Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Roy Halladay is in a Class of his Own

Roy Halladay just wanted to thank the fans. It’s humbling and refreshing to hear about such a class act in the same industry (Professional Sports) that largely falls into the other pile, classless. While Tiger Woods was once recently (as recent as maybe 1 month ago) regarded as one of the true class acts of all time, well we all know the truth now. This is the same industry where touchdown routines include hiding a Sharpie in your sock to sign a football and deliver it to a fan. Or where players like S. Jackson sign contract extensions and then promptly demand to be traded. Or in baseball where Roger Clemens clearly used steroids (unless you believe his wife was using HGH unbeknownst to him), then parades around the media and even Congress proclaiming his innocence and risking his freedom. Oddly, the very same thing drove these athletes to excel in sports. Some cheat and some don’t, but most all of them have a desire to compete and win far greater than the average Joe.

Roy Halladay has long been regarded as one of the hardest working pitchers in MLB. His hard work has paid off handsomely with his outstanding success. There are other things that drive these same athletes to work hard. Money. But I don’t think that’s necessarily the truth with Roy Halladay. Why? When he agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Phillies, he also agreed to a 3 year, $60 M dollar extension. While that probably seems like a ridiculous pile of money to most, it’s not exactly so in the game of baseball. In the same world that Barry Zito received a contract of $126 M (albeit undeservingly), Roy Halladay could have commanded a similar if not far greater sum of money. But he didn’t because it seems his competitiveness far exceeds his greed. He believed Philadelphia would give him a chance to win a World Series. And now it seems the only thing that will exceed his will to win his class. His gesture was no doubt a sincere one and the fans of Toronto, I’m sure, understand this completely. It’s time for them to rebuild but they will always have their memories of seeing him pitch every fifth day.

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