Tuesday, December 15, 2009

...Let go lightly

I figured I'd wait this post out. Let the trade settle in. Gain some perspective, understand it was a deal that had to be made, and go from there. Write up a handful of paragraphs praising the virtues of Harry Leroy Halladay and drool excitedly over our own fresh new batch o' prospect porn.

But you know, that's not really what I do. I could never write anything as eloquent as things already said (epic), and I won't pretend to try. And maybe I should wait it out - hell, we don't even know for sure who exactly is coming back in the deal (as of this writing, it looks like Drabek, Taylor, d'Arnaud)...but for this post, that matters little. This post is all about who the Toronto Blue Jays - the organization and their fans - are losing. So pay attention, Philadelphia. Bear with my melodrama as I type away with the story still unfolding....because our loss is quite clearly going to be your gain.

You know what else this post is not about? The stats. Oh, any Jays fan could probably recite verbatim all the relevant numbers on the back of Doc's baseball card. We'll tell you about the Cy. We'll talk wins, we'll talk complete games, strikeouts, whatever. We'll also tell you about his stuff. His filthy, "did you see that?", stuff. Rivera is & always will be the master of the cutter, but Doc will follow his up with an equally nasty two-seamer. Or maybe he'll sink the fastball on you. Or just flat-out embarrass you when he drops the hook. But no, this isn't about the stuff, either.

This post is about the feeling that just having Doc on the team gave to Jays fans. It's hard to explain, really. He was ours. He was our guy. He grew up in the system, a Blue Jay through and through. He came within one out (damn you, Bobby Higginson) of tossing a no hitter in just his second major league start. A season later, the wheels came off, he struggled mightily, but back he came - through the system - more dominant than ever.

That feeling of pride we felt for our guy came in many forms. Just watching Doc deal. All business. No distractions. No tolerance for error. It came in reading game recaps, with opposing managers & hitters alike inevitably exclaiming that Doc was the best they'd faced all year. And through all of those early struggles and subsequent dominance - he was a Blue Jay. He was the guy who signed not one, but two extensions at a hometown discount because he wanted to be a Blue Jay. Don't think we didn't notice that, Roy, because we did.

This post is also about what the Jays are losing off the field. The Halladays are good people, man. Doc's box for sick kids. His under-reported work in the community. The responsibility he felt as a role model. Read this piece from a few seasons back, and if it doesn't get a little dusty for you, well, you're as robotic as Doc's right arm. Honestly, I'm sure there are many players who do as much in their towns as Doc, but rare is the athlete who can match that integrity, that dedication, that humility....and that talent. And we had him. For twelve seasons, we had him.

Players come and go. We're cheering for laundry, right? I'll get excited about the players coming back in the trade. They'll bring hope for better days ahead and a new era of a competitive Toronto ballclub. In time, we'll be breathless about the next great pitching prospect in the system. Some day, we might even find a kid of whom we will say "he reminds me a little of a young Roy Halladay."

But there will never be another Roy Halladay. There can't be.

25 comments:

eyebleaf said...

Fuck Bobby Higginson. For real. I figured I'd never need to hate him, because it was only a matter of time before Doc threw a no-hitter for Toronto. Fuck. Fuck you, Higginson.

Great post, brother.

There will never be another Roy Halladay.

Scott Robinson said...

That was perfect, man. Just perfect. It's a tough time for all of us faithful. Just gotta hope that this Drabek kid is legit. That's all we have now. That and the memories.

bkblades said...

I knew my faith in properly verbalizing my emotions by this site would eventually trickle in.

Good stuff, sir.

Ian H. said...

Ack, bravo sir. Bravo.

It was a necessary moves, but it still hurts when somebody rips your heart out of your chest and mails to to Philadelphia. We can take the winter to mourn and hopefully all will be well again by Springtime.

Dane lorg said...

That said it. Thanks.

David said...

You nailed it! This is a sad day for jay's fans! A class acted

hahaha said...

Ice Cream Jonsey said...
Exactly, the money is moot, these cheap fucks weren't going to spend it in any way, shape or form that would directly benefit the team. I could see them holding a TV special where Viner lit it on fire before they went out and acquired a #3 pitcher for us.

December 15, 2009 12:56 AM

lol said...

bkblades said...
I understand why money was being sent and don't have a major problem with it. But if Rogers decides to up their system access fees or some other bullshit like that despite knowing $6 million is chump change for a conglomerate, fuck them and their company. I don't care how handsome Handsome Tony is in real life.

December 15, 2009 1:01 AM

eyebleaf said...

Ack, you seriously nailed this, mate.

And, for the record, I still believe in Handsome Tony. Although he has some explainin to do!!!!1

Dragonzigg said...

No matter what happens now, this won't be quite the same Blue Jays team I loved...

Anonymous said...

Amazing work, Ack!

Stedron said...

C'mon guys. These prospects are going to make us a perennial playoff team, and Doc will be begging to come back for his swan song in 4 years, win it all, and go out on top.

Right? RIGHT!?

Peter D said...

I was at that Bobby Higginson no-hit killer game. Best Jays game I've ever been to live.

If the romoured deal is correct, it's a nice start for AA, however he shouldn't start here, try to add more pieces by any means necessary. Also, don't be afraid to deal your current prospects for others you may like better.

simpson1970 said...

I agree with Peter D, in that expiring contracts should be moved. Overbay, Downs - maximize value. I wouldn't object to keeping Frasor though. His changeup was a bit of a revelation last year.

Gil Fisher said...

And say what you will about Rogers, but does any owner like writing off salary more than them?

eyebleaf said...

Playoffs!!!!1

Random D-bag said...

@Gil Maybe there are good tax reasons to write off salary in Canada.

Peter D said...

So that's $21 million the Jays are paying for pitching that is not on their team in 2010?

The Ack said...

Thanks for the words. I figured if I didn't empty my mind last night, I'd post something safe and sterile this morning.

Still digesting, though.

yummymummy13 said...

Fantastic post. We had him. We loved him. We have to let him go. There will never be another.

brainiac said...

Roy Halladay is welcome at my house anytime he wants to drop by.

The best player ever to wear the uniform (Ricky Henderson can bite me)and possibly the best person as well. We don't even know how much he and his wife did for the city.

To say I wish him the best is an understatement. I am now a Philly fan....

eyebleaf said...

I can't wait until June.

plain_g said...

it sucks to see doc go, but i love the way everyone is reflecting on his awesomeness. aaand, i can't wait to see him win 30 games in the nl, another cy young, and a world series.

Anonymous said...

Well motherfucking said! Also add a hearty fuck you to Kevin Witt, who broke up Doc's no hitter to the shitty '03 Tigers!

Christopher said...

Ack, you nailed it man. Brought a tear to my eye. Good job.