So Roy Halladay is Sick

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 8.44.05 AMThere have been nonstop rumors about Roy Halladay’s health ever since he was pulled from a game after four sweaty innings in Chicago in 2011. And with good reason. Something has seemed… off… about Halladay. On the mound, he works himself into a lather more quickly than any other pitcher, and he always looks stressed. Despite being a workout fiend, he seems to tire more quickly than most and appears to have lost more muscle than he’s gained over the past year or so. And what started as unfair speculation has, over time, turned into reasonable doubt– there’s something wrong with Doc.

Yep, there is.

Halladay was pulled after 16 pitches last night when he couldn’t throw a baseball more than 83 mph. He has “arm fatigue” stemming from his shoulder surgery earlier this year and will miss the rest of the season.

But also, this:

Later in his postgame interview with reporters, Halladay admitted that this has been a “stressful” season. He went on to admit that he’s dealt with more than shoulder issues. He said he recently began taking medication for an illness related to diet.

“We got it figured out,” said Halladay, whose weight is noticeably down. “Some of it’s personal. It’s a family history deal. It took us a while to figure out the cause and basically it’s related to diet. They put me on some medicine that will prevent that from happening and ever since then it’s been great.”

And from Philly.com [who finally fixed their formatting issues!]:

He was optimistic because he felt no pain in his shoulder or arm. Manager Ryne Sandberg said Halladay had a “classic dead arm.” Sandberg was not aware of his illness. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. insisted before the game that Halladay was healthy.

The 36-year-old righthander is gaunt. His body is overwhelmed. His shoulder is not strong. He was vague about the condition, saying “some of it is personal.”

And Phillies.com:

Halladay said he is dealing with “arm fatigue” following right shoulder surgery in May, but he also revealed that he has been battling a recently diagnosed illness related to his diet, which runs in his family.

Your concerns were right on. An overworked shoulder doesn’t turn a world-class athlete into a puddle of sweat and exhaustion.

Here’s what I wrote… last May:

Doc saw another doctor yesterday in New York– Dr. David Altchek, who performed surprise Tommy John surgery on Twin Scott Baker. There’s no indication that anything is wrong with Halladay’s elbow… but there are a number of odd occurrences involving Doc since March that make us uneasy:

Decreased velocity in spring training, denies injury.

Leaves team after poor outing – in which he once again looked overheated – for “personal family issue,” returns next day. 

Wild rumors pop up about Doc’s health as people speculate what’s wrong and why he left team.

More bad starts.

Shoulder soreness, pulled from start. 

Lat strain, out 6-8 weeks.

Second opinion, will speak with media on Friday, likely in a secret, staged meeting by Phillies PR gestapo.

Can’t help but wonder if that personal family issue was the diet thing.

via Bleeding Brotherly Love

And from this past March:

Roy Halladay was pulled from his start after one inning yesterday. He was supposedly sick and threw up, but the fact that he showed up in Clearwater this morning to get medicine, ostensibly for a stomach bug, has some wondering if there’s more to the story. Pretty much anything about Halladay is conjecture, and I know there were all sorts of rumors about him being (we’ll call it) ill last year, but ever since that day he overheated in Chicago in 2011, something has seemed off about him. And though he’s probably just getting old, you can’t help but wonder if there is more to the story.

And from Matt Gelb that same day:

Halladay lasted just one inning Sunday because of what the team termed a stomach virus. Through a team spokesman, Halladay said he was still sick and contagious Monday. He was at the complex only to receive medication.

It is a curious spring for Halladay, which has bred boundless conspiracy theories. The truth is impossible to know until Halladay throws again. The Phillies have not yet scheduled his next start, which could come Friday or Saturday.

This all started two years. How long did Halladay and the Phillies know that something else was wrong besides just back and shoulder problems?

Completely anecdotally, here’s an email from April sent by reader Kyle that I never shared. Halladay’s newly revealed “diet” issue made me think of it:

I’ve got a goofy little tidbit on Halladay. A few nights ago I was in the Newtown Square Wawa and one of the workers was talking about how Halladay comes in there regularly. (Its well known by the people that live around there that his house is nearby). So naturally I asked him if there was anything out of the ordinary about him, and sure enough the guy says that on pretty much a nightly basis, Doc comes in and buys 2 pints of Ben & Jerry’s ‘Chocolate Therapy’ ice cream, like clockwork. I had never heard of it but apparently its a real thing. So forget his lack of command and loss of velocity on his fastball, I think we’ve finally come to the core of his pitching woes – 2 pints-a-day of Ben & Jerry’s.

