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In Canada, and across the baseball universe, most people slight one of the game’s best pitchers every time they say his name. Roy Halladay, the ace of the Toronto Blue Jays, got his nickname -– Doc –- because he’s a Colorado boy, like the famous Old West gunslinger, "Doc" Holliday.

That’s how Roy’s family pronounces their surname: “Holiday.” If you’re reading it, and have never heard it spoken correctly, it’s easy to make the mistake; the first three letters spell HAL, like the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey. But the first four letters are “hall,” and that’s the way Doc says it, so why shouldn’t we?

The problem is with the broadcasters. Tom and Jerry get it wrong, as do all the talking heads on every TV network. Then whoever reads the scores follows suit, and so do the fans. The mispronunciation has become the standard. The same thing happens to hockey players -– Tomas Kaberle calls himself “ka-BEAR-luh” but Joe Bowen’s “KABBER-law” shout has caught on. I’m sure there are many other examples of this unfortunate phenomenon, but I can’t think of one that involves an All-Star. Well, BeelzeBud didn’t know how to pronounce his World Series MVP’s name, but most of us do. (It’s “gloss,” not “glowse,” and definitely not whatever Selig said.) The players probably don’t care, as long as their names are spelled correctly on the paycheques, but that doesn’t make it right.

Batter’s Box readers should take the initiative on this one. The guy who is going to lead our beloved Blue Jays back to the postseason, one of our heroes, Harry Leroy Halladay III, deserves some respect. If repeated exposure to the airwaves causes you to accidentally say the “hal” word, pause and correct yourself. In no time, the right way will become a habit. Eventually, by spreading the news to one fan at a time, we will prevail. To practice, I suggest that if you don’t already know the old Bee Gees hit Holiday -- they were cool once, trust me -- you should download the MP3 and sing along:

Oh, you’re a Halladay
Such a Halladay
Roy, you’re a Halladay
Like Doc Holliday

It’s something I think’s a shame
When they mispronounce your name
It seems like they just don’t care
Just don’t care, just don’t care

Oh, it’s a funny game
Don’t tell me that it’s all the same
Can’t believe that it’s right
To insult our ace every night

On radio and TV
They all say it the wrong way
When will everybody see
It’s not OK, not OK

Doc, you’re a Halladay
Every fifth day’s such a holiday
Now everyone should say
And they may –- you’re a Halladay
A National Halladay | 24 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Dave Till - Sunday, January 12 2003 @ 08:51 AM EST (#99484) #
Interestingly enough, the entry on Halladay in the Jays' media guide doesn't state how to pronounce his name.

Do people from Colorado pronounce their A's as if they were O's? (In Texas, they talk about being in the awl bidness.)

As I see it, Halladay has one more test to pass before we can start declaring his birthday a national halladay: he's got to prove that his arm can withstand 200+ innings of work every year. Many pitchers get hurt the year after they are given a heavy workload - Chris Carpenter is the most recent example. If Halladay pitches as well this year as he did last year and in the second half of 2001, he stands a chance of becoming the Jays' best pitcher ever.
Coach - Sunday, January 12 2003 @ 09:40 AM EST (#99485) #
There's a jazz musician and a drag racer among other Halladays who picked up the "Doc" tag. I don't think it's a regional thing, Dave, that Nebraska/Colorado accent is pretty neutral; just the way each family chooses to pronounce it.

You can compare him to Schilling. Doc was all smiles last year after he had a long chat with Curt. Roy's bigger and younger by a considerable margin, and picking the brain of such a craftsman, like rubbing elbows with the all-stars, never hurts. His mental game still has room for improvement, but Doc's got the mechanical consistency now, and he's thinking like an ace.

I got an e-mail aready asking for fantasy predictions. Health, luck, support, defence and pitch counts are all variables, so predicting wins is a wild guess -- let's say he's got 23-5 stuff, if everything goes well. Realistically? 21-6, 180, 2.85, 1.150; first round in an AL league. He won't be Schillingesque in K's because he loves those five-hoppers to second, but he's a horse who gets a ton of innings, so the low ERA and WHIP will help his fantasy owners. My teams are counting on it.
Craig B - Sunday, January 12 2003 @ 01:52 PM EST (#99486) #
Coach, the Bee Gees are still cool.

