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Why Roy Halladay Had to Leave

mlbRoy Halladay is heading to the playoffs for the first time. Halladay gave up only two hits to earn his 21st win with his fourth shutout and ninth complete game. Those are all highs in the majors this season, by the way, because Roy Halladay is a gem.

Halladay deserves to start in the playoffs, and that wasn't going to happen here in Toronto. He had to go to get that chance. He deserves that chance.

It goes without saying that I'm a Phillies fan the rest of the way. Go Phillies Go!

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Roy Halladay, Dead at 40

Roy HalladayRoy Halladay was 40. He was the greatest starting pitcher in Blue Jays history and one of my all-time favourite players. If you search this site for the keyword "halladay" you will find dozens and dozens of entries about the man.

Roy

Here are a few of my favourites:

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Roy Halladay is Not Retiring as a Blue Jay

Roy Halladay is Not Retiring as a Blue JayRoy Halladay announced his retirement today, but not as a Blue Jay. He retires as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

I realize he signed a one-day free-agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays before announcing his retirement, but that's just pr spin. The fact of the matter is we traded him to the Phillies back in 2009 and that's where he played his final game.

Roy Halladay is not only the greatest starting pitcher in Blue Jays history, he is also the classiest man to ever don the uniform. We were lucky to have him and he deserves to have his name on the Level of Excellence as soon as is logistically possible.

What an unbelievably inspiring career. Thanks, Roy, even though you did not retire as a Blue Jay.

More on Roy Halladay:

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On Roy Halladay

JaysI haven't written much lately about my Toronto Blue Jays. I haven't been sharing vintage Blue Jays songs or memories from the Drive of '85. I've been quiet, because I'm thoroughly disappointed.

You may recall that awesome start the Jays got off to, and now I'm ready to call it. The Jays won't be playing meaningful baseball in September, for the 15th year in a row. I feel teased.

One thing we still have going for us is the presence of Roy Halladay, the best pitcher in the game.

Halladay isn't just the best pitcher in the game, he's a throwback to a time when starters demanded the ball in the ninth inning. He never complains, he just goes about his business. When he's on the mound, you know there's a chance for a 2 hour game. He's efficient, he's effective and he's ours.

At least he's ours for now. J.P. Ricciardi said he's listening to offers for Halladay, and the thought of trading Halladay turns my stomach. He's a once in a generation pitcher and we've got him. J.P. Ricciardi ought to be doing everything possible to lock him up, not trade him away. If Halladay goes...

Speaking of Halladay, something we should do more often, he'll be starting his first All-Star game this week. He's only the third Jay to have that honour bestowed upon him, joining Dave Stieb and David Wells. It's about time.

More on Roy Halladay:

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Roy Halladay Becomes G.O.A.T.

JaysLast September, I called Dave Stieb the greatest starting pitcher in Toronto Blue Jays history. Then, in early June, I wrote the gap was closing. Today, after much deliberation, it's my great privilege to declare Roy Halladay the greatest starting pitcher in Toronto Blue Jays history.

On Sunday, he went the distance in a 3-1 win over the Boston Red Sox. In giving up six early hits, Halladay worked so efficiently he needed only 105 pitches to complete nine innings. He faced 33 batters but delivered just 27 balls, finding trouble only in the first when Dustin Pedroia reached first with a single that dribbled off Halladay's leg, then scored on a Kevin Youkilis double.

He's now 11-3 with a 2.73 ERA this season. He's also the greatest of all time.

Thanks, Roy.

halladay

Other entries about Roy Halladay:

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Halladay Wins the Cy Young Award

JaysRoy Halladay has just won the American League Cy Young Award. As if there was any doubt, Halladay received 26 first-place votes and two seconds for 136 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

He finished 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA this year, winning 15 consecutive decisions from May 1 to July 27 and tying for the AL lead with nine complete games. This is the fourth Cy Young Award in Blue Jays history and he becomes the third Blue Jay to win one. Pat Hentgen and Roger Clemens are the others. In 2003 Halladay was awesome. Former Jay Esteban Loaiza never had a prayer.

I had the joy of watching a young Roy Halladay lose a no-hit bid with two down in the ninth at Skydome back in '98. Check out my ticket stub from the game in Ticket Stubs.

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When Roy Halladay Was Bad

JaysIt's the dog days of January and I'm starting to come to grips with the reality Roy Halladay has been traded. It still sucks, but it happened, and I wasn't consulted on the manner.

