Halladay Endorses Hamels As Leader

Roy HalladayRoy Halladay isn’t starting Opening Day.

Gasp!

Much is made about the Opening Day starter, but the person who might care least about it is Halladay, who has started Opening Day each of the previous three seasons with the Phillies. Cole Hamels is expected to get the nod, although the Phillies have not made an official announcement.

“I think the commitment they made to him last year,” Halladay said referring to Hamels’ six-year, $144 million contract extension, “it’s his time. He’s been here for a long time, he’s had a lot of success here. There aren’t many teams where you have a World Series MVP and then you bring in four to five guys to pitch in front of him. It should have been his spot a long time ago. I think it’s something he’s going to embrace. And really after Opening Day, we’re all five days apart anyway.

“I talked to him about it when we’re going out and doing drills, stuff like that, it’s time for him now to kind of step up and take charge in those situations and establish himself as the head of the staff.”

That’s a pretty significant endorsement from a potential Hall of Famer.

Halladay has bigger fish to fry anyway. He is trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2012. So far he said everything has gone well. He has thrown to live hitters twice, and in each situation he has worked on improving his location.

“I feel good,” he said. “I feel good with where I’m at right now. There’s a long way to go in camp and there’s still a lot of things to accomplish but I’m happy with the way I feel and the way things are going. … I haven’t had a day where I’ve been sore from the core up. Those first couple of days, you’re going to be sore. Your legs will be sore from the drills and stuff, but from the core up I haven’t been sore and that’s a good sign. When you’re trying play catchup early in camp and you’re trying to keep your arm going, that’s the tough part of spring training. If you can avoid that that’s always a good sign, so I feel good going forward.”

Halladay makes his first Grapefruit League start Sunday against the Tigers in Lakeland. He said he will not be worried so much about the hitters as how he feels about his location and conditioning.

“You’re not really throwing your full arsenal,” he said. “What the hitters do isn’t so important to me now. I know what I’m looking for those first couple time outs and that’s my goal to go out and execute the pitches I want to execute and not be overly concerned with the swings and what have you.”

7 Comments

If Doc isn’t the ultimate class act, I don’t know who is!

Three aces.

Doc really epitomizes the word professional. He knows what he has accomplished in his tenure as a major leaguer, and there is absolutely no reason for him to be worried about not being the opening day starter after so many years of being that guy on two different teams.

It’s obvious he respects the hell out of Hamels, and maybe even envies him a bit (a little bit at least), for what Cole was able to accomplish at the tender age of 24 (I think it was 24…). He not only received a World Series ring, but was the LCS and World Series MVP during the acquisition of said ring. I’m sure Doc would trade all his Cy Young awards and even his postseason no hitter to be able to have those credentials instead.

I’m sure he empathizes with Hamels as well, knowing that Hamels was the ace before “the aces” came here, and despite the postseason accolades, was relegated to being the third starter once Doc and Lee were here together.

A lesser individual might have let it effect his performance, but Hamels has done nothing but continue to learn and get better as a pitcher. After last year, being the most consistent starter we had, he most definitely deserves to be handed the ball on Opening Day.

It’s an honor in and of itself, but to be given that opportunity in front of arguably two starting pitchers that could very well end up in Cooperstown when all is said and done, makes it all the more rewarding.

To use a Star Wars analogy (yes, I’m that guy), it’s like Doc is Obi Wan saying “You learn fast young padawan.” Haha

http://memegenerator.net/instance/35154464

IMO Cole took charge when he nailed Harper in the beginning of last year.

Always thought it was a bit weird that Hamels was always pitched behind those guys in the first place. I understand that they paid big $$ to bring those guys in, but like Doc said, Hamels was the freakin’ MVP of the World Series! I always thought the team was really lucky that Hamels was the class act that he obviously is, because a lot of young aces would not have taken the demotion that well. I’m glad he is finally going to get the recognition from the club that he deserves.

I can understand it to a certain degree. Cole did regress a bit in 2009, and he was still very young. I think it ended up working in his favor in the long run. Who better to mentor a young pitcher than Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee? That is one reason I would have been pissed if Amaro would have let him get away in free agency. He undoubtedly learned so much from both of those guys, and to just let all that experience walk away in the form of a lefty World Series MVP that is just hitting his prime would have been infuriating!

Delmon Young was also Series MVP. Maybe that’s why Phillies wanted him… Looking forward to see Reginald VelJohnson run down fly balls in right field…

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