Clearing the clubhouse air
I just want to take a moment to clear the air about a story I wrote a couple days ago about the clubhouse situation now that Roy Halladay is not with the team. In today’s Toronto Star, my story was referenced with comment from second baseman Aaron Hill:
Second baseman Aaron Hill takes his inherited leadership role in the Jays’ post-Roy Halladay world very seriously. So, before anything could get ratcheted out of proportion, he wanted to make it absolutely clear that even though this Jays clubhouse may seem more relaxed and self-confident, it’s not the result of Doc’s departure, taking his legendary intensity and “don’t-bother-me-the-day-I-pitch” focus to the Phils. It’s balanced with other players maturing.
“This clubhouse has always been good,” Hill explained of insinuations of intimidation Halladay might have had on the young Jays last year. “But you just have to have that respect for the guy on game day because that’s his game. Everyone has his own routine. That’s his routine. It’s just for the fact he was so focused. You stick around (Halladay) for a while, we had a great time with him. You knew when he was going to do his (focus) thing. You knew when not to mess with him. It was just funny reading that (on MLB.com) because it made it sound like he was a bad guy.”
I spoke with Hill this morning and he told me he had no issues with the way my story was written and no problems with the angle I took in the piece. CLICK HERE to read my article. Hill’s only issue was with the headline that appeared above the story, which read, “Post-Doc era finds Jays looser, relaxed.” Hill knows that I do not write the headlines.
Hill agrees that there is definitely a difference in the clubhouse since Halladay was traded, but that does not mean Doc was in any way a negative influence or difficult to be around. I was careful to make that clear in my story. Hill also agreed, since Halladay was traded, it has been easier for the younger pitchers tp step up and form their own identity.
From talking to many of the pitchers — Shaun Marcum, Brian Tallet and Ricky Romero have gone on the record in this regard — they say that the absence of Halladay has opened the door for them to step up and try to be leaders in the clubhouse and on the staff. That’s a good thing. But, don’t take it the wrong way, they’d welcome Halladay back in a heartbeat.