The attention is just beginning for Halladay
Roy Halladay is not used to this.
The attention. The questions. The speculation. The uncertainty. This is a high-profile time for a low-maintenance guy, and it's going to last about three more weeks. Then he may be thrust into the heat of a pennant race, at which point his performance will need to justify his new team's outlay in cash and prospects.
That's if he's lucky.
If the Albert Pujols lovefest is this week's most rousing story, then Halladay's day-to-day trade market status is the most relevant one.
The Blue Jays are listening to offers on Halladay, and everyone knows it. As the All-Star news conference began Monday morning, emcee Bob Costas introduced Halladay as a representative of Toronto "at least for the moment." Halladay grinned. A good sport, even if he could have done without the additional fuss.
Tuesday, Halladay started an All-Star Game for the first time in his distinguished career, and the non-Pujols focus was squarely on him.
Here we have someone believed by many to be the game's best pitcher. Most fans know his name. But do they really know much about him, aside from the fact that he wins a lot of ballgames for a team that rarely appears on national television in the U.S.?
Halladay has 141 big league victories, all for a team that plays before small crowds while attempting to compete with the economic might of the Red Sox and Yankees. Of course, those are the circumstances that initiated this midsummer auction.
Some have wondered if the pleasant-yet-introverted Halladay would be a good fit in a pressurized market like Boston, New York or Philadelphia. Based on what I saw Monday, the answer to that is a resounding yes.
Halladay fielded the trade questions like a pro, until a Major League Baseball official ended the questioning after around 15 minutes. Halladay never grew impatient with the reporters and never altered his message, calling Toronto "home" and talking about how much he'd like to win there.
He said he hasn't formulated a list of approved teams and believes there is only a 50-50 chance that he will be pitching for someone else by Aug. 1. It was an ace-like interview performance. He even joked that the New York media wouldn't much care for him, a reference to his often-understated replies.
But to me, the most important thing he said was this: