The Philadelphia Phillies had enjoyed success by winning the World Series in 2008 and earning another trip back there in 2009 against the New York Yankees. In disappointing fashion, the Phillies lost in 6 games, partly because Pedro Martinez just didn’t have it anymore. This lead the organization to reevalute themselves, trying to figure out what they could do to achieve another successful trip to the big dance. Fortunately, for Ruben Amaro Jr. (Phillies G.M.), there was a future Hall of Famer, named Roy Halladay, just waiting in the wings to lend a helping hand.
In the 2010 offseason, the Phillies pulled off a blockbuster deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, sending their best pitching prospect Kyle Drabek for their best pitcher, Roy Halladay. Roy was a player Ruben had coveted for a few years and was finally given the opportunity to make him a Phillie. There were many skeptics along the way that were afraid the Phillies gave up too much talent to acquire a 32-year-old pitcher with alot of miles on his odometer. In the defense of the move, Ruben stated, “To get talent, you must give up talent, ” and with a team built to succeed now, that move made a whole lot of sense. In hindsight, the Phillies have definitely reaped the benefits of that acquisition, even though they haven’t won another world series yet. In his first season, Doc left all those skeptics guessing by tossing a perfect game ( 5/29/10 ) during the regular season and continuing to be strong in the postseason, pitching a perfect game ( 10/6/10 ) against the Reds. Philadelphia was blown away by the Iron Man known as Doc Halladay, a pitcher whom they haven’t seen the likes of since Steve Carlton ( Lefty ).
As people get older, they tend to ease into things to give their bodies time to recover and react. Roy Halladay is an animal who will never sit still in his cage. He has maintained a level of conditioning that has been unheralded, but a level that keeps him on top of his game. Last season was the first time we have seen him labor a little late in games and not have the same velocity on the ball that we are accustomed to seeing. All pitchers go through this transition period, learning how to perfect their craft by working smarter, not harder. Pitchers like Nolan Ryan and Greg Maddox always seemed to get better with age because they learned how to master the skills around their own limitations. Greg went from a power pitcher to a finesse thrower, who learned to be precise when hitting his target. We, as Phillies fans, are spoiled with the greatness we have seen the last couple years, especially the robotic, undefinable movements on the mound. Therefore, we are all on the edge of our seats, wondering if Doc will be ready for the frontline battle or be delegated to the back, where he is nothing but an average soldier. We will just have to wait and see!
BY: Tony Cutillo ( @TCutillo23 )
- Taking a Back Seat? (thebellsounds.wordpress.com)
- Amaro Updates Hamels, Halladay’s Health, Corner Outfield Search (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
- Roy Halladay already throwing at Phillies’ spring complex (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)