SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Huzzahs for Halladay!

Roy Halladay unanimously won the NL's Cy Young Award. In doing so, he became on the fifth pitcher ever to win the award in both leagues (and arguably the nicest, least quirky and most normal). The others -- Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens -- and that's pretty good company.

While Halladay went into the season as a favorite, I'd argue that at mid-season, despite pitching well for a Phillies team that was surprisingly run-starved, he wasn't the favorite. That's because Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez was 15-1 around mid-season, only to finish 4-7 the rest of the way. Jimenez still should get lauded for excelling in Colorado, a notoriously difficult place for pitchers. He finished third in the voting, behind Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals.

Roy Halladay had a great season for the Phillies, who look for more great seasons to come. There are many outstanding starting pitchers in baseball, but right now, none stands taller -- figuratively for sure and save C.C. Sabathia, literally -- than Halladay.

Roy Halladay left Toronto because he wanted to have a better chance to win a World Series. Few would argue that the Jays either are better than the Phillies or would have a better chance to win their division. All would agree that Halladay did his best and helped push, pull and carry the Phillies as far as they went this year. Unfortunately for him, the hitters that he thought he joined were not the hitters of 2008 or 2009, and, atop that, the Phillies ran into one of the best collective post-season pitching performances in baseball history when they fell to the Giants. All that said, Halladay had a great year, and, with all the injuries, the Phillies had a very good one.

Next year, Halladay and the Phillies are hoping for a slightly better one.

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