Those who previously weren’t ready to accept Roy Halladay’s descent are now being forced to see reality as this young season rises.
It was natural for many to shrug off concerns about “Doc” last spring. Acknowledging our heroes’ humanity removes the fantasy aspect from entertainment and makes the world seem more cruel. Some personality types have a harder time coping with life than others do.
The Philadelphia Phillies‘ ace and reigning best pitcher in baseball apparently lost a bit of his velocity last spring. That happens when middle-age humbles the body.
Those who discounted what the radar guns registered a year ago remained hopeful as the 2012 season played out. They chose to believe that Halladay was simply having an off year, as a 24-year-old might.
Next month (May 14) the best major league pitcher who has been working since 2002 will turn 36. He isn’t Nolan Ryan, so he doesn’t have another decade left in his right arm. Because Halladay isn’t pitching through a previous Phillies’ era, he won’t make it as far as Steve Carlton was able to go.
With PED’s now rightfully restricted, a miraculous and enduring career revival also won’t be seen.
It’s fair to project that if this two-time Cy Young Award winner surrenders another combined 12 earned runs in his next two starts, like he did in his first two games against the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, that changes will be made.
No one should feel confident in predicting his imminent release just yet, as this 15-plus-year veteran can still throw a baseball between 85-90 mph on a regular basis.
Halladay’s guaranteed $20 million deal through the end of this season will almost certainly prevent general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. from having to talk with “Doc” and his agent in the relatively near future. However, there will come a point in time when bullpen options, other types of second chances and all hope will be gone.