Halladay Brings Back the Lost Art of the Complete Game

Roy Halladay is an animal. I have full confidence in the Blue Jays getting a win whenever Halladay toes the rubber. I’m not a Jays’ fan by any means.  I’m just accustomed to Doc’s inability to get bounced from a baseball game.

On Sunday, June 7, Halladay got his 10th win (he’s 10-1) in yet another complete game effort.

Believe me when I say Roy Halladay will be inducted into the Hall of Fame before all is said and done.roy-halladay

His career numbers sit at 141-67, an unbelievable .678 winning percentage in his 11+ seasons of major league service. He is currently in his 12th year. Yes, the 3.48 era is very good, but the number that sticks out to me is Halladay’s 43 complete games.

He has only won 20 games or more twice (22 in 2003 and 20 in 2008) but has lost double-digit games once in his entire career. It was in 2008 where he went 20-11, yet sported a 2.78 era. The guy doesn’t lose, and he’s as old school as they get.

Talk all you want about today’s studs, but I’ll take Halladay over most teams’ aces because I know the bullpen is getting a day off when he throws. Johan Santana has gone the distance nine times in his career. Josh Beckett has thrown five. C.C Sabathia has thrown 28. These are all guys who are expected to win start after start.

Yet Halladay is the only one of them who is the most consistent winner. Four times he’s led baseball in the complete game category. Baseball is a game that has evolved (or devolved) into a chess match. Middle relievers, setup men and closers are expected to take over after the 7th inning fairly consistently. Roy Halladay says no.

Halladay will more than likely reach 2,000 innings pitched this year for his career. He has finished top-five in Cy Young voting five times. He doesn’t get the recognition he deserves because he plays for the uber small-market Toronto Blue Jays, a city obsessed with hockey.

Doc Halladay is the best pitcher you’re not watching and he gives the fans their money’s worth almost every time out. He goes out and plays the game the way it should be played.

And if he really wanted to, he could probably win 45 games a year for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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4 responses to “Halladay Brings Back the Lost Art of the Complete Game

  1. Just a word about the uber small market thing. How do you define small market? Granted Toronto’s media market does not have any presence in the US market. Baseball markets tend to be local, but one behind an international border is non existent. So I think that people haven’t heard about Roy because of the lack of interest in the US in this media market. It also doesn’t help that baseball and the media have up-played the NY/BOS rivalry since 1994 and this has come at the expense of Toronto, Tampa and Balt. A little more attention and a competitive Toronto team would make a whole bunch of difference. Toronto’s actual “market” for baseball used to be bigger but is now in the middle of the pack and certainly not at the bottom or below the bottom. Thanks for your article.

  2. I also consider Toronto to be much more of a hockey town that anything else. The fanbase has waned significantly since their back to back championships and their payroll is nothing compared to the teams with huge incomes. I look at payroll as a big factor in market size, and while the Jays are in the middle of the pack, a few years ago they were near the bottom. I agree that the Red Sox/NY rivalry has caused the Jays and the rest of the AL East to be cast aside. But that rivalry has caused many more teams in baseball outside of the AL East to be cast aside.
    But I used uber small market in the sense that in terms of a baseball town, these days, Toronto is not. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Good discussion! Actually I too think that Toronto is a hockey town, I am a Leafs fan as well, but to make my point a little clearer. Respectfully I would say your characterization of Toronto as uber small market is a product of your situation and not based in fact. Perhaps it might be wise to consider that your opinion has more to do with where you consume most of your media coverage. If you consume this media in Boston or NY the Blue Jays are the “other” small team that you never hear about. As for Toronto as not a baseball town; if you look at average league attendance http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/attendance
    Toronto is in the lower tier but ranked right in there with “baseball” towns like Baltimore and Atlanta. (Granted the Rogers Centre always looks empty because it is an awful building). Toronto has 3 large daily news papers covering baseball games in exclusive fashion and the team has national cable network coverage of 95% of its games. You can watch every Jays game in Victoria, B.C. 3000 miles away on regular cable, you can’t say that about the Sox. But when it comes to away game attendance Toronto ranks in 30th place, buried in last. So like your fellow americans, your impression is that Toronto is an uber small market team because there is no interest and no media coverage of the Jays south of the border, and so y’all don’t come to the games. But in Canada the perception is quite different and the market and numbers aren’t all that bad. It isn’t 1993, but we were buried by the 1994 strike and then the rivalry thing which was intentionally stoked by the media and MLB to bring attendance up after 1994. I do appreciate you writing about Doc.

  4. You make some very good points and I agree that the ’94 strike hurt a lot of teams around MLB, but especially in Canada. The Expos were ripe to make a run at the World Series that year. We will never know how they would have done and that franchise never recovered. Personally, I take a large interest in teams around the AL East because I am a Boston fan. But I agree that most Americans could care less about the Blue Jays. It’s unfortunate because the Jays have a lot of high-caliber players. They just need more pitching. That is very interesting about the viewership in Canada as well, I was not aware of that. Thank you for the discussion.

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