Have you heard?! Roy Halladay has struggled mightily this season. There's no way around it, and I'll admit that to call it "struggling" thus far may be sugar coating it a little.
Everyone--literally every writer on this website--has written their "What's Wrong With Roy Halladay?" article. And they're seeing the same things as you. His velocity is down, his cutter doesn't cut, he's having trouble finding the strike zone (which never happened before), he's showing signs of frustration on the mound, and he turns a shade of purple while dripping sweat on a 70 degree April night.
With that all said, let's take a look at some facts concerning Roy, and weigh those against what we, as a fan base that prides itself on toughness, claim to look for (and value in) our athletes:
- Roy Halladay actively sought out the opportunity to play in Philadelphia, when everyone in baseball wanted him.
- He took less money to come to Philadelphia--a "hometown discount" of sorts while barely having stepped foot in town.
- Repeatedly, he has called playing in Philly "a dream come true." Scott Rolen, he ain't.
- He threw a perfect game, a playoff no-hitter, and won a Cy Young (plus being runner-up for another) in his first two seasons.
- Roy has played through pain and injury, and fought for the opportunity to further play through an injury.
- He works harder than everyone else. Try to think back on the last Philadelphia athlete who was unanimously regarded as having the best work ethic and most vigorous training routine in all their sport. And we have two of them! Between Roy and Chase Utley, you are witness to unrivaled work ethic on a daily basis.
Of course, I'm biased: I run a website called I Want to Go to the Zoo With Roy Halladay, after all (check us out online at zoowithroy.com!).
But it seems to me that if anyone in the recent history of the franchise should be offered the benefit of the doubt, it's Harry Leroy Halladay III. He is the closest proxy to the mythical athlete that "blue collar, tough, smart Philly fans" allegedly pine for; so embrace him for what he is and what he's done.