Maybe Halladay is trying to gain weight.

Two months later, an email from reader Greg:

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 8.39.55 AM

About to pull out in Wawa, giant white tinted out Suburban pulling in (somewhat erractically) so we wait for him to pull in. My buddy goes, “Yo that’s Halladay. (As he gets out)….”YOO, YO Doc”…doesnt answer & keeps walking, as we said Yo Doc again…so he goes in, buys something pretty quick…comes back out as we wait for him to come out and at least acknowledge the fact hes been spotted at Wawa at 12:30 in the morning, so we go “Yo Doc what up? Hows the arm doin?” He goes “What are you guys talking about?” We say “How about Johnny Mayberry tonight, WALK OFF!” He goes “You guys must have the wrong guy, I dont know what your talking about.” So we say, “C’mon man give up the act, we wish you a speedy recovery and hope the arm heals up quck” just im time for him to slip it in one more time, “Yeah you guys must have the wrong guy”…we finished with “Yeah alright Doc, were Phillies fans we know who you are, thanks though”

Wasnt like we asked for a picture or autograph, there was 2 of us in the car in an empty parking lot on 252 in Newtown Square at 12:30 AM and the guy wouldnt even acknowledge the fact that he WAS indeed, Roy Halladay.

I tried to take some picture without being socially awkward (attempting to talk to him, while taking pictures)

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 9.11.38 AM
ice cream pints?

Halladay’s really sad post-game interview from last night is after the jump.

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18 Responses

  1. So maybe it wasn’t Halladay. The man is ill with something, it is not just his arm. He himself is fatigued. His press conference was sad indeed. I hate to see someone this great so in denial. Heartbreaking really.

  2. “I tried to take pictures of him without being socially awkward”.

    Um, you mean after you hassled the guy and kept yelling his name as he was just trying to go into WaWa?

    A little late for the socially awkward part.
    Next time maybe you can act like you’re not a giddy grade school student and leave the guy alone.

    1. Exactly! It’s after mdnight and 2 guys in an otherwise empty parking lot shout at a guy known to be incredibly wealthy and famous and they’re surprised he denied it, They probably would’ve had better luck asking for a picture inside the well lit Wawa.

  3. Back in 2011 when he was pulled after that sweaty debacle nobody thought much of it. Not to long after that I heard that Doc had a testicular cancer scare and that the Phillies and Doc wanted to keep it under wraps. Of course I never believe most things I hear from people concerning sports and rumors. But then a few weeks later while at work I had a very known sports writer who works for the Daily News sit at my bar and he and I know each other on a first name basis and always talk sports. I ran this through him and when I asked his face got like “how the hell did you know that?” I said what do you think any truth to that ? He acted very strangely and said no but I could tell he was bullshitting me. Anyway that’s something to think about. Cancer is a “family thing” passed down and weight lose comes with that. But this is something that needs to be asked.

  4. So, how long had the Phillies known about those “other troubles” Halladay suffered from? I’ll bet Ruben and Monty didn’t find out until Doc made his revealtion last night. In hindsight, had they known, then Halladay should never have been allowed to pitch after he returned from his surgery if he was dealing with physical problems related to his diet. He should’ve been shut down for the rest of the season like Ryan Howard and Ben Revere so he would have had a proper amount of time to get his body right and fully regain his strength.

    Unfortunately, Doc’s stubborness got the better of him and he made the poor choice to tough it out and pitch when he damn well knew he wasn’t right physically, and that decision very well might have ended his career. What took the mound last night for those meager 16 pitches wasn’t Roy Halladay, rather a sad and pathetic shell of the great pitcher he once was, and, will never be again. No team will take a chance of Halladay after what happened last night, not even at the veteran’s minimum, and Doc has no one to blame for that debacle but himself.

  5. If I was Doc, and you kept buggin the shit out of me in the middle of the night at Wawa, I’d ignore you too, you fucking knob

  6. Crohn’s Disease? Gluten allergies?
    Hopefully he can get it straightened out and be some semblance of himself next year and at least have a chance to retire on his terms. What a warrior.

