Coverage On Halladay Nothing Short Of Fascinating

If, as others are suggesting, the Roy Halladay Project is a Team Rogers “Thing” then let’s hope that the marketing and PR team are taking notice of the incredible amount of coverage this story is getting in major league basbeall markets not named Toronto. There are multiple stores on all the major news outlets in the USA dealing with the potential trade of Roy Halladay. Here is a sampling:

“There were three Dodgers scouts in Toronto on Sunday, along with Pat Gillick from the Phillies, Gord Ash from the Brewers and a Red Sox delegation. Not that anyone really has to see any more of Roy Halladay and his incredible 90-92 mph cutter that many confuse as a fastball. And the Dodgers were also in Toronto to look at Manny Delcarmen and Jason Frasor for their beleaguered bullpen. Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said Sunday that he doesn’t think things will heat up on the Halladay front until the end of this week. Ricciardi made it clear to the Yankees and Red Sox that he would have to get a lot more from them than a National League team, and, right now, it is unlikely that either the Yankees or the Red Sox will stay in it. The Dodgers reportedly can’t take on money, and may not have the level of prospects that the Phillies have in Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek, Dominic Brown and Jason Knapp. In many ways, Toronto has to get the deal done before the deadline, because if Ricciardi is going to move Halladay, he will also explore deals for Scott Rolen, Marco Scutaro, Frasor and Alex Rios. In the case of Scutaro, who will be a free agent at the end of this season, he leads all major league shortstops in defensive factors and leads the American League in pitches seen. The Dodgers will acquire pitching. The Giants will get a bat. Florida may get a closer. The Cubs will also do something. From this view, however, Halladay isn’t like anyone else. If the Phillies get to the World Series for three straight years, it will be the greatest run in franchise history. And, sorry, there’s only one Roy Halladay. If you can’t pay for him with Kyle Drabek, try Visa.”

That from ESPN’s Peter Gammons

“If Toronto general manager J.P Ricciardi can’t figure out a way to make Roy Halladay fit into his long-term plans, the best solution in Toronto would be to keep Halladay and get rid of Ricciardi. The franchise would be in better shape. And nobody should understand that better than acting Blue Jays President Paul Beeston, who knows what it takes to build a championship team in Toronto, which is something that has escaped Ricciardi in his eight seasons on the job. It was, after all, Beeston who stepped in when it came time to make a managerial change last summer. Anyone who doesn’t believe that Beeston’s fingerprints were all over the return of Cito Gaston, the man who managed the Jays to back-to-back world championships, ought to check out that oceanfront property in Arizona. Ricciardi used to hide behind the excuse that it was tough to compete with the financial wherewithal of the Red Sox and Yankees, but then along came the Tampa Bay Rays, with the lowest payroll in baseball, to win the AL East last year, finishing ahead of the Red Sox and Yankees, in addition to the Blue Jays, and advancing all the way to the World Series. Well, if the Jays think they are close enough that next year is their year, it makes absolutely no sense to think they would benefit from trading the best pitcher in the game, a pitcher who has acclimated quite well to life in Canada. So the budget is going to be tight next year if Halladay is still around? Just exactly who is the guy who oversaw the multi-year deals that have eight players guaranteed $81.668 million for 2010? And why would the best solution to dealing with that problem be getting rid of the best player on the team, who is far from the end of his career? And if the decision is made to move Halladay, why would the man who has created the mess be deemed capable of extracting a quality package in return for the greatest player ever developed in that organization? Heck, if it wasn’t for the $36.77 million in contracts the Jays have eaten in recent years — including $15 million earlier this month for B.J. Ryan, which incorporates $10 million of the money guaranteed for 2010 — the guy who handed out those contracts wouldn’t be suggesting that to eliminate the financial pain he has created, the Jays should be eliminating the contract of the one guy under contract who is worth every penny he is being paid. What should be is not always what is.

That from Fox Sport’s Tracy Ringolsby.

