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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Just what the "Doc" ordered

After winning back-to-back National League pennants and one World Series title, the Philadelphia Phillies can’t get much better. Or can they? Welcome the best pitcher in baseball, Roy “Doc” Halladay.

Throughout 12 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, Halladay was the lone bright spot of a floundering organization. He accumulated 148 wins and only 76 losses while posting a 3.43 ERA. You must keep in mind that he did this in the best division in baseball which includes the World Champion New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. In this day of age with low pitch counts, five to six man rotations and the babying of pitchers, Halladay could be the last pitcher to have a chance of becoming a member of the exclusive 300 win club.

Halladay had his ticket punched to join the defending champions last year at the trade deadline. Unfortunately for the Phillies, they got greedy, demanding a kings ransom for the superstar righty. They were able to obtain Cliff Lee from the Cleveland Indians at the deadline. Lee was phenomenal, helping lead Philadelphia get back to the World Series to defend their title. In the end, it just wasn’t enough, as the Yankees defeated the Phillies to win their 27th World Championship.

You might be thinking, “The Phillies have Lee AND Halladay now? This isn't going to be fair!” Wrong. If the Phillies were to trade for Halladay, they had to sign him to a long term contract extension, thus making it difficult to afford Lee after this season as he will become a free agent. Lee expressed a strong desire to stay in Philadelphia and a willingness to negotiate a mutually acceptable deal. The Phillies didn’t buy in and shipped him off to Seattle for prospects. We now can only imagine what a force the Phillies would have been with those two studs at the top of their rotation.

The Phillies and their passionate fans will instantly fall in love Halladay. Losing Lee might hurt considering what he did in such a short period of time, and may seem a little confusing in how he was dealt away, but Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in baseball. This was a great deal for the Phillies and they would have kicked themselves for years if not completed.

After winning all of the awards there are to win, Halladay has one goal; win the World Series. He is compared to the toughest competitors throughout baseball history and often referred to as bull dog on the mound. As is with most baseball fans, I’d take him on my favorite team any day.

Halladay won’t have much time to get comfortable. The Yankees travel to Clearwater today to face the Phillies. The pitching match-up: CC Sabathia vs. Roy Halladay. Don’t get too excited though, for this is just a teaser. This being the first spring training appearance for both pitchers, they'll each be slated to pitch an inning, maybe two. In the mean time, we can definitely dream about a potential rematch for this years fall classic.

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