It is being widely reported now that the Blue Jays’ announcement scheduled for 12:30 PM ET has to do with the retirement of Roy Halladay, who will sign a one-day contract to end his career with the organization in which he made his name, and won the 2003 Cy Young award.

I don’t think this is how anybody wanted the Winter Meetings to start, but I don’t think anybody wants to see a broken down Roy Halladay any more than we already did in 2013 and 2012, either. Still, though…

We’ve understood this was coming for some time now, but that doesn’t make it any less deflating. And I don’t think would be a cop out for me to not even bother to list his accomplishments or wax poetic about what he meant to the organization and to its fans as the brightest shining light of a grim era of Blue Jays baseball, because we know.

But we also hopefully all know that it was a fun era, too. An era that wasn’t at all a waste, despite the negativity it’s so easy to lay at its feet because of the team’s lack of success. That’s true largely– maybe almost entirely–¬†because we got to watch a generational talent do his thing like a fucking boss practically every fifth day from his return from single-A reinvention-exile in 2001 and for the eight seasons after. We got to see him actually make good on the tantalizing promise he showed in those first two starts, especially the one-hitter, as a rookie way back at the end of the 1998 season. He was ours, and he was great. That’s maybe an overly-simple sentiment, but I think it’s fitting, given the way that on the field Halladay was able to make his complicated, intense, precise greatness look so simple, so understated, so reliable and so easy to almost take for granted.

I think it would be a little bit too fucking maudlin to say that at times it felt as if he would always be there, or some bullshit like that, but it says something that even knowing this was soon coming, when it hits you in the face it’s hard not to feel a little bit empty about it.

But it’s also a great time to remember what we saw for so long up so close. For at least this moment we are the envy of baseball for having had the great fortune of being there, and rightfully so.¬†What a pitcher!

Thanks for the memories, Roy.

Comments (97)

  1. Remembering Roy; Glad he’s retiring a Blue Jays. More on what this means for Toronto baseball fans is captured in this entry; [Snip -Ed.]

  2. Best picture ever

  3. Good for him letting it go.

    He’s way too proud to play when he can’t be as good as he expects of himself.

    He has money and respect and hopefully likes golfing and/or fishing.

  4. /salute to Roy

  5. My all-time favorite pitcher.

  6. For a few years there, he was the best pitcher in the game.

    Fuckin gonna miss you Roy…


    • Even though it wasn’t as a Jay, 6:35 still gives me goose flesh.
      I never cheered harder for another team in the playoffs.

  7. The greatest live performance I’ve ever witnessed was Doc’s 10-inning complete game in 2007. He was probably the best pitcher of his generation, and we were lucky to get to watch him so often.

  8. First Jays game I attended was when Halladay won his 22nd game in 2003, a team record (I know pitcher wins are not cool anymore, but I was 8 years old and was incredibly excited when he won). Still the best game I’ve ever seen.


  9. I’m gonna hold the faith for a Petitte-esque comeback once his shoulder heals

  10. I’ve admired his work ethic like no other.

  11. he would’ve hated it, but i wish he could have had his on-field ‘end,’ similar to how the yanks paid tribute to mariano (i’m talking about when jeter & petitte came out to remove him from the game. as a die-hard yanks hater, i have no shame in admitting it got dusty).

    going out this way, in the off-season, after two injury-riddled years (which must have driven him nuts), just sorta sucks.

    • Yeah – he’d never go for it, but it would have been awesome to have him start opening day, throw the first pitch (the real one, not the ceremonial one) then take him out to a standing ovation in front of a packed house. But that would be a gimmick, and we know that’s not his style. But there are thousands of fans who would love a chance to say a proper “Thank You.”

  12. I can only hope that this is a precursor to Roy continuing to be involved with the Blue Jays organization in some capacity. With all that he went through in his career, I can’t think of anyone else I’d want guiding our young arms through their development.

    • Roy was amazing in countless ways… But based on what we know about his personality he’d probably be a shitty coach…
      granted it’s not like I actually know him personally.

      • i dunno…he seemed to be very coachable (stoets references his trip down in ’01), and the improvements/adjustments had a lasting effect/impact, so i think he would come at coaching from a different perspective than a lot of stars, who tend to struggle because they can’t understand why other guys ‘just can’t do it’ the way they could via natural ability. yes, roy was naturally talented, but worked & honed his skills mechanically.

