Monday, July 13, 2009

First, a warning

I say 'first' because there is at least one more blog-worthy notice in me today. However, this bit comes first. It is sports-related, and it only has one literary connection, so if you care nothing for sports, and the fans who invest their emotions in over-paid athletes, this first post of the day may not be for you. Some people don't like professional sports, and that's ok. Still, there have been some very good articles written about sports. No less a writer than John Updike wrote this beautiful piece on Ted Williams for a little old publication called the New Yorker. I can't write like that, so I'll keep this brief. Here's how it breaks down:

Roy Halladay, nicknamed Doc (after Doc Holliday, best friend of Wyatt Earp), is the best pitcher in baseball, year in, and year out. His consistency is incredible. He's been a Toronto Blue Jay his entire career, and the 29 other teams in the major leagues would love to have him. By the end of the month, one of them could have him. As a fan of the one team that actually does have him, this is not good.

The American markets are in a frenzy over this. The guys at Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CNN, etc., are drooling over the possibilities. Rumours are created every day as journalists and media outlets speculate over Halladay's probable destination. Very few of them seem concerned about the damage any trade would do to Toronto's fan base. How much damage would it do? A lot. I'm not kidding. Some people would say that seems a bit extreme for an athlete few of us have met, someone making more money in a year than most of us will make in a lifetime (although he's underpaid by major league standards... which is a product of his loyalty and humility). I don't think it is extreme.

There are good reasons for a team to trade away its most valuable asset. None of them apply this time around. I hope the Blue Jay officials who matter realize this.

What about trading him in the off-season? Sure. What if a different general manager were in charge? Sure. So... just don't trade him right now? Correct. It would be a slap in the face for Toronto fans, and I, for one, would not be in a forgiving mood.

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