, maybe it was mostly Roy. I guess.
Here’s the presser video, via BlueJays.com.
So… there’s that.