Here's the problem: He's wrong.
"He has not uttered one word since the end of the season."
Back in December, Halladay spoke about the Cliff Lee signing with Todd Zolecki. Before getting the "Todd writes for Phillies.com comment," know that the site is owned and operated by MLB Advanced Media, a completely separate entity from the Phillies that is the result of a joint venture between all 30 Major League teams. Todd is a reporter- not a team PR person. In fact, on his blog, Zolecki even detailed his efforts to get Halladay on the horn.
Halladay also met with the media two days after the Phillies season ended. And was on Mike and Mike to talk about winning the Player's Choice Award for Outstanding Pitcher of the Year. And in this article about his fishing trip with Skeet Reese. And here he is talking about his Cy Young while on vacation in Mexico. And here he is on FOX Sports last week.
It gets worse. Eskin joked that perhaps his rant would force Halladay to speak with the media at next week's Philadelphia Sports Writer's Association Dinner, where he thought Halladay might receive his Cy Young Award. Wrong. Halladay received the Cy Young Award on Saturday in New York (right, um, here). He then… wait for it… spoke to a room full of reporters.
Keeping reading after the jump for the audio from today's radio rant.
"It's extremely humbling. It means a lot to myself and my family. I would like to thank my teammates and the city of Philadelphia. My wife says that I say it too much, but it really was a dream come true to play there this season. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world."
Granted, some of these appearances were obligations. But the irony in seeing Halladay, not 48 hours earlier, stand in front of a room full of baseball writers is rather hard to miss.
It's not that Halladay hasn't spoken to reporters, the real issue is that Halladay hasn't spoken to Eskin. "King" basically said so when he told listeners that Halladay politely declined his interview request on Sunday.
I'm not hating Eskin just because it's the cool thing to do. In fact, despite his style, I generally think he has very good information. But before criticizing the guy who might be the city's most-beloved athlete (if he's number two, he's only behind the guy who pitches behind him in the rotation), Eskin and Ike Reese, who removed the marbles from mouth just in time to agree with his mentor, should have done their homework. Halladay has been more than available DURING THE OFFSEASON.
The worst part in all of this is that it wasn't an offhand comment, slipping an opinion into the public conscious. It was a calculated move that used a planned, two-minute television segment to needlessly rip Philly's blemish free star, all because the host was butt-hurt over being blanked on an interview request. Truth.
And then there's the Andy Reid hypocrisy.
Eskin is the biggest Reid apologist there is, even though Reid is notorious for giving the media nothing more than what is required of him. But, when confronted on the issue by a caller, Eskin quickly dismissed it. That's because Reid makes jokey-jokes with Howard. That's why.
Is Halladay the most accessible guy? No, he's not. Some players will be that way. But it's completely irresponsible for Eskin to lay into a guy based on claims that are totally inaccurate.
In this case, Howard is the nitwit.
Here's the audio:
H/T to Amy for some of the links