Doctor Peppered

Honestly, I miss Roy Halladay.

There comes a point in every injured player’s recovery period where some fans sort of forget that they’re not around. It’s almost like you’ve become used to their absence, and the phantom limb feeling you get in the time immediately following their disappearance from the roster dissipates.

It’s a bit more layered than just that, though. I miss the Halladay of old, of pre-injury shoulder strength and command; a domineering, towering mound overlord, a regent of the rubber whose very presence demanded the respect of the opposition before he undressed a single batter.

The truth of the matter is, though, that that Halladay is gone. “Doc” is thought of less as a reference to surgically precise pitches and more about the operating table with which Roy has become all too familiar lately. And it’s a sad thought, because anytime a player who stands above his or her contemporaries for such an extended period of time begins to decline, it triggers fond memories of the past and the bittersweet yearning for their impossible return.

There was hope that, once Halladay’s shoulder underwent its most recent tidying, the aging wonder would resemble something more along the lines of his superlative 2010 and 2011. The reasonable hope was never that he’d replicate those years, but that he’d do his best to imitate them and make us all forget about 2012 and the first half of this season.

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