Video via Calkins Media
The last post on this here web destination, on Saturday, was about Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay defending themselves and their pitching coach against a media attack. Lee was forced to say that he doesn’t cheat. Halladay fired back against Mitch Williams, who had criticized both Halladay’s mechanics and pitching coach Rich Dubee. The post was yet another example of the reflex amongst us Philly folk to defend to the great Doctor. He had earned our benefit of the doubt.
But not anymore.
Roy Halladay will see a doctor in California this week about shoulder soreness that none of us – not the fans, not the media, not Charlie Manuel, not Ruben Amaro, and (I wouldn’t be surprised if) not Brandi Halladay – knew about until around 6 p.m. yesterday, after Halladay gave up nine earned runs to the Marlins (17 earned runs in his last six innings): [Phillies.com]
“It started the morning after I pitched against Pittsburgh [on April 24],” Halladay said. “I woke up and didn’t really think anything of it. It was just kind of regular soreness. This kind of progressed over the last two weeks or so. It’s right shoulder discomfort.”
“This is something new this spring,” he said. “I felt good all spring. I felt good all year. I just got up after that start against Pittsburgh and had soreness in there and wasn’t able to get rid of it. That’s really all I have. We don’t have a lot of information on it. We did some tests, and obviously they aren’t completely conclusive as to what it is. There’s a couple different options, and I think the scans, the MRIs, the CTs and that kind of stuff will give us more information, and we’ll address it then. We’ll see how it plays out here in the next couple days.”
Ruben Amaro seemed pretty shocked to hear about it:
“We’re likely to have to put Doc on the DL,” Amaro said somberly. “Up until now he hasn’t really expressed any discomfort. He hasn’t been on our injury report. But now it sounds like we’ll have to DL him. Until we do some diagnostic work, we won’t know exactly what’s going on with him, but clearly, it doesn’t seem like he’s very healthy. It was pretty apparent with his performance, unfortunately.”
In other words: Halladay has been lying about his health for his past two starts since allowing one run in six innings against the Pirates.
Just a few minutes before Halladay admitted to being hurt, Manuel said that his pitcher was healthy.
Let’s create a timeline:
April 24: Halladay throws six innings and gives up one run. All is mostly right with the world.
April 25: Halladay wakes up, puts on Superman cape, notices some shoulder soreness.
April 30: Halladay allows eight runs and three home runs against the Indians. Says he feels fine: “I had to be spot-on today, I really did, and I just wasn’t. You catch any other team any other time and you’re OK, but today I had to be spot-on and I wasn’t. I’m not discouraged at all. I feel like we’ve really come a long ways, and I feel good about where I am. The location could be better at times, and I think that’s been coming, but like I said, you know, I had to be really good today, and I think that was kind of obvious throughout the whole game.”
At the time, much was made of those comments, but I didn’t see anything wrong with them. Halladay had three solid outings in a row and, sometimes, even good pitches get hit. If Halladay said he felt OK, then, fine, he’s OK. But he wasn’t. He was actually lying.
May 5: Halladay gives up nine runs to the Marlins, says he has shoulder soreness, will probably go on DL.
That’s a problem. Halladay knew he was hurt for his last two starts, two starts in which he got rocked. The Phillies are in take every win they can get mode… and it’s only May. They are a few bad weeks away from becoming sellers again. The last thing they need his more faux machoism from another aging star. Chase Utley did it last year. So did Halladay. Now he’s doing it again. And unless he throws, like, 230 innings the rest of this season (not happening), he’ll be a free agent at the end of the year. This is a contract year for him– being on the DL is the last place a player wants to be in that situation. But the last thing the Phillies need is one of their so-called stars lying about an injury. If Halladay couldn’t help the team and he knew it, he should have told Dubee – who, oh by the way, took undue criticism for Halladay’s mechanics – Manuel and Amaro. At this point, Halladay’s playing not only for his own fate, but also his teammates’ and coaches’ as well.
The Phillies aren’t without blame, however. The coddling of their stars has fostered this embarrassing environment where high-profile players withhold injuries and hurt the team in the process. It’s getting old… just like the team.