Philadelphia Phillies' Roy Halladay Passes Torch to Cole Hamels

By Sean O'Brien
Philadelphia Phillies Roy Halladay
Howard Smith – USA TODAY Sports

A time comes in every man’s life when he must admit that the competition has overtaken him. For Roy Halladay, that moment is now. In an unexpected acknowledgment, one of the most competitive, consistent and dominant starting pitchers of the past decade openly passed the Philadelphia Phillies‘ staff ace torch to Cole Hamels.

Speaking to the gathered media in Clearwater, Florida this week, “Doc” cited the financial commitment the organization made to “Hollywood” last summer and the solid mound efforts that his colleague has given through the years as evidence that Hamels (not Halladay) is the staff leader and is likely to be the opening day starter.

Even though the Phillies may end up only getting two superb years (2010, 2011) from Halladay (after famously obtaining him from the Toronto Blue Jays in December 2009), his acquisition was well worth it. He’s still under contract for this season and might be able to find a way to pitch effectively with lowered velocity one more time.

Hamels’ diamond stock rose dramatically after his 2012 mega-deal. While nothing is ever “guaranteed” in the modern baseball world, this lefty should remain in red pinstripes through the 2018 season.

Halladay proved his true worth as a man by admitting that his teammate has surpassed him. His gamesmanship will help Hamels to succeed.

Ideally, Charlie Manuel’s three remaining “Number 1” starters (Hamels, Halladay and Cliff Lee) will start approximately 30 games each this season. If that happens, the 2013 edition of Philadelphia’s baseball team is sure to be in the playoff race. Depending upon how the summer plays out, the Phillies might also play ball through October as well.

Follow Sean on Twitter @SeanyOB, Facebook, Google+ and read his blog Insight.

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