Friday, July 1, 2011

Yes, it is a Halladay post

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.)


DJ said...

If Ricky pitches better than Roy, let's call that a kicking of the ass regardless of which days they happen to actually pitch.

BringVottoHome said...

Awesome, Ack (as per usual).

lepos said...

WTF Doc starts Sunday? Phillies site still says Saturday...

The Ack said...

I really screwed that up - for some reason I thought it was Ricky vs Doc on Saturday.... but Ricky goes Friday and Lott says Doc Sunday? I was wayyy off!

w3leong said...

I'm pretty sure Doc starts tomorrow

Anonymous said...

I was there for Doc's last home game as a Jay - still have the ticket - and I plan on being there for his first as a Phillie.

Anonymous said...

Roy did not in fact take the Phillies to the World Series...yet. Its only a matter of time but if you remember last year the Phils were eliminated by the eventual WS Champs San Francisco in the NLCS.

Paul said...

Great teams do not trade their great players away for head cases in the minors, they build great teams around them so that they never want to leave.

Defense and pitching displays like Canada Day's display of pukitude just shows that they Jays are WAY more than just "two years away".

All the fans want is a decent effort and a basic skill set (like, I dunno, CATCHING ROUTINE FLY BALLS!!!). If they continue to stink out Skydome with efforts like those of the Red Sox weekend and Canada Day, why should I spend my money to take my kids?

The Ack said...

Thanks anon. Further proof I don't know what I'm talking about.

@ Paul.... I don't know, maybe because it was a great day to watch a game? Maybe to watch Romero throw? Thames and Bautista's homers weren't entertaining?

Paul said...

It was a great day to watch a game, I'll give you that. It was also a great day to do anything outside, most of which wouldn't leave me wanting to kill an idiot that makes over $5 million a year and can't catch a ball.

Roger's is cutting back SO much, and I'm not talking about the team per se, it's cutting back it's features for small kids.

2 years ago they stopped having shows on Jr Jays Saturdays (magicians, singers etc.). This year they stopped the bobble head collections where you walked around the park getting stamps, and cut out the majority of the entertainment outside so that it now resembles nothing more than the average 5 yr old's birthday party. The lines for what little is left are so bad that I don't even bother.

Going inside, they totally removed the Kids Zone this season. I specifically bought my 10 pack in that area so that my 7 yr old twin girls would have a thing or two to do during the game. To top is all off, last time we went to a Canada Day game, here were fireworks after the game.

I know all of this has nothing to do with the actual team, but to me it's symbolic of how Roger's treats the fans. Cutting back as much as possible, a little here, a little there, and it probably won't effect the bottom line too much. They do it with the team's payroll, and they do it to the kids watching the game.

For the price of the tickets for one game alone I can buy an annual pass to the Zoo, the Science Centre, or many other great things in Toronto. Maybe if Rogers actually cared about the fan's experience and tried to compete with other forms of family entertainment, they wouldn't be averaging 15,000 a game.

Gavos World said...

Most teams would kill for an Ace like Roy. Most teams don't have a bona-fide ace.

MK Piatkowski said...

Can't speak for everyone but I needed the closure of today. I needed to cheer my heart out in thanks to the man who brought me back to baseball. I needed to watch him do his thing one more time. I needed to see him do it for the other side. And to those people who said that I shouldn't have done it, they can suck it. That includes the players.

Paul said...

You needed to because you won't see anything like him for quite a while in Toronto. Certainly not the head case they traded him for.

Just imagine if Jeter, Ripkin, Yount or any all time great were a Jay. We'd be cheering them in other uniforms too. Until an owner comes along that truly wants to win, it's simply a pipe dream to expect anything different.

Grock said...

Speaking of Sept. 30th, 2009 that was the day Travis Snider hit his first Major League triple, Ruiz was a triple shy hitting for the cycle (2HR), Boston sent in a position player to pitch, and the Jays swept the Red Sox that series with #32 providing a CGSO.

To Paul about complaining about Rogers, I can't find a single thing wrong about your post. The fact that the Payroll this year is miniscule, combined with some very weak promotions, it is very obvious that Rogers sees this simply as another division of their conglomerate.

I have been an avid Jays fan ever since my dad took me to my first game in the early 80s. But the past few years have been very painful ones to take. If this team was truly going to be competitive, it would have provided Roy with the one thing he said it would take to keep him in Toronto. A competitive team.

The promotions are pathetic, such as Tweeting Tuesdays, which promotes BlackBerry more than it does the Jays (and I am sure is a net gain for advertising dollars). 80s night coming up to remind us of what the Jays were, more than what they are now and will cost nothing. Even the Canada Day game they were cheap on the giveaway. I have been to regular games where every fan gets something (the 49ers on Monday Night football for example give every fan cheerleader pom-poms and a towel to wave around)instead of 1/5th of the potential crowd getting red t-shirts.

They could have built this with the ditching of Rios' and AJ Burnett's salary. Instead, they are chasing the same pipe dream as every "small market team".

It makes me wonder just how much longer this team will remain viable, and that is what the bittersweet return of Roy Halladay meant to me.