  7. Bryan Cranston stars as Roy “Doc” Halladay in this new AMC drama, “Breaking Balls” about a HOF pitcher diagnosed with Ball Cancer who turns to 100% curveballs when his fastball, and everything else in his life, lose velocity.

  8. i really think he suffers from crohn’s or collitis, dykstra suffered from it as well. not something to put out to entire world but that might be his physical issue. and as far as his pitching its just not there, i hope it would be and we can offer and he would take an incentive laden proposition.

  9. That’s him. That’s his suburban. I’ve seen him picking up take out at Bonefish in edgmont (yes, even rich people eat that crap).

  10. Three things:

    One, I swore that Doc ended up with a heat stroke in Chi-town back in 2011. Both my mom and I have been saying that something wasn’t right and that it had to have been a heat stroke he had. That being said, weight loss can come from loss of muscle, which that can be from a poor diet. I know in my case, I’m on a higher protein/lower carb diet and have been for over 10 years now, and outside of some other problems, I haven’t been better, and when I stray from that diet, I feel it. I just wish that he would have been open sooner about what’s going on because even though I don’t think he wants to be a spokesperson for an illness, he could draw light into something that maybe no one knows anything about at all, even though he’s really just a private type of guy.

    This leads into the second part. Hey, fart knockers that were at that 252 Wawa after midnight while Doc was making his “therapy run.” While I would LOVE to go completely gaga over a sports figure or anyone pretty well famous either in this area or in the country, I must remind you, they are just people too. Sometimes, they just want to sneak in, buy themselves a coffee, pack of chocolate cupcakes, maybe even a shorti…. and walk out without having to deal with being recognized. Perhaps that is why he went out at Midnight, considering that Doc wakes up at 5 am to start his day. I have come across some greatness in celebs/sports figures, and in sports, three were Max Runager, Bill Bergey, and most recently, I managed to get a photo of me with John LeClair. Let me tell you, Max and Bill were accommodating, though they were dealing with kids. John, though, not so much because of time constraints. (He was basically a spokesperson for the Winter Classic Alumni game.) However, at the end of the day, these guys are just ordinary average guys who have to go home, help around the house, put the trash out to the curb, pick up the dog doo in the yard with hopes that it’s hard. (Ok, maybe they have someone else come out to do that, but you get the idea.) You can go nuts, but when they are at an appearance for either their charity or the team. Not at a Wawa!!

    Now my last thing. I hope that there’s at least another year left for Doc to play. He came here to win a championship. However, current GM has screwed him out of that with moves he’s made. Let’s look at this part clearly:

    Lee gets traded, ends up in Texas, appears in the World Series with the Rangers.
    Pence gets traded, ends up in the Series and wins with the Giants.
    Victorino gets traded, ends up in Boston after a stint in LA, Boston’s going back to postseason, and stands a chance at winning the Series.
    Signs key names of Rollins, Howard, Utley, Hamels, all of which are not earning their keep unless it’s a contract year. I know some are going to hate on me for that remark, but it’s actually true. Cole’s not been performing great, Howard can’t stay healthy to help out, Rollins is slumping, and you have to wonder if Utley is going to underperform or end up back on the DL. The GM banked on the wrong players. And as fans, we have to suffer with his mistakes.

    I know Doc has been on the DL as well this season. I’m not going to put up for that either, but he needs to stay healthy if he wants a shot at being able to come back.

  11. Kyle, I’m sure you’re coming from a good place on this, but it’s clear that Doc is suffering. I think now is the time to let this go and give the man and his family some privacy. I’m sure the story will come out in due time.

  12. Stimulants in baseball. Phillies players who have been on the record with Adderall usage: Cliff Lee, Victorino, Ruiz…. Don’t be shocked if you hear about an ADHD diagnosis for a few more players leak out. Just watch Chase tweak out with his jaw or Doc get flushed and overheated on the bump. Phils culture has been “do what it takes”… this stuff is about to blow.

  13. Lee and Victorino use their ADHD medication legally. Chooch did not. To draw a comparison to Utley and Halladay from this is not only stupid and wrong, it’s lazy.

  14. I know this guy who knows a guy who’s the brother in law of this guy that lives down the street from the guy who mows Doc’s lawn and he says that Doc isn’t feeling well.

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