Roy Halladay: Your Game 1 Starter

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Roy Halladay talked with reporters today at Citizens Bank Park.

Here are a few highlights:

Q. What were past Octobers like for you? Did you watch the playoffs? Some guys don’t like to watch if they’re not in it, did you?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, I did on and off. I would say probably more so last year than any year. Obviously, being — feeling like we’re close to having something done, to come here before the trade deadline, having A.J. Burnett who is an ex-teammate here before, you know. They’re also — I think that kind of brought me a little closer to the whole thing. I would say I watched it more last year than in any of the past years. But I think you always keep a tab on it. You’re always catching up on it. You may not sit and watch every single inning like I probably did last year more than any year. But there’s always — any time there’s always an interest as a player to see what’s going on, see how guys are doing, and I think everybody who is not there is envious of the guys who are.

Q. Can you talk a little bit maybe preparation helps a lot, but is the feeling different? I mean, this is why you came to Philly, Philadelphia, and all of a sudden you’re in the spot you wanted to be. Is there a different feeling even during preparation?
ROY HALLADAY: There is definitely more excitement. I think you almost feel a sense that you’ve done the heavy lifting and now you get to enjoy it. You get to do what you wanted to do. Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done. But I think when you go through the course of 162 games and you’re battling every five days, the days in between you feel like now is the time to enjoy it and to — obviously, you’re going to give it everything you have. But when you go out there, I think you have to take it all in, I think, a little bit. So I’m definitely looking forward to that. I think once the game starts it’s business as usual. But you work all off-season, all season to get to this point. You don’t want to go through it and miss something. It’s definitely something I’m looking forward to. It’s a great challenge. It’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole career, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.

Q. Obviously when you were in Toronto you were approaching a point in your career where you could control your destiny to a certain degree, but were you at all concerned that you were never going to get the opportunity to pitch on the big stage and compete for a championship while you were up there?
ROY HALLADAY: Well, yeah, really, I mean, that was my biggest concern. As much as I enjoyed Toronto, I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity that I felt like down the road I’d be upset that I missed out on. It was a perfect storm for me, really. A lot of guys that I had seen, that I admired, that I liked, and I had a chance to go play for that team. Not only did they have good guys, good players, but knew how to win. It just couldn’t have worked out any better for me. It really couldn’t have. But as much as I did like it in Toronto, you know, I would have loved to stay, but that was my biggest concern. I have a short window that I need to try and win, and it’s an opportunity I can’t pass up. I think as much as you enjoy it, you’re dreading leaving, and then you come to a place like this and it makes it all worth it. It makes those decisions seem pretty simple once they’re done.

Q. You kind of just touched on this, but did you give any consideration at all last December that you know what, I’m just a year away from free agency? You signed obviously a healthy extension, but you possibly could have just gone through the year and signed really one of the bigger contracts for a pitcher. Did that ever cross your mind that I could grind out one more year and get the real big payday?
ROY HALLADAY: No. I mean, the contract never was a factor for me. I think the biggest thing for me was going somewhere that had a chance to compete for a couple years, and being able to do that as soon as possible. I think you never really know how long you’re going to play. You hate to suck up a year just to be able to control exactly where you go, when you can already go there before that. If things wouldn’t have worked out to where it was the Phillies, I don’t know. I might have stayed and assessed things afterwards. I think the biggest factor was there was this team, the one team that I really wanted to go to that was able to make things work. It made it very simple for me. But the biggest factor for me was where can I go that I have a chance to win right away, and not only right away, but hopefully have a couple chances at it. You know, it was a simple decision for me.


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How lucky are we to have this guy for 3 more years???

Roy reminds me of a real man. He appreciates life and does not let money get in the way like many of professional players. I often wondered why people would sell themselves to the highest bidder instead of being where they can be happy and successful!

We need more Roys in baseball!

He’s such a class act and it seems like all the Phillies are these days. What an incredible group of players on and off the field. He and Chase both signed for less money than their worth. To them it’s all about being a part of something special, a dynasty. We are the luckiest phans on the planet.

I think the biggest factor was there was this team, the one team that I really wanted to go to that was able to make things work. It made it very simple for me.”

That is an incredible statement, isn’t it? A pitcher who really wanted to pitch for the Phillies. I admire Mr. Halladay even more right now than I have this entire season.

It seems only a few years ago that no top free agent (especially someone like Doc) was willing to sign with the Phils and that phans were considered the worst fans in baseball. It’s just great that we can now see so many “character” guys on the team.

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