And really, it’s Toronto that has a lot to be thankful for. Not for the overall performance of the Jays, of course, but for Halladay’s effort and consistency over the majority of 12 years with the team. At least the fans had a reason to watch the Blue Jays play, at least with Roy on the mound. And there was always a special buzz in the often-quiet Dome when Halladay pitched, regardless of Toronto’s (likely low) spot in the standings or (non-existent) place in the playoff picture.
When Roy was on the mound, you were in for a clinic. He always knew what pitch to throw and constantly carved up the league’s best hitters. Patience got them nothing but 1-2 counts, while aggressive swingers were in for an easy ground out. Innings were quick and the bullpen had a nice view of the action. That’s because they generally had the night off, save perhaps for the closer. Complete games were ordinary, with others crossing into unbelievable – take Halladay’s 1-0, 10-inning win over Detroit a couple years ago.
So while one of Toronto’s most storied athletes moves on, Blue Jays fans should be thanking him. Yes, we’re screwed, but he did his best. The incoming prospects have a chance to legitimately improve this team, but the trade will linger over the Jays. Fans will cringe while this young team rebuilds, while cheering on Halladay as he pitches Philadelphia into the World Series.
At least I hope they do.
If so, Toronto will have a big-time sports star (no, not Mo Peterson) leave on good terms for the first time in a long time. We all know how Vince Carter worked out, while even Mats Sundin was booed by a portion of Leaf nation who felt his no-trade clause hurt the franchise. If Chris Bosh leaves, many will resent him… and so on.
So it’ll be nice to have a guy in Halladay who goes on to be successful, while remaining attached to the Blue Jays organization. When he comes to town, half the Dome will probably cheer for the Phillies, and when he goes into the Hall, Toronto will share in the moment.
But it still won’t be easy to stomach this for the next while…