Baseball people rarely get the perfect ending, the proverbial riding into the sunset with their heads held high.
Charlie Manuel was dismissed from Philadelphia with six weeks remaining in the season. Mariano Rivera's final year with the New York Yankees could very well end without one last dance through the postseason.
If Monday was the end of Roy Halladay's Phillies career, it's difficult to imagine a sadder scene. A sweat-soaked Halladay walked off the mound at Marlins Park after throwing just 16 pitches.
At 1/3 of an inning, it was the shortest start of his career.
Even though the 36-year-old Halladay is a free agent witha very uncertain future, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. did not feel any sense of nostalgia, wondering if it was the last time he'd wear his team's uniform.
"I guess I don’t think that way," Amaro said. "I try not to think in absolutes with him. If we think he’s going to be a viable possibility for us, we’d like to try to bring him back. I’d like to think it’s not the last we’ll see of Doc."
Halladay is 2-1 with a 4.55 ERA in six starts since returning from the DL. He’s allowed 22 hits while walking 19 and striking out 16 in 27 2/3 innings.
It's near impossible to gauge what kind of pitcher he will be in 2014.
But it certainly doesn't sound like Amaro is betting against Halladay's future success. When asked if the Phils could afford to add risk to a rotation with only two sure things in in the 2014 rotation - Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee - Amaro didn't rule out a Halladay return.
"(There's risk), but we also want to create as much depth as we can," Amaro said. "We have to talk internally more about Doc. But Doc’s a pretty special guy. And if there was somebody that was going to come back and be an effective pitcher, it would be him. We’ll have to see whether we think he can."
Amaro did say any deal would likely be one where both sides share the risk. (Read: an incentive-laden deal).