The GOAT once had the worse season possible. In 2000, Roy Halladay recorded a 10.64 ERA in 67.2 innings pitched. How bad was Halladay's 2000 season? It's the all-time record for worst ERA in a season among pitchers with at least 40 IP.

At one point, the greatest Blue Jays pitcher of all-time was also the worst pitcher in the history of the game. And that's one to grow on.

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Roy Halladay Traded to Philadelphia Phillies #endofanera

JaysRoy Halladay isn't just the best pitcher in the game, he's a throwback to a time when starters demanded the ball in the ninth inning. He never complains, he just goes about his business. When he's on the mound, you know there's a chance for a 2 hour game. He's efficient, he's effective and he's been ours for his entire 11-year major league career.

Now, if reports from ESPN are correct, he's a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. He's part of a three-team trade that likely also involves Cliff Lee, who would end up with Seattle. We'd get prospects for the greatest Blue Jay of all time.

Halladay, 32, is 148-76 lifetime with a 3.43 ERA. He won the 2003 Cy Young Award and finished in the top five in the Cy Young voting four other times. I'm not ashamed to admit that I heart him. Roy Halladay is was the Blue Jays. He is was the heart and soul of this team, consistently awesome. I heart Roy Halladay and I don't care who knows it.

Farewell, Roy, and good luck with Philadelphia. Next season, I'll be rooting for the Phillies to win it all. Although I knew this day was imminent, I still find myself unprepared... this is the part of professional sports I like least.

This is for you, Roy.

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I Heart Roy Halladay

JaysRoy "Doc" Halladay allowed only four hits over eight innings last night and earned his 13th win of the season. He's already pitched seven complete games in an era when that just doesn't happen. The man has been here for ten years and I once saw him pitch a no-hitter for 8 2/3 innings.

Roy Halladay is the Blue Jays. He's the heart and soul of this team, consistently awesome. I heart Roy Halladay and I don't care who knows it.

Here's the stub from the near no-hitter.

September 27, 1998 - Blue Jays

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We Rule In Complete Games

JaysI'm crazy busy with a couple of web projects, but I wanted to throw down my little observation about our Toronto Blue Jays and complete games by starting pitchers.

Roy Halladay won his 20th game of the season yesterday, and it was his 9th complete game. That's pretty amazing for this day and age. Halladay will finish the season as the league leader in that department. If you look back over the past 12 season, the Jays have pretty much dominated the AL in this department.

2008 - Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
2007 - Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
2006 - C.C. Sabathia, Indians
2005 - Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
2004 - Mark Mulder, A's & Sidney Ponson, O's & Jake Westbrook, Indians
2003 - Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
2002 - Paul Byrd, Royals
2001 - Steve Sparks, Tigers
2000 - David Wells, Blue Jays
1999 - David Wells, Blue Jays
1998 - Scott Erickson, O's
1997 - Roger Clemens, Blue Jays & Pat Hentgen, Blue Jays
1996 - Pat Hentgen, Blue Jays

That's 8 of the past 12 season a Blue Jay has led the American League in complete games. And there's four different Jays on that list, too. I'm just sayin'...

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Roy Halladay: He Deserves More Credit

JaysI have a man crush on Roy Halladay. Yeah, I'd have a bromance with him. Every once in a while I get overwhelmed by this crush and I write about Roy. Here's one such example from last summer.

Tonight, Roy Halladay is on the mound as we face A. J. Burnett and the big bad Yankees. I'll miss the game, playing a couple of games of my own, but I'll be there in spirit. I'd love to see Halladay school A.J. once more.

I like to think we know what we have here in Toronto with Roy Halladay. He still deserves more local credit for what he's done and what he is, and I know he deserves a whole lot more credit in the rest of the majors. Imagine if Roy played for the pinstripes.

Here's a great entry about Roy from the Stat of the Day blog. It came across my RSS reader yesterday and I had to share it. Go Jays Go!

Roy Halladay doesn’t get half the credit he deserves as one of the best active pitchers.

Among active pitchers, he’s got the 3rd-best career winning percentage, behind just Johan Santana and the (sort of still active) Pedro Martinez.

He’s one of just 8 active pitchers with multiple 20-win seasons, or 6 such pitchers if you dont’ count Tom Glavine or Pedro.

And get this: he ranks only 28th among active pitchers in games started, and yet ranks 6th in shutouts, 6th in complete games, and 15th in wins.

