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Here We Go Again
I have to admit to something that, at times, pains me to say; I, Belvidere Green, am a die-hard New York Met fan. Yeah, that’s right Mr. Green bleeds blue and orange. So, you can just imagine the pain post season baseball inflicted upon me last year when I had to endure a Phillies vs Yankees World Series. Just posting about it, made my hands shake. (Oct 20, 2009 and Oct 26, 2009 posts)
Sure it’s nice that some fellow Belvidereians get to enjoy October baseball, but does it have to be both the Phillies and Yankees at the same time? Does Philadelphia really need an ace nicknamed “Doc”? First the Yankees used to win with ex-Met player/manager Joe Torre now the Phillies go and steal Dwight Gooden’s name. Is their no shame?
Credit Where Credit is Do
Needless to say, Roy Halladay of the Phillies pitched an outstanding game 1 against the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds bats are a force to be reckoned with, so to leave them standing at home plate hitless, is a tremendous feat.
[singlepic id=373 w=320 h=240 float=right]Halladay, who is nicknamed Doc after the famed gunslinger Doc Holliday, does have some zip on his four-seam fastball. However, in my opinion, his secret sauce really comes from being intense, hard working and above all, smart in the way he utilizes his arsenal of pitches.
Location, movement and velocity (in that order) are the tangible things you look for in a pitcher. In order, though, for a player to go from having a good pitch to becoming a great pitcher, you need to possess the proper intangibles.
Work ethic, temperament, and desire were the tools that helped “Doc” Halladay grow from being just a rookie with a great fastball to a crafty veteran who knows how to work a count. This guy, regardless of the situation, can throw a two-seam sinking fastball, a mid 70 mph curveball, a wicked (low 90′s) cutter, change-up, or rear back and hit you with his 95 mph four-seamer, all for a strike. How do you prepare for a thrower like that? Oh yeah, he also knows how to toss a splitter and slider if need be.
These pitches were all developed over time, because he was smart enough to realize that what got him to the big leagues at the age of 21 wouldn’t be enough to keep him among the elite at his current age of 33. If his attitude and health remains, chances are at 43, he will have adapted once again and be winding down a Hall of Fame type career. Of course at this time it will be in a Met uniform, after management in all their wisdom, offers him a 5 year multi-million dollar contract at the age of 42.