        • There is a big gap between teachable and good at teaching. But we don’t really know him at all. He looks like young players would annoy him, but again what do we know.

          • totally agree, my only point is that he’s got as firm an understanding of pitching mechanics as the key to success, vs. relying on raw talent. whether he can convey that to others obviously remains to be seen, but anecdotally, there are quite a few stories from his days in TO of being a mentor-type figure in the clubhouse with the pitchers.

            • I guess we’ll see.
              It’ll be interesting to observe whether he finds another job in baseball or not.

            • I can recall a lot of players commenting on the impact he had on them too. Dirk Hayhurst probably put it best: http://www.cantonrep.com/x1672003752/Dirk-Hayhurst-How-luck-is-made-in-the-big-leagues

              I get that being a leader by example might not result in the best coach, but he seems like such a knowledgeable guy and dealt with so much in his career, you’ve got to figure he`d have valuable things to pass on to young pitchers. Maybe just as a spring training instructor if not as a coach.

              Then again, in my dream scenario he’d finally get his ring as a member of a future Jays coaching staff.

              • I think he can be a coach, just not the hand-holding type of coach. Definitely not a minor-league coach. He can come in, say “kids, this is how it’s fucking done” and help them figure it out without a lot of babying.

                I’d also love to see him win a ring as a coach on the Jays.

                • He sure seemed to be dropping some serious “I’d like to be a coach” hints in the presser just now.

    • I suspect that he will be part of the Blue Jays in some capacity going forward… at the least as some sort of public-relations ambassador like the arrangement that they have with Alomar. He is a fan-favourite, so that would make sense.

      • He and his wife did a lot of charity work as well, hosting kids in his Doc’s Box and working the food drive.
        In a sport known for it’s oddballs, egos and idiots, he’s the quiet giant of poise and grace.

  13. Feeling grateful that we got the chance to see him do his thing every fifth day for so long. It will be great to see when he’s got his number up there with Alomar.

  14. He need to be wearing the current blue jersey.


  15. “He was ours, and he was great.”

    Amen, Stoeten.

  16. question? does he make the hall of fame?

    also, would like to see an announcement about a signing of .. you know.. a player who will actually be able to improve the team next year

    • if the trends towards accepting advanced metrics continues, and less focus is paid to raw counting stats, then i can’t see how he’s kept out. one of, and at times, the best pitcher for a solid decade should count for more than falling short of some arbitrary number.

      but if they do want to use raw stats, win % helps his case. CGs & shutouts. no hitter in the playoffs, perfect game, two cy’s.

    • He sits in a position to make him an arguable case for the HoF at least as far as JAWs goes: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_P.shtml

    • He’s not a shoe-in, but he will probably get in.

    • The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame? Yes, especially with the classy move of retiring as a Blue Jay.

      And I look forward to being in St. Marys when it happens.

      Cooperstown? Who knows what the BBWAA will do, but I hope so.

  17. Your a fuckin beauty Roy!!

    You get the key to The City of Toronto and to all our hearts.

    A true Jay forever. Ill never forget the thank you he left in the Globe and Mail.

  18. Such a bittersweet feeling. Good luck to him in the future, I’m sure hes not done with baseball though his playing career may be over.

  19. A fantastic career. I used to love watching Roy pitch more than any other pitcher I’ve seen. Some great memories and many fun times at the ballpark and watching on TV. He really perfected his craft. He will be missed on the mound.

  20. He was a giant, and it’s a travesty that the man never won a World Series. Nice of him to retire as a Blue Jay, and nice of the Jays to reach out to him.

  21. “He was ours, and he was great”. Sums it up perfectly.

    Great Piece Stoeten.

  22. Great piece. Halladay was a fucking boss on the mound. It’s sad to see him retire, but great to see him retire as a Blue Jay. Always was my favourite pitcher.

  23. Man he was fun to watch……wish that shoulder had a few more years in it.
    I’m sure him and Carpenter will be up for some hell raising now.

  24. A touching story. At the time of the trade, I remember many sportscasters referring to Doc as ‘the best pitcher in baseball’

  25. Fitting that Doc and Carp retire the same year.

  26. How I miss the game threats when we got to see the terminator cyborg pic posted above.

  27. Fuck yeah Doc was the shit. Goddamn, turning on the TV and knowing that motherfucker was taking the mound tonight was such a good feeling.

