What Roy Halladay Owes Philadelphia

What Roy Halladay Owes Philadelphia

The Sunday before last, Roy Halladay gave up nine runs in 2 and 1/3 innings to the awful Miami Marlins, bringing his ERA for the season to 8.65. After the game, Halladay admitted that his shoulder had been bothering him for awhile. Following a visit a few days later to Dr. Lewis Yocum -- because clearly, the Phils were too cheap to spring for Dr. James Andrews -- it was determined that the pitcher needed surgery, which will keep him out for several months.

While it's commendable that Halladay kept pitching through the pain -- and I'd have bashed him if he'd pulled a Bynum and sat out -- there's no excuse for going out there when you're not able to pitch effectively. Especially when the pitcher had to have known there was a terrible traffic jam outside, and a whole lot of fans -- Angelo Cataldi included arrived at the game with the Phils already losing 9-0.

Halladay also said there's "no timetable" for his return. Sound familiar, Sixers fans?

It's a repeat of last spring with Chase Utley: Halladay lied to the team, the team lied to Halladay, and both Halladay and the team lied to the fans. None of this would happen if the Phils would simply release every player's full and complete medical records, but then I guess they don't trust us lowly fans with such information.

All of this was bad enough, but then Halladay did the unthinkable: He apologized:

“You know, I don’t know,” he said. “I really want to get through this, come back and see how strong I can be and see how effective I can be, and see if I can help us. … I’m not going to make any decisions right now about down the road. I’m going to focus on the here and now and this process.

“I’ve always told you guys I love Philadelphia, love playing here. It’s a great place to be. But there’s a lot to be determined. I want to be effective. And I want to be a part of the team. I don’t want to be a hindrance.”

It's that second part that gets me. Because when Halladay was asked about his contract and refused to commit to staying with the Phillies on a hometown discount, I lost a lot of respect for him.

Roy Halladay and Philadelphia have a bond. Because of that, Roy should give the Phillies a break.

There's one way Halladay can make it up to us. He should announce, today, that as soon as he's done rehabbing and able to pitch again, he'll do it for a year, for the Phillies, for free. After all, Halladay's getting $20 million this year to barely pitch, so pitching next year for free would only be fair. After all that's happened since Halladay came to Philly -- two no-hitters in one year, two playoff appearances, three years as their ace, hundreds of innings pitched -- Halladay owes the team an arrangement in which he assumes all of the risk and they take on none.

And besides, Halladay's made about $80 million in his career. Isn't that enough?

Remember J.A. Happ? On the same day of Halladay's press conference, Happ, who's now with the Blue Jays, was hit in the face with a line drive. And even after he was hospitalized, he was home the next day and probably won't miss much time. Makes me think maybe all those fans a few years ago who demanded the Phils not give up Happ for Halladay had the right idea.

And apologies are one thing. But when will Halladay refund Angelo's money?

Other Philly sports takes:

What a disgrace that the Eagles, Flyers and Phillies desperately need new GMs, but only the Sixers get one. The hiring of Sam Hinkie, however, shows us once again what an invaluable voice  we have here in Marcus Hayes. In his Monday column, Hayes argued forcefully that there's no place in the NBA for intellectualism or rigorous statistical analysis. The argument has been made before, and much more skillfully and humorously, but still, good for Marcus.

Eagles minicamp started this week. Has the team shown us anything yet indicate that they're on the way to winning a Super Bowl? All I see is that they've eliminated Andy Reid's one worthwhile innovation, Taco Tuesday.

Speaking of Andy Reid, he said last week that he's been to 50 barbecue places since taking over as coach of the Chiefs. Since he was hired in early January, that averages out to a different barbecue place roughly every third day, and that's not even taking into account repeat business. I haven't had to do this type of calculation since Wilt Chamberlain's autobiography came out.

If I'm running the Eagles, I start Nick Foles, with Matt Barkley as the backup, and I bring back Trent Edwards third string. Then I trade Michael Vick for a first round pick or two. But I guess I'm not as smart as Howie Roseman.

I want to try out for next year's Wing Bowl with the gimmick "Eagles Punter Brad Wing."

Editor's Note: please look up at the byline and realize that this post was written by a guy named FakeWIPCaller. You can follow FakeWIPCaller on Twitter.

Eagles Stay or Go Part 6: Taylor Hart to Donnie Jones

Eagles Stay or Go Part 6: Taylor Hart to Donnie Jones

In the sixth of our 12-part offseason series examining the future of the Eagles, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro give their opinions on who will be and who won't be on the roster in 2017. We go alphabetically — part 6 is Hart to Jones.

Taylor Hart

Roob: No matter how hard the Eagles try, they just can't get rid of Taylor Hart. Chip Kelly drafted Hart in the fifth round in 2014 and then Hart began last season with Kelly in San Francisco before reappearing here later in the season. Hart is going into his fourth NFL season and has 15 games, 12 tackles and no sacks to show for it. He turns 26 next month and has never shown any signs of being a guy who can contribute in a 4-3 defense. I’m going to say he goes, but don't be surprised if he finds his way back onto the roster at some point. 

Verdict: GOES

Dave: Hart was with the Eagles last training camp but cut him on Sept. 4 and he was claimed by the 49ers and Chip Kelly. Then when the Niners cut him, the Eagles claimed him back and he spent the rest of the season watching the Eagles play football. He was inactive in all but the last game and in that one he didn’t play. Hart is a former fifth-round pick who just fits better in a 3-4. The Eagles already played undrafted rookie Destiny Vaeao over him, so it’s time to set him free. 

