Put yourself in Roy Halladay’s shoes.
After a few years early in his career as he adjusted to life in the big leagues, this guy has only known pitching at the highest level.
Anything less would be considered a disappointment, and given his age at 36, would he have the drive to continue his already stellar career?
He signed a one-day contract with Toronto to retire as a Blue Jay. And just like that, one of the dominant pitchers of the past decade is done.
Even with the prospect of having to regain his form, several teams were interested in bringing in Halladay. He may no longer be an ace, but he could have been a very effective back-of-the-rotation starter. He would have even been a valuable source of knowledge to a team with a few young pitchers. Who better than to learn from than a pitcher who has seen it all in this game?
Halladay finished his career as an eight-time All-Star, two-time Cy Young Award winner (one in each league) and was the wins champion twice (once in each league).
He also pitched a perfect game on May 29, 2010, and that same year, he became only the second pitcher ever (joining Don Larsen) to toss a postseason no-hitter on Oct. 6, 2010.
The only thing his shining career is missing is a World Series appearance. Of course, without an appearance, there is also no World Series ring to go along with his accolades.
But again, for someone who has accomplished so much in this game, why risk tarnishing a great career with a few mediocre seasons pitching at less than full form?
He’ll instead go down as Roy Halladay, the dominant pitcher for basically his entire career, rather than Roy Halladay, the once dominant pitcher who overstayed his welcome in the bigs.
Think of all the young pitching talent out there: David Price, Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Jose Fernandez, Michael Wacha, etc. This is the new regime, and guys like Halladay, Tim Hudson, Barry Zito and C.C. Sabathia -- who were all once the top arms in the league -- are now looked at as being on the way out.
Would it surprise me if Halladay were signed by a team at mid-season that just incurred an injury to the starting rotation? Honestly, not really. He’s a competitor, and it’s tough to eliminate those competitive juices, especially after playing the game for so long.
As far as Hall of Fame, Roy Halladay is a Hall of Famer. Is he a first-ballot Hall of Famer? That remains up to the voters.
While he didn’t have the magic number of 300 wins, his strikeouts and winning percentage are through the roof.
Playing a few more seasons as a back-end starter likely would not have hurt his Cooperstown chances. But now the voters will recall his dominance more so than his potential mediocrity had he signed a new deal.
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