Yeah, that does look painful.
Now I know why newspapers keep prewritten obituaries on file. If MissingBJ was a bigger operation, one of our crack operatives* would have seen the tweets about Roy Halladay’s retirement and queued up the post we had prepared for St. Roy’s retirement day.
Of course, no such prewritten post exists. So, anyway, here I am, a day late and with nothing prepared. Feels like I'm back in school.
Roy Halladay retired yesterday, after signing a 1-day contract with Toronto so as to retire a Blue Jay. The adjective ‘classy’ gets applied to Halladay a lot, although to be fair, the ‘classiness’ bar is so low that any awareness by a pro athlete of the impression he’s creating could be considered classy. At any rate, kudos to Halladay for (a) remembering and acknowledging that the Jays were the team who developed him and stuck with him through his early-career struggles, and (b) recognizing that there is a large segment of Toronto fans that pine for him and for whom the gesture of ‘retiring as a Blue Jay’ would be significant. That helps make up for the fact that Halladay basically demanded a trade out of
following the 2009 season (no, I haven’t forgotten that). Toronto
Beyond that? Halladay had a great career, but if someone as fitness-focused as he is doesn’t think his body can pitch anymore, it’s definitely time to go. I remember writing that pitchers tend to fall off a cliff performance wise around age 35 and using that as justification for the Jays trading him, but even having written that, I’m shocked by how abruptly his arm and back problems ended Halladay’s career. Roy Halladay finishes with 65 or 67 career WAR (depending whether you prefer Fangraphs-WAR or baseball-reference-WAR) which should put him into consideration for the Hall of Fame. Yes, the win totals aren’t impressive, and a lot of Hall voters still go by things like that, but Halladay’s ERA, WHIP, and walk and strikeout rates (especially the ratio between those last 2) are top notch. Consider also that Halladay finished with a .659 winning percentage (.661 with
on teams that, to be charitable, weren’t always competitive (from 1999 to 2013,
Halladay played on 8 teams that were above .500 and 7 teams that were at or
below .500). Yeah, wins aren’t a great measure of a pitcher’s ability,
but if you’re old school enough to count wins, you should be old school enough
to count winning percentage, too. Halladay’s is 17th all-time,
ahead of guys like Clemens and Koufax. Toronto
Considering that I started this blog the year after Roy Halladay went to Philly, I wrote about him fairly often. A lot of those posts were a reaction to the following that Roy Halladay garnered during his years with the Jays (as with the post I linked to above), but the skepticism I directed towards Roy Halladay (the legend) is entirely separate from my view of Roy Halladay (the player). Halladay was either the best or second-best pitcher in team history, and when I tried to break it down here, it was too close to call between Halladay and Dave Stieb.
In the end, I’m sad to be posting about the end of Roy Halladay’s career (yes, even if it also means the end of having to refute the completely unrealistic “bring back Halladay” arguments that surface every offseason).
Enjoy your retirement, Doc.
* Rob Ford jokes became passé - or redundant - a couple of weeks ago.