What hurts Halladay (no pun intended) are his injuries and playing for a lower-profile Canadian team. The Blue Jays haven’t made the post-season since 1993, well before Halladay’s time, and he’s made more than 21 starts in a season only 6 times in 12 seasons, although he’s made more than 30 each of the last 3 full years.

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Roy Halladay's Thank You Ad

JaysRoy Halladay took out an ad in today's Toronto Sun, thanking Blue Jays fans.

Some will be quick to point out that he forced this trade, and could have easily negotiated an extension. If Halladay liked us so much, why isn't he retiring a Blue Jay?

Those people are cynical bastards. Halladay is both the best pitcher in Blue Jays history and the classiest player we've ever had. We were lucky to have him.

Here's the ad.

halladay-ad

And here's the transcript.

My wife Brandy, sons Braden and Ryan, and I would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Toronto Blue Jays organization, its incredible fans, and the city of Toronto.

I feel blessed to have been part of the Blue Jays since 1995 and am extremely thankful for the opportunities it has provided. Throughout the past 15 years, there have been so many people within the organization that have made a wonderful and significant impact in my life, it would be impossible to name them all.

I am sincerely grateful for the incredible support and compassion the Blue Jays fans have shown me. I am in awe of your overwhelming passion and devotion.

Toronto will forever have a special place in my heart.

The memories will last a lifetime and so will my gratitude.

Best Regards,

Roy

Phillies fans will soon discover how lucky they are. Thanks to @dlbrows on Twitter for the pic.

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What Might Have Been

Blue JaysWhen Chris Carpenter was named the National League Cy Young Award winner yesterday, I started thinking of what might have been. Carpenter and Roy Halladay were once the bright future of our Toronto Blue Jays, until Carpenter suffered a serious shoulder injury and flew the coop after the 2002 season.

Imagine Halladay and Carpenter leading the charge for the Jays. It might have been spectacular.

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Halladay vs. Stieb: It's Getting Closer

JaysJust last September, I called Dave Stieb the greatest starting pitcher in Toronto Blue Jays history. I have Roy Halladay at number two on that list. It's now nine months later and the order remains the same, but the gap is closing.

The Jays beat Kansas City 4-0 today at the ballpark formerly known as Skydome. Roy Halladay became MLB's first 10-game winner, throwing the 12th shutout and 43rd complete game of his career. He threw 97 pitches for his 11th complete game since 2000 in which he has thrown fewer than 100 pitches. Halladay has thrown more than seven innings in all 13 starts this season. In the divisional era, he is tied with Curt Schilling for the third-best streak in the majors.

There are no typos up there. 97 pitches, 10th win of the season, back-to-back complete games... this throw back is on a mission to become the best starter in Blue Jays history.

At this rate, I'll be making the call before Labour Day.

Roy

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Scott Rolen Traded to Reds for Encarnacion, Roenicke & Stewart

jaysThe Jays have dealt third baseman Scott Rolen to the Cincinnati Reds for third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and minor league infielder Yonder Alonso pitchers Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart.

Rolen is hitting .320 in 373 plate appearances with eight home runs and 43 runs batted in. He was also my second favourite active Jay, next to Roy Halladay.

Speaking of Halladay, he's still a Blue Jay. After talks with the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees, Ricciardi did the right thing and kept his ace in fold.

I know there are folks out there who are ticked Halladay is still here, assuming he's as good as gone when he becomes a free agent, but those folks have no soul.

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Doc Gets New Interns

bluejaysThere's a problem when it's Roy and four guys you don't know. The bubble is always at risk of bursting. Following a three game sweep by the Red Sox in Boston, reinforcements are here from Cybertron.

Brett Cecil and Bobby Ray were sent down to Las Vegas (I'll never get used to saying that) to make room for Casey Janssen and Ricky Romero. Janssen posted a combined ERA of 0.76 in five starts between Class A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire and Romero was off to a 2-0 start, with a 1.71 ERA, before getting hurt.

Doc has a couple of new interns. Speaking of Roy Halladay, he gets the start tonight in Atlanta. He's 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA in four starts on the road this year. We'll call this Guaranteed Win Night.

I'll bet Halladay gets a complete game shutout while batting 1.000.

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G-20 Summit Delays Roy Halladay's Return to Toronto

JaysOn June 25, 26 and 27, the Phillies were to play here in Toronto. That would have meant the return of Roy Halladay, greatest Blue Jays starter of all-time. That would have been cool.