Verdict: GOES

Jordan Hicks
Cap hit: $796K

Roob: Whenever you blast Chip for getting rid of Shady, DeSean and Jeremy Maclin, you have to mention that he did draft Jordan Hicks in the third round. Hicks, in just 24 games, has become one of the most productive playmaking linebackers in Eagles history. With seven interceptions, he already has the 11th-most interceptions in franchise history by a linebacker, and he led all NFL linebackers with five INTs this past season. Only four linebackers in NFL history have had more interceptions in their first two seasons – Hall of Famer Jack Ham is one of them. But Hicks is more than a ballhawk. He’s a smart, heady linebacker who is stout at the point of attack and is already developing into a terrific locker room leader as well. The future is certainly bright for Hicks.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: He just finished his second year in the NFL, but Hicks is quickly becoming one of the biggest playmaking linebackers in the league. Through the first 24 games of his career, he has seven interceptions. In his first two years, he has 7 INTs, 4 FRs, 1 FF. He’s the fifth player in NFL history to do that in his first two seasons and he’s the only linebacker. That said, Hicks needs to get better against the run and he knows it. Now that he won’t have an injury to heal from this offseason, he plans on hitting the weight room to get stronger and better at stopping the run. He looks like a cornerstone of the franchise. 

Verdict: STAYS

Malcolm Jenkins
Cap hit: $7.5M

Roob: Jenkins had another good year in his third season with the Eagles, although not quite up to his Pro Bowl level of 2015. Jenkins, who turns 30 late next season, is on the books for another four years with some pretty high cap figures — $7.5 million in 2017, then $10 million, $9.75 million and $9.25 million. But as long as Jenkins continues to play at a high level, I don’t see him going anywhere until after the 2018 season at the earliest, when he would count just $3 million in dead money if he’s released. But Jenkins is a guy you'd like to see finish his career in Philly. Hope that happens. 

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: It’s hard to quantify just how much Jenkins means to the Eagles or how much he’s worth. But it’s a lot. The last two seasons have been the best of his career and he’s shown no signs of slowing down. The best Jenkins stat is this: He’s missed just eight defensive snaps since arriving in 2013. Unreal. If the Eagles chose to play him at cornerback last year, he would have probably been their best one. 

Verdict: STAYS

Lane Johnson
Cap hit: $10M

Roob: If he goes, it’ll be because of a third positive drug test. Johnson’s play in the six games he was available to the Eagles was at an All-Pro level. But after two positive tests for banned substances and suspensions of four games in 2014 and 10 games in 2016, he’s now one positive test away from a two-year ban that would essentially end his Eagles career. My gut feeling is Johnson has learned his lesson and won’t take any more chances. That he understands what’s at stake here and isn’t going to risk his career by taking a supplement that hasn’t been pre-tested and cleared. Obviously there are other reasons the Eagles were 5-1 when Johnson played. Those five wins included games against the hapless Browns and Bears and a win against a Cowboys team that wasn’t trying to win. But that said, Johnson’s value is clear. He's a beast. It’s up to Johnson whether he becomes a Pro Bowl offensive tackle or a casualty of the NFL’s substance abuse regulations. I can’t imagine he’ll make the same mistake again.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: A lot was made about Johnson’s suspension voiding the guaranteed portion of his contract. And for a week or so, a bunch of fans were calling into talk radio saying the Eagles should cut him. That was laughable. Johnson is still the Eagles’ best offensive player and as long as he stays on the field and plays the way he did in 2016, he’s going to make most of the money in his contract. He obviously deserves plenty of blame for the way last season went, but he’s a big piece of the future. One more suspension and his career is basically over, so the Eagles just have to hope he doesn’t ruin everything.  

Verdict: STAYS

Marcus Johnson

Roob: Johnson is an interesting guy. Ran a 4.37 so he has wheels, but he didn’t have much of a career at Texas. Then again, Texas didn’t have a legit quarterback while he was there so maybe there’s a lot of untapped potential. The Eagles are so desperate for help at wide receiver they’ll take a good long look at everybody on the roster, even a guy who bounced off and on the practice squad last year. This Longhorn is a longshot to make the roster, but then again, if he catches the football consistently in training camp he’ll give himself a fighting chance.

Verdict: GOES

Dave: The receiver was with the Eagles during training camp and flashed some before getting hurt. He joined the practice squad during the season and was there at season’s end. He’ll be brought to camp but is a longshot to make the roster. 

Verdict: GOES

Donnie Jones
Cap hit: $1.25M

Roob: At 36 years old, the greatest punter in Eagles history (sorry Mat McBriar) showed no signs of slowing down. In his 13th NFL season, Jones averaged 45.8 yards per punt with a 40.7 net – both above his career highs. The most amazing thing about Jones is his knack for dropping punts inside the 20 without hitting very many touchbacks. He had 21 inside the 20 this year with just six touchbacks, and in four seasons with the Eagles he has 117 inside the 20 with just 26 touchbacks. When you don’t have an explosive offense, field position is critical, and Jones is a human field position flipping machine. The Eagles signed him to a three-year extension this year, and he’s now under contract through 2019.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: At times during the last two seasons, Jones has looked like the offense’s best weapon. That’s not a good sign for the offense, but it is for Jones. He’s already the best punter in team history. He’ll be 37 by the time the 2017 season starts, but he just signed a contract and will be the team’s punter for at least a couple more years if everything goes to plan. 

Verdict: STAYS