“Paul Beeston, the team’s interim president, said over the weekend that the Jays would need to be “overwhelmed” in order to deal Halladay. Meanwhile, a rival general manager said of Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi: “He won’t trade Halladay unless he gets the deal he wants. But he wants to get a deal.” We won’t know the organization’s true position until a trade occurs or the deadline lapses. But it’s safe to characterize the Jays as a team in transition. Ted Rogers, who had owned the club since 2000, died in December. (Rogers Communications Inc. has retained control.) Beeston, a popular executive during the glory years, isn’t interested in holding the position on a long-term basis. The search for a permanent president is ongoing. Ricciardi is signed through 2010. In theory, a new president could arrive and make changes throughout the organization. But Beeston indicated that he’s quite satisfied with the job Ricciardi has done, saying, “J.P. has this team positioned to be very good for a number of years.” Beeston also said that Ricciardi’s status has “absolutely nothing to do” with whether he trades Halladay. And for a few hours on Sunday afternoon, none of the intrigue seemed to matter much, other than the way it made everyone appreciate what they were watching. Toronto had another chance to embrace its favorite ballplayer, and Halladay gave the enthusiastic crowd plenty of reasons. He surrendered only one extra-base hit, a ground-ball double by Kevin Youkilis in the first inning. He allowed exactly one baserunner after the third. He covered the final three innings in 30 pitches, remarkable when considering that most mere mortals are fatigued right about then. “One thing about Doc is he smells the finish line,” manager Cito Gaston said. “He knows how to finish.” Yes, we’ve known that for years. The 44 complete games speak to that. But on Sunday, we might have learned that he knows how to close out more than just a ballgame.”

That article by Fox Sports’s Jon Paul Morosi

Not to be outdone, our own Jeff Blair has a good story too:

“Then I hear Brandy Halladay on the radio and get the vibe around the ballpark Sunday and dammit all if it doesn’t seem as the cord’s already been cut. Now, I feel like it’s about 70 per cent he’s gone. I still haven’t been able to figure out what the hell interim president and chief executive officer Paul Beeston was on about last week on Prime Time Sports when he said he was going to sit down and talk to Halladay about an extension. And I know I wasn’t the only one. I’ve had people tell me that Beeston isn’t going to offer an extension, that it’s more just a general chat with Halladay to see if there isn’t some way to get him to stay around. Meanwhile, everything I hear is that even with 11 days left the number of teams interested is down to a few: the Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers and maybe the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Lastly, let’s talk about the possibility of Vernon Well’s or Alex Rios’s contract being included in a deal:

Are you people on crack?

Let’s follow this through: if you stuck a team acquiring Halladay with another contract, you’re going to get less in return. That is a fact. You might even have to take on somebody else’s bad contract (geezus, sounds like Old Maid.) Plus, let’s look at it this way:

What would you do with the saved money? Everybody who is needed to be signed to a long-term deal is signed. Aaron Hill? Done that. Marco Scutaro? Beware of apples masquerading as oranges, or whatever the hell that commercial says, And if anybody thinks the Blue Jays can take the money and spend it on free agents, let me ask you a simple question:

Which free agent would want to join a team that just traded away its franchise pitcher? Keep thinking … ”

Blair is here

So my friends, the conclusion appears to be simple. Don’t trade Roy Halladay! He is not only the best we have right now, he is the best we have ever had. In trades in sports the winner of a trade is more often than not, the team that gets the best player. If prospects are coming back, even a school of them, we are trading away the best player. Beeston is a sales guy. Beeston needs to sit down with Roy and try, one last time to sell him on a plan. A plan that includes a new GM and a team that will compete. If that point Roy still wants out, then you tell him that they will wait until the off season when they have the right parties in place to make the proper deal. The writing is clearly on the wall. Everyone knows the score, everyone knows the right thing to do. The question is, are the right people paying attention?

It says here that someone, a major media outlet and a major sponsor or two should give away free Keep Roy T-Shirts in attempt to sell out the dome on Friday night. Roy should get a standing ovation every time he takes the mound and exits it. Show the bean counters where are loyalties are. Don’t let the guy who JFJ’ed this baseball team decide it’s future. Toronto fans, show Roy that this is the place.


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