Now the G-20 Summit has gone and screwed that all up. Security concerns, because the G-20 takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, have the series moving to Philadelphia.

So no Roy this season. That blows.

Roy

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Alex Rios Traded to White Sox For Absolutely Nothing

bluejaysThe title of this entry is misleading. Alex Rios wasn't traded to the Chicago White Sox today. Rios went to the White Sox in a straight waiver claim, with the Blue Jays simply allowing Chicago to take his contract, without getting a player in return.

I had very high hopes for Rios. Admittedly, he's having an off year, but he is hitting .264 with 14 home runs, 62 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. Is that so bad for the 28-year old that J.P. Ricciardi couldn't get a single team to cough up anything for him?

There's something rotten in the State of Denmark. Rios should be a tradeable commodity. Meanwhile, Ricciardi was shopping Roy Halladay because he doesn't think our ace will resign here, and Paul Beeston is on 590 saying he thinks we can lock up Halladay and extend his contract. WTF?

Let's go back to mid-May when we were singing "World Series, Here We Come". Go on and click through, I'll wait. Back? Good. Now tell me what the hell happened?

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy Favourite Toronto Blue Jay Pitchers of All-Time

  1. Tom Henke
  2. Jimmy Key
  3. Roy Halladay
  4. Dave Stieb
  5. Juan Guzman

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Roy and Four Guys You Don't Know

bluejaysIt's been 15 years since I followed the Jays this closely. I never stopped rooting for my team, and certainly never stopped watching the odd game, but now I'm back to boxscore scoping and game day anticipation. Not only are we leading the league, but we're doing it with Roy and four guys you don't know.

That Roy is Roy Halladay, the second best starting pitcher this franchise has ever seen. You have to love Halladay who battles through and wins, even when he doesn't have his best stuff. He's everything that's right with this game, but he can't pitch every day. Your major league leading Jays have four other starters, and I'll bet you don't know any of 'em.

There's David Purcey, Brian Burres, Scott Richmond, and Brian Tallet. Jays fans might know Richmond because he's Canadian and Tallet from the bullpen, but there's no denying this is a no-name foursome and Cito's making magic with very little.

It's Roy and four guys you don't know. Never doubt The Cito.

The Cito

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The Last 300 Game Winner

BaseballAs an impressionable young baseball fan, someone game me a book entitled "The 500 Club". It had a page devoted to every player in Major League Baseball history who had hit 500 or more home runs in their career.

This was the early 80s when there was two members of the 700 club, one member of the 600 club and far fewer members of the 500 club than we have today. The 500 Club used to be a much bigger deal.

This was the start of my fascination with baseball statistics. I had to know who held the Blue Jays single season and career records for every offensive, defensive and pitching category. This was before the Interweb, so gathering this data wasn't easy, but it was worth it.

The great milestone for starting pitchers was 300 wins. That was the magic mark. Only 23 players have ever done it, but Randy Johnson is sitting on 295 career wins. Randy Johnson will join The 300 Club this season, and Randy Johnson will be the very last player to reach this mark. There will never again be a 300 game winner in Major League baseball.

Our greatest pitcher this past decade has been Roy Halladay, who I consider to be the 2nd greatest starter in Blue Jays history. Halladay is a throwback, finishing games and winning at about a .700 clip. Roy Halladay only has 131 wins to date and won't get close to 300 in his career.

There are relief specialists, five man rotations and pitch counts to blame, but the 300 game winner will go the way of the do-do bird. After former Expo Randy Johnson gets there, that is.

Randy Johnson

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The 1st of Doctober

baseballThis is why Roy Halladay had to leave. The Greatest Blue Jay Starting Pitcher of All-Time has been my man crush for some time. Hell, I once wrote that I heart the guy. But when he left for the Phillies, we all knew why...

Roy needed to pitch in October, henceforth to be referred to as Doctober. Roy Halladay belongs on a playoff team, pitching on the biggest stage. In his playoff debut, he pitched a no-no. I don't know about you, but I was on my feet for that entire 9th inning, full of hope and pride. Only the second no-hitter in playoff history, it was thrown by my boy Roy.

Roy

Well done, Roy. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving player. The Hall of Fame is now, officially, a guarantee.

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Why Didn't Roy Halladay End Up Working With Blue Jays Minor Leaguers?

