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.