Friday, February 12, 2016

Happ or Halladay?

Amid the giddiness of Sunday's shutout and sweep of the Marlins, I typed this into my Facebook page:

Happ or Halladay?

If the Phillies were to get P Roy Halladay, J.A. Happ would probably be involved in the trade.   (AP Photo File Photos)
If the Phillies were to get P Roy Halladay, J.A. Happ would probably be involved in the trade. (AP Photo File Photos)

Amid the giddiness of Sunday’s shutout and sweep of the Marlins, I typed this into my Facebook page:

``Happ or Halladay?’’

When I went to the page this morning, I found about two pages of responses, and the count, as I write this, is 10 for making the much –talked about trade, and 10 against.

What I found even more interesting was the timing of the comments. The first 10 people urged restraint, arguing that Happ was worth keeping and mortgaging the farm was a bad idea for a 32-year-old arm signed through next year.

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The next 10 however spoke about making the team great for this season, making a chance at repeating as world champions worth the price and the risk. There was no back and forth. First 10 yeah. Next 10 nay.

Pushing aside for a moment the anxiety over losing a potentially dominant player like Michael Taylor (remember how close this team was to trading Ryan Howard?), I am curious over one thing. If this is about winning right now, then why is Kyle Drabek less expendable than Happ? If you give me the choice between a rotation, right now, of Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and Moyer/Martinez/Lopez, or one that simply switches Happ and Halladay, why wouldn’t I want the former? And if this is about winning right now, and maybe next year too, then why is Drabek untouchable and Happ not?

Because he might be the next Tom Seaver? What if he’s not. And by the way, Seaver was an uninjurable, inning-eating horse for the first part of his career. Drabek already has an injury asterisk attached.

And what if Happ is Tom Glavine for the next five years?

Happ is old for a rookie, no doubt. But as he showed in escaping that no-out, bases-loaded jam Sunday, that’s not all bad. Again, if we’re talking now, and if the Blue Jays would really take Drabek over Happ, then what’s the haggle?


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About this blog
Donnellon's career began in Biddeford, Me., in 1981, and has included stops in Wilkes-Barre, Norfolk, and New York, where he worked as a national writer for the short-lived but highly acclaimed National Sports Daily. He has received state and national awards at each stop and since joining the Daily News in 1992 has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Associated Press Managing Editors of Pennsylvania and the Keystone Awards. He and his wife of 26 years have raised three fine children, none of whom are even the least bit impressed with the above. E-mail Sam at
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Sam Donnellon Daily News Columnist
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