I have a great deal of respect for Bob Elliott. In fact, when he visited me eleven months ago, I let him become the first guest in 207 episodes to go beyond two hours. Elliott spent decades covering the Expos and Blue Jays and the players trusted him and confided in him. I wanted to hear as many stories as possible.

Bob Elliott and Me

Following the tragic death of Roy Halladay, Elliott wrote a great article about Roy for the Canadian Baseball Network. It included this nugget that caught my eye.

This off season he wanted to work with Blue Jays minor leaguers. He applied -- yes Roy Halladay was made to apply for a job with the Blue Jays -- with the high performance committee.

And then the decision whether to hire him was kicked upstairs.

The Jays did not hire him. Instead, he was re-hired by the Phillies to work with their young pitchers.

I read this and was left wondering why Roy Halladay didn't end up working with the Blue Jays' minor leaguers. There may be an excellent reason Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins took a pass on utilizing Roy's services, but I'd rather not speculate. I'd like to know.

I tweeted about my desire to know and was accused of piling on current management.

Admittedly, a few moves made by Shapiro and Atkins have me scratching my head, but I certainly have no interest in "piling on". Someone linked me to Andrew Stoeten's entry about the piling on but I still think it's absolutely fair to ask why the Blue Jays didn't want Roy Halladay working with their minor leaguers. Our loss was Philadelphia's gain, as you'll read in this Philadelphia Inquirer article.

Again, I don't know anything is rotten here, and I'm well aware knowing the truth won't bring Roy back, but my hope is that one of this city's fine sports journalists investigates the story and brings to light the truth.

I think we fans deserve to know.

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Roy Halladay is Perfect

baseballRoy Halladay pitched a perfect game for the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday in their 1-0 win over the Florida Marlins.

It's no surprise. Roy Halladay is the the best starter in baseball, the greatest Blue Jays starter of all-time and I once sat in the stands at SkyDome while he no-hit the Tigers for 8.2 innings. You just knew one day he'd be perfect.

Here's how he did it:

Marlins 1st: Chris Coghlan called out on strikes. Gaby Sanchez strikes out swinging. Hanley Ramirez grounds out, second baseman Chase Utley to first baseman Ryan Howard.

Marlins 2nd: Jorge Cantu strikes out on foul tip. Dan Uggla strikes out swinging. Cody Ross grounds out, third baseman Juan Castro to first baseman Ryan Howard.

Marlins 3rd: Brett Hayes pops out to second baseman Chase Utley. Cameron Maybin flies out to centre-fielder Shane Victorino. Josh Johnson strikes out swinging.

Marlins 4th: Chris Coghlan grounds out, second baseman Chase Utley to first baseman Ryan Howard. Gaby Sanchez lines out sharply to centre-fielder Shane Victorino. Hanley Ramirez called out on strikes.

Marlins 5th: Jorge Cantu grounds out, second baseman Chase Utley to first baseman Ryan Howard. Dan Uggla flies out to centre-fielder Shane Victorino. Cody Ross grounds out to first baseman Ryan Howard.

Marlins 6th: Brett Hayes strikes out swinging, catcher Carlos Ruiz to first baseman Ryan Howard. Cameron Maybin grounds out, shortstop Wilson Valdez to first baseman Ryan Howard. Josh Johnson flies out to left-fielder Raul Ibanez.

Marlins 7th: Chris Coghlan called out on strikes. Gaby Sanchez lines out to left-fielder Raul Ibanez. Hanley Ramirez called out on strikes.

Marlins 8th: Jorge Cantu grounds out sharply, third baseman Juan Castro to first baseman Ryan Howard. Dan Uggla called out on strikes. Cody Ross pops out to shortstop Wilson Valdez.

Marlins 9th: Pinch hitter Mike Lamb flies out centre-fielder Shane Victorino. Pinch hitter Wes Helms called out on strikes. Pinch hitter Ronny Paulino grounds out, third baseman Juan Castro to first baseman Ryan Howard.

Halladay's perfect game is just the 20th in Major League history. It couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy, I just wish he had done it one season earlier.

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New Blue Jays Ads

bluejaysI enjoyed last year's Blue Jays ads. You might remember the controversial spot with Frank Thomas decking that kid with a pillow. Click on over and watch that one again, it's great.

Here are this year's batch of TV commercials promoting Blue Jays baseball. These are pretty good, too.

Roy Halladay

Aaron Hill

Alex Rios

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