Josh Johnson knew it wasn’t going to be easy as he was facing both a potent Phillies lineup (although they’ve been struggling to drive in runs lately) and Roy Halladay. He knew it would be a close game, won by whomever got the clutch hit(s) at the right time(s). I don’t think that he or anyone else thought that Wilson Valdez would score the only run of the game and that we would all witness perfection for the 20th time in MLB history.
Roy Halladay (now 7-3) threw 115 pitches against one great Marlins lineup, 72 of them for strikes. It’s a lineup that has names like Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, Chris Coghlan (NL rookie of year) and Cameron Maybin in it. He struck out 11, nobody walked, nobody got a hit, and no batters were hit. A perfect game I’m certain Roy Halladay will cherish until the end of time, and I know most Jays fans are ecstatic to see him succeed despite his wearing a new uniform. He deserves this level of success because he’s a great person, works harder than everyone at his craft, and is the epitome of a true professional. Congrats Roy, we’re all extremely happy for you!
Having said that, as a Jays fan and MLB enthusiast, my mind immediately begins to do the math. Remember when the Hawk was announced as going into the Hall of Fame he said that he wanted to go in as a Cub but would respect the wishes of the people who make those decisions? Well, it was because he had greater success in Chicago than he had in Montreal, despite the skewed amount of time he spent in Montreal. Could it be that if Roy Halladay wins a World Series and also has a perfect game with the Phillies, that he would ask to enter the Hall of Fame (a probability) as a Philly? I would understand it if he were to remain in Philadelphia for the next 6 years and succeed as he has thus far, but I must admit that I would be crushed – both as a Jays fan and as an MLB fan.
Like it or not, the Jays organization is the one that made Doc what he is today. Whether it be through instruction, through providing help at all levels of the minors, giving him a shot even when he struggled – going as far as resetting his career to LoA so that he could rebuild his confidence, and by surrounding him with greats to learn from like Roger Clemens and Pat Hentgen. Like I said, I would still understand if he wanted to go into the Hall as a Philly, but I would hate it and it would diminish the meaning of the induction to me. I know it’s selfish as a Jays fan, but he needs to go into the Hall as a Jay because that’s where he built his reputation as the best pitcher in MLB.
Now, imagine if he had remained with the Jays and given them a top 4 of Roy, Shaun, Ricky, and Brett…..I’m not sure even the Rays and Yankees could have competed with that rotation if they all pitched as they have thus far in 2010. However, would they have pitched this well? If Roy had stuck around, would Ricky and Shaun have taken off the way they have? I don’t know, but it is possible that they could have been a little more relaxed with Roy ahead of them in the rotation and relied a little too much on his leadership. I’m not saying it would have been so, but it could have been. Therefore, enjoy all of the great that Roy gets to live through in Philadelphia. He deserves it and I’m sure he’s looking at the Jays in the standings every time he gets a chance and wonders the same thing….I wonder if…..