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Doc’s Winter Holiday

09.30.09 at 11:56 pm ET
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Late in July, Roy Halladay almost landed right in the middle of a late-summer pennant race in Boston. Instead, the nasty Doctor threw his last 100 filthy pitches of the season on Wednesday at Fenway Park in a 12-0 blanking of the Red Sox.

One of those 100 drilled David Ortiz in what seemed a fairly obvious retaliation for Jonathan Papelbon hitting Adam Lind the night before. While Lind was out of the lineup on Wednesday, if Ortiz went down for any time, it could drastically change the complexion of the Red Sox batting order heading into next week’s Division Series against the Angels.

But Ortiz came out of it okay, much to the relief of the Red Sox and their fans.

How and where Halladay will come out of this winter are questions that are far more uncertain. Based on various reports, Halladay was close to being shipped to either Boston or Philadelphia but both deals never materialized at the deadline. Still, with a year and $15 million remaining on his contract, does Toronto decide to re-visit that issue this winter.

“I think there’s going to be a little bit of that just because of some of the events that happened during the year but I think for the most part a lot of it is kind of going to be out of my hands,” Halladay said after his three-hitter. “You never want to have that uncertainty but sometimes that’s part of it. You do what you can to make the best of any situation and move on at that point. I don’t really know what the winter’s going to hold but I’m going to do the best to try to make the right decisions, if that’s presented to me, and go from there.”

Halladay has quite the dry sense of humor but he does have one. Asked how close he thinks his team is to reaching its goals, he didn’t miss a beat.

“Twenty-eight-and-a-half games, I think,” he said of the distance between fourth-place Jays and the AL East champion Yankees. “I think you look more at what you have and go from there. I think you look at the positives of Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, Ricky Romero, (Mark) Rzepczynski, those type of guys. I think you look at that. I think you would like to add to that. I think going into the winter you have to look at those parts of the puzzle and some of the question marks that really came up big for us this year and go off those positives.”

Halladay finishes the season with a 17-10 record and a 2.79 ERA, a major league-leading nine complete games and he finished his final month by throwing four complete games in six September starts. So if he comes back to Toronto next spring, he feels the foundation is there. But will it be enough to satisfy his desire to play for a championship-caliber team?

“I think there’s a lot there moving forward,” he said. “There’s definitely a lot of positives. I don’t think anybody is So going to walk away from this season and think it was a total loss on all fronts. I think there were a lot of good things that came out of it. I think that would be the focus and improving on that.”

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