It was a sight once relished by Blue Jays fans: Roy Halladay disposing of opposing batters with surgical precision, rendering them speechless as they sheepishly sulked back to the dugout. Needless to say, there was nothing out of the ordinary Friday night as the Doctor hurled seven pristine innings of shutout ball. Unfortunately for the Toronto faithful, he was wearing the wrong uniform.
On Friday night in front of more than 43,000 fans, Roy Halladay faced his former team for the first time since signing a multi-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies this past offseason. Halladay was exceptionally typical, surrendering only six hits and one walk while striking out four through seven frames as the Phillies pounded the Jays 9-0.
Squaring off against the organization he called home for more than a decade, Halladay was characteristically unfazed by the fanfare and emotion associated with this particular outing. Additionally, his dominance on Friday acted as a microcosm for his entire career — one defined by transcendent raw ability complimented by a meticulous work ethic — albeit to the chagrin of the Jays’ hitters. For the first time ever, the Toronto Blue Jays were victimized by Roy Halladay, and frankly, the only appropriate response was a lengthy ovation upon his departure from the game.
Friday night’s performance cemented Halladay’s legacy and reaffirmed that which baseball fans in Toronto had already known for years: it does not get any better than Roy Halladay.
Thus, for those who foolishly scorn Halladay for seeking greener pastures after more than a decade of loyal service to a perennial non-contender, bite your tongues. Halladay had invested a substantive portion of his prime to the Blue Jays, and realizing that the pinnacle of his career was hastily culminating, he elected to pursue a more viable option for getting that ring on his finger.
While the Blue Jays never even flirted with the prospect of October baseball during Halladay’s tenure with the squad, he singlehandedly sustained a team during one of its most destitute periods, because in spite of how the Jays may have struggled during his stay in Toronto, fans took solace in the fact that every fifth day Roy was toeing the slab.
He should be commended for his unrelenting dedication to a club that made virtually no discernible effort to surround him with enough pieces to put together a winning club. Those who chastize Roy Halladay are not true Blue Jays fans, they are charlatans in blue caps.
So Roy, allow me to commend you on another stellar outing this past Friday, and extend to you my most appreciate thanks, as you kept us (I speak on behalf of all true Blue Jays fans) going when there was little to believe in. I shall always remember your triumphs in a Blue Jays uniform fondly. You were our rock. You were our captain. And every fifth day, you, ‘Doc’, had the cure for what was ailing us.