Roy Halladay Pitches Tonight, But Has He Lost the Magic?

Roy Halladay Pitches Tonight, But Has He Lost the Magic?

Many words have been written about Roy Halladay and his bummer of a spring. But it was a line from CSN's Jim Salisbury, not surprisingly, in a piece yesterday examining Doc's first start tonight that we thought captured the situation rather well.

Halladay’s transition from pitching wizard to muggle began last season
when he was plagued by injury, a flagging fastball and ineffectiveness.

I had to copy, paste, and Google that one. From Wikipedia:

In the fictional world of J. K. Rowling's book series Harry Potter, a muggle
is a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born into
the magical world. Muggles also do not have any magical blood. It
differs from the term Squib,
which refers to a person with one or more magical parents yet without
any magical ability, and from the term Muggle-born (or the more
offensive mudblood), which refers to a person with magical abilities but without magical parents.

Now, tonight's start is clearly a big one in terms of building initial confidence in your favorite baseball team. But let's not forget Halladay is still basically finishing up his spring training. After that pesky virus set him back last month, he never really got in all of the work he seemingly would have liked to in order to be where he wanted to for his first regular season start. So tonight is not Roy at the top of his game now, whatever that may be. At least he says he feels good, though.

Halladay was just okay in his final spring tune up. Not very good, but not awful. If he puts in even a solid performance tonight, I think it should be viewed as encouraging. A win tonight would be the 200th of his career.

His decline seems to be one of those sad realities that fans are just going to have to stomach. The days of bloggers and penguins freaking out (in a good and glorious way) every fifth day when Doc is set to pitch are over. No more photoshops of Roy as half man, half machine.

But I'm not giving up on the guy just yet. Surely there's still some magic hidden somewhere up the sleeve of his throwing arm?

Tonight is just one outing, but it's likely going to have a huge bearing on how many people are going to feel about this Phillies season.

>>Anxiety, uncertainty surround Halladay's first start [CSN]

Best of NHL: Trocheck's last-second goal lifts Panthers past Blues

Best of NHL: Trocheck's last-second goal lifts Panthers past Blues

ST. LOUIS -- Vincent Trocheck scored with just under 5 seconds remaining to lift the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Jonathan Marchessault also scored and James Reimer stopped 26 shots to help the Panthers complete a 5-0 road trip -- their first perfect trip of at least that many games in franchise history.

Reimer has won five straight decisions and has not lost in regulation since Jan. 7 against Boston, going 6-0-1 since.

The Panthers moved into a tie with Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division, but have the edge because they have a game in hand on the Bruins.

Kyle Brodziak, playing for the second time after missing 10 games due to a broken foot, scored for the Blues and Jake Allen finished with 31 saves. St. Louis lost its second straight since winning six in a row (see full recap).

Coyotes use three-goal 1st period to beat Ducks
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Radim Vrbata capped Arizona's three-goal first period and the Coyotes held on for 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun also scored for Arizona, and starting goalie Mike Smith had 27 saves before leaving about 4 1/2 minutes into the third period after a collision in the net. Marek Langhamer helped kill a power play after being pressed into action for his NHL debut and stopped six of the seven shots he faced.

The Coyotes have won four of their last six.

Langhamer gave up Ryan Getzlaf's second goal of the night with 26.8 seconds to play, but thwarted two quality shots in the final seconds.

Jonathan Bernier gave up three goals on six shots in the first period for the Ducks. John Gibson came on to start the second and stopped all 14 shots he faced (see full recap).

Joel Embiid admits to reaggravating foot injury after 2014 surgery, almost quitting

Joel Embiid admits to reaggravating foot injury after 2014 surgery, almost quitting

Joel Embiid trusts the Process, more so than anyone — the process of patience.

After sitting out two whole seasons because of foot injuries, Embiid learned the importance of patience the hard way.

Appearing on NBA TV's Open Court, Joel Embiid opened up about how he reaggravated the fracture in his foot that cost him the 2015-16 season.

"I didn't know how to deal with patience," Embiid said on the roundtable discussion. "I just wanted to do stuff, that's why I think I needed a second surgery, because after my first one, I just wanted to play basketball again. I just wanted to be on the court and I pushed through what I wasn't supposed to.

"At one point I thought about quitting. I just wanted to come back home and just forget everything."

Embiid goes on to discuss the Sixers' turnaround this season and his mindset during his recovery. Watch the full clip below. 

Embiid also said he models his game after Hakeem Olajuwon.