Manuel OK with A Mum Doc

Roy HalladayRoy Halladay felt soreness in his right shoulder following his April 24 start in Pittsburgh, but said nothing until yesterday after he had allowed a combined 17 runs in six innings (25.50 ERA) in his last two starts.

Some people thought Halladay should have told the Phillies immediately. Charlie Manuel feels differently.

“I’ve been around the game a long time,” Manuel said before tonight’s game at AT&T Park. “I never liked to tell anyone I couldn’t play. If you asked me if I could play, I would have never told you I couldn’t. You know? I don’t want to get into that. I played with a broken arm, I played with a whole lot of things. I got hit in the face and my lip was over my eye and I missed one day. I would never tell you I couldn’t play. So, yeah, I could understand that. He felt he could go out there and still pitch. He wasn’t thinking about not pitching bad or something like that; he wanted to try. Roy is an upstanding guy, a straight guy. Hey, there should be more guys like that. You say, ‘Well he’s hurt, he’s hurt.’ But evidently he didn’t feel that way, he felt like he could play. Nowadays guys, they get out of the game real easy. That means he has some integrity, that the game means something to him, that he wanted to see if he could help us. It wasn’t like he was trying to hurt us. Knowing him like I do, he thought he could pitch.”

I understand both sides to the argument, but here’s my take: Either you want players to try to play through pain or you don’t. That’s it. There is no gray area. You can’t say, “Well, because Halladay struggled he should have told them immediately after the Pittsburgh game and been placed on the DL.”

What if Halladay thought he could pitch through it (he did) and performed well? Fans would have called him a gamer. In fact, remember Game 5 of the 2010 NLCS? Halladay strained his groin early in the game. You could tell immediately something was wrong. Should he have pulled himself from the game, even though he thought he could pitch through it? He was hurt, after all. No, Halladay stayed in the game, gutted out a win and extended the series. Fans applauded Chase Utley for playing through a hip injury in 2008. Nobody said, “Well, Chase really shouldn’t have played if he wasn’t 100 percent. He could have hurt the team.”

In both cases the players felt they could compete, so they tried to compete. Twice they succeeded. Once they failed. But you can’t pick and choose when the player pulls himself from competition. They’re not wired that way. They’ll always try first. Always.


I agree with Charlie for a change. Halladay was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.

Good points, especially in an era of guys not playing for things like a “sore pinkie” and a cold. I guess we’re not giving Roy enough credit for being so dedicated to the game.

Comparing pitchers and position players is like comparing apples to oranges and is unmitigated bullshit. A bad day by a Halladay is far more detrimental to the team than a bad day by an Utley. And, Charlie had to play through his injuries because he knew his next stop would have been Japan if not the minor leagues.

Players need to acknowledge that they are hurt. Most are willing ot play through it (not all; look what that bum Derrick Rose is doing with the Bulls) but management needs to be involved in the decision. I’m fairly certain they wouldn’t have let him go out there on Sunday after the mess in Cleveland.

I love “gamers”…I really do, however they (Phillies and Doc) all knew something was wrong and failed to address it properly early on. This is not 20/20 hindsight. I find it hard to believe that Doc didn’t know something was physically wrong and didn’t want to get it checked out or that the organization didn’t force their multi-year, multi-million dollar investment to do so when everyone in baseball knew something was off. There is a fine line between being tough and being stupid and I feel that Doc did a disservice to his team and more importantly himself in ignoring this injury for so long. While past success gives you a little leway in working out of jams, etc. during a game, I feel that everyone just sat back and aided this man’s self-destruction by letting him “pitch through it” and letting “Doc be Doc!” Workaholics are their own worst enemy and now we have the results. He had a great career, but I can’t sit back and praise him for being (IMO) an idiot in this matter. Hoping to work through it is a bad excuse when you know it is something more severe and hurting your team and teammates. Kudos for trying, but not for lying. Best of luck in recovery or retirement and a sincere thank you for the good season your first year. Sadly you are not HOF bound as some here think. Maybe if you were able to play at a high level another 2-3 years and get another 30-40 wins, but 200 wins doesn’t get you in especially without a WS ring.

There is a distinct difference between telling a trainer “Hey, I’ve got some discomfort but I think I can play through it” and not telling them anything at all. The training staff may have been able to help him play through it better, but he chose not to inform them. To me – that’s the real issue.

So, Zo, your “take” on things is basically the same as Charlie Manuel’s… he believes in guts, in gamers. That is Doc. But I do think there is something underlying Doc’s problems further. There seems to be something wrong with him.

It’s an unfortunate problem pitchers have nowadays. Many pitchers are pitching with small bone spurs in their shoulders. They endure it until the pain becomes too great or they lose their command of their pitches. In Doc’s case it was losing command that got him to get the x-rays. I don’t see how you can blame him for believing in himself. Hopefully, we will see him win games for the Phils again.

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