Monday, May 6, 2013

Opinion: Halladay in the wrong for staying quiet about shoulder

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
@Philabaseball

As manager Charlie Manuel addressed the media about the shellacking his club absorbed from the Marlins on Sunday, Roy Halladay stood in the clubhouse and spoke candidly about the health of his right shoulder.

The two were just feet away from each other, yet their stories were different.

“I woke up, didn't really think anything of it, just regular soreness, it just kind of progressed over the last two weeks or so," Halladay said following Sunday's 14-2 drubbing by the Marlins. “It's right shoulder discomfort. I’m going to have it looked at here in the next few days, and once we get information from that we'll obviously let people know what's going on, but it's not something that I had before. It's something new this year."

Halladay surrendered nine runs and lasted just 2 1/3 innings. 

Manuel knew nothing of Halladay's shoulder issues. Neither did general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. or team physician Dr. Michael Ciccotti.

While Manuel again defended his one-time ace to the press and professed how he's not hurt, Halladay was in another room revealing the fact that he's been dealing with soreness since the day after his start against the Pirates on April 24. 

“He did not [tell anyone about the injury],” Amaro said. “I think he thought it was just kind of normal postgame soreness. He had thrown pretty well for a couple of games. Again, he hasn’t been on the injury report for any discomfort. Now he will be.”

The Phillies are paying Halladay $20 million this year. The organization deserves better.  

There is something honorable about a millionaire athlete risking their health to produce on the field, but Halladay's decision to persevere through shoulder discomfort hurt the Phillies chances at winning a pair of games. It was selfish and made Manuel look foolish.

"We'll always talk to Halladay, but as long as he feels healthy and can pitch and the doctor says he can pitch, we've kind of got to send him right back out there," Manuel said prior to hearing about the shoulder issue. "After every start we talk with the pitchers, that's how it goes."

A manager deserves the right to know the health of all of his players, yet Halladay told the media about his injury prior to disclosing it to the organization.

Manuel had every right to question Halladay's health and mental state, but he instead shielded him as best he could from the media frenzy.

Toughness is one thing, but selfishness is another.

Halladay knows better.

- Patrick Gordon is Managing Editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Follow him on Twitter @Philabaseball or contact him at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com.

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