In semi-surprising news, former Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay will announce his retirement today:
Confirming reports, Halladay is announcing retirement this afternoon.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) December 9, 2013
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Halladay will sign a one-day contract with the Toronto Blue Jays so that he can retire as a member of that organization:
Source: Halladay will sign a contract and retire as a Blue Jay. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 9, 2013
It is fitting that Halladay will retire with the Blue Jays. Although he had some great moments with the Phillies, he should be remembered mostly for his years in Toronto where he spent 12 seasons and earned 148 of his 203 career wins.
The announcement is somewhat unexpected, as it seemed like he wanted to play in 2014. He sounded optimistic after undergoing shoulder surgery last season, and gave indications that he wanted to continue his career.
Halladay was regarded as one of the hardest workers in baseball, but perhaps he he realized that no amount of work would allow him to be dominant anymore. Even the hardest working pitcher is going to struggle if he can’t throw faster than 90 MPH or locate his pitches with precision. It’s also possible that no team was willing to offer him a major league contract, and he was too prideful to accept a minor league deal that would be little more than a glorified tryout.
I have mixed feelings about Halladay’s tenure with the Phillies. While he had some undeniably great moments with the team, it’s a disappointment that they were unable to win a World Series with him. Things were only supposed to get “funner,” but that never quite happened. I’ve also stated that Halladay’s drop off was the single biggest factor towards the Phillies missing the playoffs the past two years.
Despite those disappointments, there’s no denying that Halladay was one of the finest pitchers to ever step on a pitching mound. Five years from now, we’ll hopefully be able to cheer when he gets elected into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Sure, he’ll go in as a Blue Jay, but Phillies fans can take pride knowing that he was a part of our team’s history as well.
I’ll leave you with a video that highlights some of the best moments from Halladay’s career: