A long and highly decorated career came to an end yesterday when Ken Rosenthal announced that Roy Halladay’s velocity was down and that his change-up “lacked bite.” The Rosenthalian science behind such statements is far too complicated for you to comprehend, so allow me to just translate this into a language you can understand: It’s all over.
With the trend of erosion filtering into the Phillies clubhouse, the common talk has been about how certain stars are being preserved, for the sake of staving off inevitable injuries. They’re in their thirties, which doctors tell us is the point in life when one begins to see their bones disintegrate and their blood turn into poison. It’s the natural order of things, and there’s a certain beauty to it.
So it’s no shock to hear scary things about Ryan, whose recovering from a serious injury, and Chase, who was doing so a year ago. But Rosenthal, not satisfied to merely raise an index finger and speculate on the usual suspects, has decided that he will be the one to begin chipping away at Roy Halladay.
Doc had an 89 mph ceiling yesterday, and in at least some people’s opinions appeared to be not as intense as he’s been in previous years. When you’re a legend who continually sets the bar impossibly high, it can be a little easier to point out a flaw. 89 mph for some people might be acceptable, like Kyle Kendrick, or me trying to beat some pedestrians through a cross walk. But with Doc it’s basically like watching his house burn down.
Easy, then, for Rosenthal to put together an argument that Halladay is hurt, or declining, or staying out all night, punching snakes.
But it is important to remember that we are still in Spring Training, a time when players are working to reach 100%, not arriving to camp that way and keeping the pedal to the floor for an entire month of meaningless games. Chooch isn’t worried, Doc isn’t worried, and Ruben isn’t worried. Ruben is so not worried, in fact, that he finally scheduled some alone time with his smart phone, like he’d been promising to do for months. It’s important for them to get some “us” time. When you work together like that, a relationship can go stale quickly.
The important thing to remember is the amount of snake carcasses Roy keeps in his shed for revenge purposes.