September 28, 2010

I want to go to the playoffs with Roy Halladay

Bittersweet. How else to describe watching Roy Halladay punch his ticket to the post-season? Of course Doc was on the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies Monday night. Of course Doc threw another complete game shutout to make it official. The Baseball Gods, they work in brilliant ways.

On the same night Halladay's Phillies clinched the National League East, the Toronto Blue Jays clinched a .500 season. Symmetry, yo. Doc's got what he wanted: a chance to win the World Series. And the Blue Jays, well, they're doing alright. They're on the righteous path. Remember, 2010 was supposed to be a disaster of biblical proportions. I'm talking below the OrioLOLes in the standings, apocalyptic-type shit. Nine months after trading the face of their franchise, and the best pitcher they've ever employed, there exists a quiet confidence that Alex Anthopoulos will lead the Blue Jays out of the abyss.

Thanks to that confidence, I was able to enjoy Halladay's moment in the sun. I know, it was actually raining in Washington, D.C., but, whatever. The point is: it's all worked out rather nicely. Considering what we've heard from the youthful Blue Jays pitching staff, they're glad they're not sharing a locker room with Halladay anymore. And I get that. Think about it: nobody wants to work with the most intense cat in the office. Especially when they're that much better than you. Toronto was no longer the time and place for Harry Leroy Halladay III. Philadelphia is.

I've gone through a bloody gamut of emotions when it comes to Doc. Anger. Sadness. Happiness. Elation, confusion, and bitterness, all in the aftermath of his perfect game. When the Jays and Phillies faced off in June, I wanted nothing more than for Toronto to pummel Doc. (Like how they slap around A.J. Burnett. It's fun!) But this -- Halladay Season in October -- is what I've always wanted. Since that fateful day in September, way back in 1998. While I never had any desire to go to the zoo with Roy Halladay, I sure as hell wanted to go to the playoffs with Roy Halladay.

The debate in Toronto has begun: Cincinnati or Philadelphia? Reds or Phillies? Canadian superstar Joey Votto, with a side of Scott Rolen, or Doc? Just last week, I'd have told you I wasn't sure which way I was leaning. But I know now, after watching Halladay celebrate with his Phillies teammates the way I always wanted him to celebrate in Toronto with the Blue Jays.

There's no doubt: Votto is special. But he's not Roy Halladay. He's not the pitcher whose starts I lived and died by, every five days, for more than a decade. I've waited far too long for Doc to pitch in the playoffs. To dominate on baseball's brightest stage. Your good friend and mine Sarah said it best: "Playoffs for Halladay are playoffs for me."

Get your ring, Doc. Go Phillies.

It's pointless that I have to tell you time and time again, but image courtesy of Reuters via daylife.


William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Excellent post. But as I've said before, I hope Doc wins all his post season starts but that the Phillies lose ugly. Hate that team.

Ian - BJH said...

After I read this post, I just remembered another analogy from Sunday.

I can't remember if it was Tao, Drew or Archi who said this, but with Doc in the clubhouse it was like working with Dwight from the Office. And the rest of the starting rotation is Jim.

sarah said...

Quick, someone guess how I feel about this!

The Ack said...

What is that strange contortion of features evident on Doc's face in that picture?

Chris said...

It's typical that he was so prepared that he had goggles ready.

Archi said...

On the Phillies: After this, we're even for Joe Carter / Mitch Williams, alright?

I need to stop deleting really emotional stuff here and just press send.


sarah said...

When I was in Philadelphia, a hotel clerk saw my Carter hat and told me that the Jays broke his heart, and I told him that the Phillies broke mine. We called it even and agreed to get a man a ring.


Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

@ William: It's going to be a strange post-season for me. I want the Phillies to win it all, because of Doc. At the same time, I can't not root for Joey Votto and the Reds. (Helluva way for them to clinch Tuesday night, too.) After visiting Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, I want to see Texas finally have some success in the post-season. I absolutely love their "It's Time" rallying cry. Then there's the Twins. Outdoor playoff baseball in October in Minneapolis? In their new, beautiful ballpark? Oh, man. Still, I think after watching Doc finally make it to the post-season, and finally celebrate, I want it to be the Phillies. If the Jays can't win it, Doc should get his ring.

@ Ian: I remember that, but, like you, not who said it. It's def. a beauty, though.

@ Sarah: Still loving your quote. Playoffs!!!1

@ The Ack: I wonder if Doc worked out after the celebration. I truly wouldn't be surprised.

@ Chris: Ain't that the truth.

@ Archi: I guess that would make us even. For me, it isn't so much that it's hard to watch. Doc's timing in Toronto ran out. That's life. Now I just wouldn't mind watching him win. The trade's worked out as best as it could have, and we've yet to see d'Arnaud, or Gose.

@ sarah: "... get a man a ring." You're on fire.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if the Jays were to sign Beltre and Carlos Pena in the off-season, would they owe anything to the Red Sox and the Rays in compensation? And is there a place where I can find this studd out? This MLB compensation shit is so complicated.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

@ Anon: You're right, the MLB compensation system is a touch confusing. Here's how it works, from (your best bet for issues such as these): "If a Type A free agent turns down an arbitration offer from his old club, his new team has to surrender a draft pick as compensation." Type A free agents return top draft picks. Type B free agents return supplemental draft picks.

Anyway, according to a post yesterday on MLB Trade Rumors (, Beltre is 100% a Type A free agent. Carlos Pena is a Type B free agent.

This is the post you want:

In terms of the Jays, John Buck's a Type B free agent. Lyle Overbay's unclassified, he walks and the Jays get nothing. Same deal with Encarnacion. Relievers wise, Frasor and Downs are both Type A free agents. Gregg's a Type B free agent, but I can't imagine Toronto not picking up his option.

Hope this helps. Make sure you bookmark MLB Trade Rumors. That site is invaluable. Cheers.

Escaped Lab Rat said...

I feel the same as you. Anybody but the Yanks (or Rays), really, but it would be sweet for Roy. He's Toronto's Ray Bourque.

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

@ Escaped: He's Toronto's Ray Bourque."

Shit, Ryan, well put.