Archive for the ‘Roy Halladay’ Category

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays

Roy Halladay returned to Toronto, just for one night, to deliver the first pitch before the Jays’ home opener on Friday. The smitten crowd showered the former Jays ace with a rousing, heartfelt ovation as he rushed out to the mound, acknowledged the roars, tipped his cap to the visiting Yankees, and threw a cutter to Mark Buehrle, the ceremonial catcher and Halladay’s opposite number for many a beat writer’s dream – the two hour pitchers duel.

It was sort of surreal to watch from a distance, in the auxiliary press box furiously trying to find highlights of this monster home run Giancarlo Stanton pounded at nearly the same moment as the speakers boomed Halladay’s name in Toronto. The Blue Jays best player for a decade then did what he always did – he wasted no time. To blink was to miss it, a hacky analog for his brilliant career.

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I can’t even.

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Philadelphia Phillies v Chicago Cubs

It can be difficult to watch the decline of once great athletes. I often recall what it was like to witness the transformation of Mario Lemieux from the most dominant hockey player in the world into a player who was, as Swedish television analyst Curre Lundmark described during the 2002 Olympics, “skating like an old tractor”. Those magnificent hands and flawless decision making remained, but he was just a giant body trudging around the ice.

Unlike Lemieux, Roy Halladay‘s career was never interrupted by premature retirement, or a foray into a role of player-owner. For those who watched Lemieux play and appreciated his greatness, we knew what life was like without him before it became permanent. A demotion to remake himself early in his career aside, Roy Halladay was among the most dominant pitchers in baseball for the bulk of his 16-year career. So it stings like so much salt in a wound that Halladay has hit the disabled list with what appears to be a severe shoulder issue at the age of 35. There will be no masquerading as a point-per-game player while harvesting some of the game’s future stars, so to speak.

Instead, we will point to a massacre at the hands of the lowly Miami Marlins as a potential end until we’re given reason to believe otherwise.

There’s currently an air of retrospection with a smattering of prognostication milling about in the baseball blogosphere when it comes to Roy Halladay. We’ve gathered some samples from various sites to help us manage expectations moving forward and appreciate the career of Roy Halladay.

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Pitching baseballs in upwards of 90 miles per hour puts incredible strain on your body. It is shocking to read but it’s true. Consider all the tiny bones and ligaments tasked with bending, twisting, and rubbing to execute this most difficult feat.

Sometimes, it takes time – a lifetime of bullpen sessions and 30 pitch-innings and 200 inning season after 200 inning season before your body begins to say “uncle.” Such is the case with Roy Halladay, who experienced some freakish injuries throughout his career but now looks to be fully breaking down. In the midst of his second consecutive disappointing season, Roy Halladay went to the disabled list today with shoulder inflammation.

Right now, Gavin Floyd would kill for a little shoulder inflammation.

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A career day for Adeiny Hechavarria, until yesterday, did not require much. When Hechevarria stepped in to face Roy Halladay in the third inning yesterday, he had already tied a career high in RBI. He was just one short of tying his career high in total bases as well, all thanks to a bases-loaded three-run triple in the first.

For Roy Halladay, allowing three runs to the Marlins in the first inning was a disastrous enough result. Miami entered the game slugging .315, 51 points lower than the next-worst National League club. They entered the game scoring 2.71 runs per game, 0.74 runs lower than the next worst National League club. And Giancarlo Stanton is injured.

By the time Hechavarria stepped in the second time, another two runs had crossed the plate and the bases were loaded; there was already more than enough concern to go around. When Hechavarria deposited an 89 MPH Halladay cookie over the right field fence — an opposite field home run, no less — we were back to the question Halladay’s disturbingly poor spring training brought up just about a month ago: is he done?

We won’t find out for a while. Halladay revealed what everybody suspected: he has been pitching through a sore shoulder and will likely hit the disabled list shortly.

Is Roy Halladay finished?

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2012 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game

There is very little hardcore baseball fans love more than prospects. That the majority of prospect information comes in handy list form has a lot to do with this, I believe. But the promise of prospect gold is a very real and very appealing thing, especially for fans of moribund franchises who otherwise face the impending season with the sort of dread associated with the first colonoscopy of a middle-aged man’s life.

As one might expect, fans tend to overvalue prospects, especially those in the farm system of their chosen franchise. Their prospects will, against all odds and available information, sweep through the minor leagues without a hiccup, storming the big league roster by force.

This is not reality, however. Even the most highly touted prospects fizzle. Pitchers break down or just TINSTAAP their way out of baseball. The biggest level-to-level jump in baseball is going from Triple-A to the bigs. Many just can’t make it.

Don’t let the boring shackles of reality constrain your throbbing prospect member – let your biased prospect flag fly and, gasp, enjoy yourself.

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