So Roy is coming home this weekend.
Couple things about that sentence. First draft had "Roy Halladay" in place of just "Roy".... but it didn't feel right. Still. Had to go with Roy. The second thing I'm not so sure about. "Home".
If you're a long-ish time reader of this blog, you'll know by now that I've written a lot about the Doc. Well, "a lot" being used subjectively here, because prolific I ain't. Let's just say I've posted more about Halladay than probably any other singular figure, Blue Jay past or present. And maybe you're sick of it by now. I'll give you that. I kinda sorta maybe thought I would be too.
But I don't think I'm quite there yet.
Maybe because since the trade, nu-Roy has yet to emerge. It's not for lack of effort by the team, or by this guy in trying to find one. Jose Bautista is probably as close as it gets, and maybe by mid-contract he is that guy. Hey man, maybe he already is, you know?
And if Roy v2.0 has to be a pitcher, then pretty clearly it's going to be Ricky Romero. I love Ricky. He's a battler, he's fun to watch pitch, and he's pretty much everything you're looking for in your staff leader. You'll note I didn't say "ace". Do you think he's there yet? To these eyes, the fact we have to ask the question probably tells you the answer. That's no slight against Romero. Not in the least. But there was never a question with Roy.....
I PVR quite a few Blue Jay games every year. If I'm going to be out of the house or have to run off or put the kids to bed or whateverthefuck, I hit record and catch up later. Then I delete the game. Always. Except for once. One time I couldn't hit delete, and I still haven't. September 30, 2009. You'll remember that game as Roy's last start. You might remember it was a complete game shutout - his 2nd straight to close the season.... and his career as a Blue Jay.
I also remember it as the game where he drilled Big Papi as retaliation for Papelbon's ratfuck douche move in drilling Adam Lind the night before as he stood in looking for his fourth home run of the game. We knew he had to do it. Roy knew he had to do it. And he did it. Then he shut the door on the god damned Red Sox the rest of the way. Unforgettable.
Now is when I bring this full circle:
Do we really need another Roy Halladay? I mean, objectively - do we need to have that one guy to hang our hat on? Let's look at team success - I'd say 2 years post-Halladay we are no further ahead or behind, from a win-loss perspective anyway. It's pretty clear that in baseball, one player does not a team make. Not even a player like Doc. Sure, he took the Phillies to the NLCS (edited: thanks anon).... but you might want to ask Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, Chase Utley, and the rest of that stacked team if they had anything to do with it.
So do we need another Halladay? For selfish reasons, sure... it's fun to have one. And if understatement's not your thing, then let's say it's fucking awesome to have a guy who routinely leaves opponents shaking their heads and has the unquestioned respect of the league.
Point being.... when I'm watching Halladay take on the Blue Jays this weekend, I'll no doubt reminisce fondly on his time with our - yes, our - team. But Halladay's moved on, and so have we.
Now go kick Roy Halladay's ass, Ricky.
(postscript: so Halladay doesn't start until Sunday, negating the Ricky-Roy showdown. Kind of takes the bite out of the whole "kick his ass, Ricky" thing.)