Our penguin friend Zoo with Roy occasionally writes a guest column on Philly.com. This week, he discusses Roy Halladay's surprising decision to retire from baseball.
Like most of you, I was caught completely off guard by the news of Roy Halladay retiring. I'll admit it-- he was ineffective for parts of the last two seasons due to injury and coming back from his shoulder surgery so soon, but you never really thought he'd actually retire.
All off-season I'd been thinking that someone out there would have given him a deal, with the thought process being that with time to heal and an evolution in his approach, Halladay could once again contribute. He's ROY FREAKING HALLADAY, right? He'll just work harder and the arm will get there. Right?
But, you see, that's another manifestation of what made Roy so great. Just "still being able to pitch" was not enough. You don't run stairs at 6 AM during a Cy Young season because you're content just to be a part of the team, collecting a paycheck. The great ones aren't wired that way. As we're seeing now, the great ones can't turn off a hunger for perfection-- something we were lucky enough to witness ourselves-- even when reality seems to call for it.
We were incredibly fortunate to have had Roy Halladay. His performances in 2010 and 2011 were the stuff of legend, and his coming here in and of itself was another "Wait is this really happening to the Phillies?!" moment in that magical run of seasons that started 2007.
That era seems over, and now Roy Halladay's career truly is. It was one for the ages, and we got to be a part of it. Everything ends, and it's hardly ever how we envision it. If you work to keep the spirit that made the living of it so fun, it's always going to be-- to some extent-- with you.