My prediction for Halladay (I am adopting the new pronunciation from now onward) is 33 starts, 224 innings, 161 strikeouts, 3.25 ERA, and a 17-10 record. A pessimistic prediction, and if that's pessimism, imagine how good I think he is.
_Sean - Sunday, January 12 2003 @ 02:27 PM EST (#99487) #
As good as Halladay pitched last season, he's got so much more to accomplish before he even enters Dave Stieb territory as the best Blue Jay pitcher of all time. Personally, I remain dubious of Doc or anyone else knocking Stieb off his perch; the probability of such an event is quite low.
_Geoff North - Sunday, January 12 2003 @ 05:17 PM EST (#99488) #
A big obstacle to Halladay (or anyone else, for that matter) matching and passing Stieb for Blue Jay pitching greatness, is simply the matter of playing time with the team. Most likely, such a pitcher would need to spend most, if not all, of their career in Toronto. Let's hope that Halladay has the stuff, -and- sticks around Toronto long enough, to make this a debatable topic.
Dave Till - Sunday, January 12 2003 @ 07:56 PM EST (#99489) #
Sean: I agree that Halladay has quite a ways to go before he catches Stieb. I'm just saying that there's a possibility he might, and it's been quite a while since the Jays have had a starter for whom this is a possibility.

Right now, if you're just measuring peak performance level, I'd already rank him about sixth all-time, behind Stieb, Clemens, Hentgen, Guzman and Key. (Stieb, Clemens, Guzman and Key all won ERA titles, and
Hentgen, of course, won the Cy.)
Pistol - Sunday, January 12 2003 @ 08:48 PM EST (#99490) #
I know there's a lot of things that point to K rate being the best indicator of future success, and Halladay's rate is pretty average. Is Halladay's K rate something to be concerned about? Are there any other hidden stats that might indicate that he was 'lucky' last year?

One of the reasons I ask is that I have him as a potential keeper for my fantasy team. I can only choose one out of Halladay, Randy Wolf, and Wade Miller and I'm undecided, although I rank them in that order right now (mostly due to health history).
_Sean - Sunday, January 12 2003 @ 09:29 PM EST (#99491) #
Interesting choice. I think Miller would be awfully tough to give up--he's an amazing pitcher with good peripherals, though he has had some health problems.

With regards to Halladay vs. Stieb, I agree that there is a non-negligible chance for the former to enter the discussion of best pitcher in Blue Jay history, and that's quite a compliment to Halladay.

By the way Dave, Clemens did win a Cy Young in Toronto, no?
_R Billie - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 08:20 AM EST (#99492) #
I'm not concerned about Halladay's K rate. He has tremendous stuff...his minor league rate and his major league rate in '01 were very acceptable. In his first full year his K's went down but his groundball ratio remained very high...and I think as his career progresses he's going to rely less on his offspeed pitches (which are very good) and be content to throw sinkers 80% to 90% of the time.

It costs him K's and a bit of ERA in the long run, but it also allows him to lead the league in innings pitched while maintaining "safe" pitch counts. It's a balancing act. His low rate of homeruns allowed is testament to his good stuff...if that starts to rise with the drop in K rates then there's reason for concern.

Of course with increased experience and more dedication to studying hitters through game tapes and such as he ages, his K rate could easily rise consistently in Kevin Brown or even Curt Schilling territory. And Roy has already had a better full season than Brown had up to the age of 25, and his age 25 season was comparable to Curt Schilling's. For Brown you'd have to go to age 27 before finding a similar year (and Halladay is unhurt so far) and though Schilling had a better year statistically at 25 (particularly in hits allowed and ERA), Halladay's secondary ratios are slightly better.

I don't think there's any doubt that Roy is an ace. Only health issues can stand in his way and so far there is no sign of that being a concern. Particularly if the Blue Jays continue to be as intelligent as they were last year about protecting his arm from overuse.
_R Billie - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 08:25 AM EST (#99493) #
Forgot to add this...regarding Clemens, he won TWO Cy Young awards with Toronto in 1997 and 1998. As good as Roy's season was last year, Clemens' two years in a Jays uniform were much better. It kind of makes you wonder how the heck Ash only got Wells, Bush, and Lloyd for him instead of seeking high ceiling youngsters.
_Mick - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 08:46 AM EST (#99494) #
Ah, Coach, see what you went and did???

You rewrite the lyrics to an old Bee Gees hit and post them here on one of the World Wide Web's most popular sites, and Maurice Gibb up and dies over the weekend.

Careful the power you wield, oh Coach of the Lyrics of Death!
Dave Till - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 09:55 AM EST (#99495) #
Sean: of course, Clemens did win the Cy twice in Toronto. I rank collecting the ERA title as a greater accomplishment than winning the Cy. To win the Cy, you have to get enough run support to pick up 20 or more wins (as Dave Stieb will no doubt be happy to tell you :-)).