  28. Far from feeling “deflated,” I’m excited and proud that he chose to exit as a Jay. Perhaps this sends a positive message through the Winter Meetings: Toronto is a great place to play. And yes, I’d bet that Roy throws out the first pitch on opening day.

  29. Could he be the second Jay to enter the Hall?

    This guy thinks so…

    • He’ll be probably the second player to inducted as a Jay. Too bad we have to wait 5 years to find out.

  30. So many memories, this makes me quite teary eyed…

    My fondest memory is going to the park a few days before my 20th birthday with my dad and watching Doc pitch a complete game shutout in 2005 (against twins, May 29).

    That was easily the most dominating pitching performance I’ve ever had the luck of witnessing live. 2 hits, both infield, and a hit batter. Was utterly unbelievable that he could really be that good. This was the year he broke his leg, well on his way to what could have been his best statistical season as a Jay.

    The sell out for his return was also rather amazing. Man that standing ovation he got was just… getting dusty again.

  31. It’s a shame he never won a WS as a Jay. Happy fishing, Roy!

  32. I watched Doc and Pedro battle it out in 2003 on Roy Halladay bobblehead day.

    Was terrific baseball.

    Thanks for everything Doc. You were the best.

  33. One of my fondest memories of Halladay is from the Red Sox game where Lind hit three homers, then Pigface Papelbon plunked him in his last at bat. The first batter that Doc faced in the bottom of the inning, Ortiz, took a fastball off the elbow. A guy that had his teamates backs, one of the reasons that he was so well respected..

  34. I guess this puts an end to the ‘ any chance of getting Halladay back’ meme?

  35. Might I add:
    For a 10 year period spanning the late 90s to the late 00s, you set your clock to Doc fucking Halladay.

  36. Any chance We could flip Halladay’s 1 day contract to the Mariners for Felix?

  37. The ultimate professional.

  38. there will never be another player i want to meet more, ever.

    Shaking your hand Doc is on my bucket list, wish i had made it to at least 1 spring training. Now the chance may be missed.

    no mater what team you played for, i cheered.

  39. I am bit surprised that the press conference was only available online. I guess they didn’t want to interrupt Hockey Central.

    MLB trade rumors said the Pirates want Adam Lind. Who would the Jays get for Adam Lind from the Pirates?

    If so, Melky to DH? Gose to LF?

  40. The two saddest days of an athlete’s life –
    1. the day his career is over.
    2. the day he finally realizes it.

    Glad to see Roy not becoming the sad, washed-up player who’s sitting at the end of the bench, deluding himself into thinking he’s got another good year left in him.
    I’ll miss the man.
    Enjoy the rest of your life, Roy.

  41. Such bitter irony that Halladay finally asked out of Toronto to play for a winner….and the next season Bautista emerges out of nowhere, boosting the Jays’ lineup. The 2010 Jays won 85 games, you have to figure that they probably make the playoffs with Roy instead of their revolving shitshow of fifth starters

  42. wait wait wait

    dont we need a first base coach? Walker goes to first….Doc the New PITCHING COACH…..it can happen

  43. I like that idea. The Jays need more guys named Roy on the staff and Halladay is a good place to start.

  44. Anyone remember the trio of young starters the Jays had?

    Halladay: 67.6fWAR, 65.6bWAR
    Carpenter: 38.9fWAR, 35.5bWAR
    Escobar: 30.3fWAR, 25.0bWAR

    What could have been…

  45. My favourite Toronto athlete of my lifetime, and one of the few that were truly world class. Classy pitcher, classy during his trade (ahem ahem Mats Sundin) and classy now coming back.
    I’ll miss watching him for sure.

    • Oh, fuck off with the Sundin jab. Firstly, not even remotely the time on a baseball site nonetheless. Secondly, Sundin wanted to remain with the Leafs for the rest of his career until it was made abundantly clear that management wanted to exile him like a leper. Absolutely ridiculous how some people are faulting one of the few superstars Toronto has ever had actually wanting to stay. Yeah, what a shameful fuck.

  46. Indeed Stoeten; LIKE A MOTHERFUCKIN BOSS. Thanks Roy. You’re the best.

  47. Here’s to one of the greatest athletes that ever called Toronto home.

  48. This is sad, but he seems totally content. Roy’s retirement is another reminder that guys get old quick.

    Also, quick hat tip to the guys of DJF for adding to the experience of being a Halladay fanboy all these years.

  49. My favourite Jay. Also my girlfriend’s favourite, because his games were usually done in less than two hours,

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