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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Comments (19 - click here to join in!)

The Voice of Reason


Shapiro is not the mind that we were sold on.
He will be out in two years.

November 11, 2017 @ 6:58 PM


The best student does not make the best teacher. Of all the major sports how many head coaches were great or even good players? Hardly any or none. The best was Toe Blake for the Habs in the 50-60's.
There had to be a reason behind the Jays decision which may never be revealed.

November 11, 2017 @ 7:47 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


But you're speculating. I'm not looking for fan guesses here, I'd like to find out what actually happened.

If Blue Jays management decided Halladay wasn't fit to work with our minor leaguers, I'd like to know that. But I don't want to guess.

November 11, 2017 @ 7:58 PM


I think it would be dumb for the Blue Jays to make a statement as to why they rejected Halladay a job so soon after his death. No matter the reason it will be met with an overwhelmingly negative response.

November 11, 2017 @ 8:41 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'm not interested in a statement anyway. I want a sports journalist to dig into this and see what he/she can learn.

November 11, 2017 @ 8:48 PM

The Voice of Reason

Mike the only journalist that would look into this in Toronto, would be Steve Simmons. You should reach out to him.

November 11, 2017 @ 8:51 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I did.

Simmons says Roy wanted to work from the spring training facility to be close to his family but Blue Jays management wanted him to travel, like a roving instructor.

So Roy took the job with Philadelphia because they let him work from the spring training facility.

In other words, Blue Jays management didn't want Roy Halladay's services if he only worked from the spring training facility.

November 11, 2017 @ 8:56 PM

The Voice of Reason

The answer is right there. Incompetence.

November 11, 2017 @ 9:05 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I should point out that Simmons only revealed this moments ago, well after I published this entry.

November 11, 2017 @ 9:07 PM


It's incredibly stupid that the Jays wouldn't create a position for Halladay in FLA.

November 11, 2017 @ 10:16 PM


Hey Mike

Yesterday I saw you getting flack for suggesting a journalist look into this and find out why the Jays turned Halladay down. Now I see a journalist did exactly that and we know that management didn't want Halladay unless he was willing to travel. Now I know Jays management really has no fucking clue.

So thanks. And you were right. RIP ROY #32

November 12, 2017 @ 9:38 AM

Alan G

I was stunned when I read that, especially knowing that Halladay had retired as a Blue Jay. And like you, Mike I was stunned that after that was published there was no other comment by anyone.

Right now I'm ticked with the Jays for another reason. The "Flex Pack" is no longer flexible which I guess is why they now call it the Game Pack. My wife and I were all set to by a 12 game Game Pack even though we know next year's team will not be anywhere as good as the team has been for the last few years. Unfortunately we were not allowed to choose the games we wanted to go to on or choose games when we wanted and were able to go to. Many of the games we were given to choose from were on days we can't go - weekends. We both work on the weekends. A few years ago with the 10 game flex pack we could choose any game we wanted. Not anymore. So instead of forking out a couple of grand to see the Jays this year, we're not buying. Period. And I don't think we will be the only ones.

November 12, 2017 @ 12:03 PM


You can't tell a private business how to run it's business, simply because you thought Halladay was great and deserved it.

What the Jays were looking for, and what Roy wanted, didn't line up. The same could have been said for almost ANY former player. Sometimes they bring them back, 90% of the time, they don't. Sometimes when they do bring them back, they work out, sometimes they don't- it's not personal, it's business. You could really, really like a guy- but it doesn't mean he'd fit the position you need.

Halladay wasn't the first, and won't be the last. Retire his number, RIP- and let it go.

November 13, 2017 @ 9:09 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I never for one second thought I could tell Rogers how to run its ball club. The thought never crossed my mind, nor do I think it crossed the mind of any reasonable person.

November 13, 2017 @ 9:11 AM


Nice to see that the good will and sensitivity of many Toronto Mike participants continues
to thrive! Maybe you could commission your in-house composer to cut a Hip Hop-flavoured
version of Frozen's "Let It Go" as the site's new theme song?!?

November 13, 2017 @ 9:21 AM


"You" wasn't intended on being YOU- TM. Rhetorical comments don't really come across in text.

It was mainly for other comments stating management has no clue, or are dumb, "incompetant" for not hiring him etc etc.

My point was what the Jays wanted, and what Roy wanted didn't line up.

Dale stated it best; sometimes the best student does not make the best teacher.

November 13, 2017 @ 9:27 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Sorry if I sounded snappy... I had so many Twitter fights about this on Saturday I'm in hyper-defense mode!

I was curious why what the Jays wanted and what Roy wanted didn't line up. Now that I know, I find it curious that the Jays stayed rigid here and didn't create a position for Roy. As I said, our loss was Philadelphia's gain.

I should also point out I'd be equally as curious and passionate about this if Roy had not died. I realize, of course, that the premature death of a beloved Jays star does add extra emotion to the discussion.

November 13, 2017 @ 9:55 AM


I like Elliot most of the time, but this is a thing he does that I don't like.

If Elliot doesn't like a particular management, he'll toss little nuggets like this into a story to get a rise out of people.

He doesn't provide any specifics. He leaves us to speculate ... or jump to conclusions. He leaves us to either think the Jays are big old meanies or he leaves us to defend them in a situation that might not actually be defensible. But we don't know -- because he didn't give us any details.

And he did this in the context of an article about someone who had just died. Why didn't he report this at the time? If it wasn't news then, why is it news now?

There are many reasons to respect Elliot for his lifetime of superb work, but I think it was an unfortunate misstep to do this within the context of what he did. It might be something to bring up at another time, but not in a "look what jerks the Jays were to this person who just died" context.

November 14, 2017 @ 9:31 AM

Gary M

Mike, I agree. And found the Stoeten piece ludicrous and somewhat offensive. Shapiro and Co. are not at-risk teenagers. They're highly compensated corporate executives who just gassed an entire 20-person department. We can ask legit questions without pausing to fret over their mental well being.

November 15, 2017 @ 11:51 PM

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