Clemens' 1997 and 1998 seasons were great, no doubt about it.
Craig B - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 10:07 AM EST (#99496) #
I also noticed the unfortunate coincidence that Mick pointed out.

Coach, could you take a shot at some Gary Glitter lyrics next time you have a free moment? I was going to say Madonna, but the children of the world have more pressing problems.
Coach - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 11:09 AM EST (#99497) #
The only Gary Glitter lyric I know is "Hey!" as shouted by gangs of inebriated sports fans at a stadium near you. A musician I used to admire, until his latest final farewell tour -- Pete Townshend -- got into some embarrassing trouble this weekend, but he's always seemed like a decent guy. The mind reels at what you have to do to get kicked out of Cambodia as an undesirable.

The weird thing about the Halladay song is that I woke up with a start at about 5:00 am (been suffering from "unsomnia" lately) and though it was never one of my favourite BG tunes -- "To Love Somebody" is genius -- it was already in my head. I knew Gibb was in hospital, but it was still creepy when I heard the news a few hours later, not long after this post. RIP, Maurice.
_Jordan - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 01:34 PM EST (#99498) #
Well, many thanks to Craig and Kent, because after your two posts, I now have Madonna's "Holiday" stuck in my head. And this day started off so well, with Boston's "Peace of Mind" rattling around the old frontal lobe instead....
Craig B - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 01:50 PM EST (#99499) #
Coach, I'm not sure where you are going with Pete Townshend. Apparently, when he realized there may have been something amiss with what he did he went immediately to police to ask them to make an investigation.
_Kent - Monday, January 13 2003 @ 06:18 PM EST (#99500) #
Craig, I didn't mean to suggest Pete is a pedophile, or compare him to Gary Glitter. My coffee hadn't kicked in yet and the two thoughts ("GG's an ass" and "it's a shame about Pete") got jumbled up. My bad, and I hope he's completely exonerated.

As someone who saw The Who in 1969, and watched the "farewell" concert at MLG more than 20 years ago, I wish they'd pack it in -- I'm reminded of Willie Mays as a Met -- and I'm still stunned they didn't cancel the latest tour right after the Ox died.

Did you see the great piece in the Star when they came to T.O.? Tongue-in-cheek black humour by Peter Howell, I think, suggesting a merger with the Beatles, as what's left of The Who could use a drummer and bass player. (Yeah, I know Ringo's kid played with them; let him start his own junior Fab Four with Julian and Dhani and James.) The "Whotles" could perform "Won't Get Fooled On The Hill Again," "Magical Mystery Bus," "Baba O'Rigby," "My Me Mine Generation," and so on...
_Sean - Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 02:47 PM EST (#99501) #
Pete has been arrested, of course, so his fascination with pornography may lead to an unfortunate result. The usual caveats about a lack of reliable information apply; the media has done a very poor job covering this story. The best material I've found is on blogs.
_Kent - Tuesday, January 14 2003 @ 05:45 PM EST (#99502) #
Sean, he's been released, and what Townshend's saying is that Tommy may have been autobiographical, at least the wicked uncle and fiddling about part, and he was doing research on the Net for a book. I prefer to believe him, and the statements of everyone who knows him well; I'm sorry for throwing fuel on the fire.
_Matthew Elmslie - Wednesday, January 15 2003 @ 09:25 AM EST (#99503) #
My understanding, based on things I've read about the man, is that Pete Townshend is a) a really good guy, who b) has no real working relationship with 'the truth'. It's not that he's trying to lie to people; it's more that he just says whatever he wants to say without regard for whether it's true or not. So I'd take anything he said with a few grains of salt.
_Aroo - Tuesday, July 22 2003 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#99504) #
What up!
I'm repp'in the T., Harry Leroy Halladay is the sickest picher! Ain't no one gon stop him. Man got the sickest curve ball and fastball. His nickname in the T. is "Cy"
All ya'll up in the US don't know him, his 14-2 with a 3.33 ERA and a 6:1 strikeout ratio.
He gets nough respect up in here. Ya'll don't know him yet, but ya'll will!
_Aroo - Tuesday, July 22 2003 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#99505) #
Ya'll best give him a holliday!
_Lurch - Tuesday, July 22 2003 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#99506) #

He is da shiznit!
_Aroo - Wednesday, July 23 2003 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#99507) #
no dout fu!
A National Halladay | 24 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.