Lost in all the debate and hand wringing (present company included) over the immediate future of the Toronto Blue Jays sans Roy Halladay is one indisputable fact:
There are still some pretty good players - and people - on the roster of this ballclub that we can get behind. The Globe's Jeff Blair hammers the point home within this great read on Aaron Hill.
If it seems like I'm prepping myself for the post-Halladayan years, well, fuck off! Maybe I am! But the truth is, in anointing Halladay as the bedrock of this club - and rightly so, mind you - we've all been guilty of overlooking the contributions, both on and off the field, of the other players who contribute to all that we love about this team, and perhaps the game of baseball in general.
One could argue that Aaron Hill is the positional player equivalent of Doc. Now, nobody could sanely argue that Hill can match Doc's dominance, but otherwise, the similarities are striking. Both are homegrown talents, joining the organization as top draft picks. Both players made immediate impacts upon their arrivals to the big leagues, only to suffer setbacks that caused reflection.
In Halladay's case, it was a demotion to the low minors to start over after catastrophic failure; in Hill's, a career threatening injury that had him (and us?) questioning whether he would ever play again. Both players overcame these setbacks to establish their place as All-Stars at their respective positions.
I've saved the most obvious similarity for last:
Both are good people. Both are deserving (and gracious for, I'm sure) of our respect, admiration, and "fandom". If Roy Halladay is indeed traded, and your despair and outrage causes you to walk away from the team, just be aware of what you're leaving behind:
Some pretty good players - and people.