The story of Roy Halladay is a tale that will remain etched in the minds of Blue Jays fans for generations, as he is the greatest player that we have ever had. The question is: which tale will be remembered – the dominant ace of Cy Young credentials; or the messy breakup, that would have been on par with the Brett Favre saga, if not for the small market?
Ever since Halladay was drafted by the Jays 17th overall in 1995, there was hope that he would return to beleaguered franchise to its former glory. However, Labatt Brewing Company was purchased by the Belgian firm Interbrew, an organization that had virtually no interest in the success of the the team. The team was purchased (80% share, fully shortly after) by Rogers Communications, on September 1, 2000, but it soon became apparent that they had little interest either.
J.P. Ricciardi was brought in 2002, with an order to severely slash payroll for 2003. He did just that, slashing payroll by $25 million. Due to payroll constraints, he was forced to let the franchise’s greatest hitter, Carlos Delgado, walk for nothing by two draft picks after the 2004 season as trimming continued.
All of a sudden, Ted Rogers comitted $250 million to be used on the payroll for for 2006-2008. This period saw the signing of Bengie Molina, A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan. Unfortunately, Molina was let go after one year, Ryan needed Tommy John surgery in 2007 and was never the same and Burnett opted out of his contract after 2008. Injuries to many pitchers hampered 2008, but there was belief that the team was only a couple of hitters away from contention.
With the passing of Ted Rogers prior to the 2009 season, his sons assumed control of the team. They are purely concerned witrh financial succes and cut payroll again. They have set the team on a course of additional rebuilding. Roy Halladay was not interested. He wanted to win now. That is the sign of a true athlete.
The hiring of Alex Anthopoulos in the offseason of 2009, put him in a difficult situation: trade roy Halladay because he would not re-sign after 2010. He got three former first rounders and did the best he could.
Yes, Ricciardi made several horrendous mistakes in the media, and Anthopoulos is a rookie, but before assigning blame for the latest fiasco consider this: Were these decisions of baseball, or have these two men been unfortunate puppets of a higher authority?