CLEARWATER, Fla. — Retirement is not keeping Roy Halladay away from baseball.
Halladay is a guest instructor with the Philadelphia Phillies for a few weeks this spring.
“I love being here,” the two-time Cy Young Award winner said. “I definitely want to keep doing it.”
Halladay, 36, sounds as if he’d like to parlay his spring tutor work into a second career as a coach down the road.
“I think maybe this first year (after playing), I want to make sure that I get to spend the time that I want with my boys and my wife, and that’s my priority,” said Halladay, who retired from a 16-year playing career in December. “Once I see how things work, yeah, I’d love to continue to do it, and if I have more time, do more.
“I’ll always continue doing it. It’s just a matter of starting to figure out how much I can do. Once the kids are (grown up), maybe it’s something to do full time.”
Halladay spent the final four seasons of his career with the Phillies, following a remarkable run in Toronto.
In 2000, his second full season in the big leagues, Halladay went 4-7 with a 10.64 ERA in 19 games. At the time, it was the highest ERA for any pitcher with at least 10 starts in a season in major-league history.
Halladay rebuilt his career when he was sent to A-ball a year later.
He went 135-62 with a 3.13 ERA from 2001-09 with the Blue Jays, racking up 14 shutouts and 47 complete games. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 2003.
Halladay’s dominance continued in his first two seasons in Philadelphia, as he went 40-16 with a 2.40 ERA, five shutouts and 17 complete games. He won the National League Cy Young Award in 2010, when he threw a perfect game in May and became just the second pitcher in baseball history to throw a postseason no-hitter in October.
The final two seasons of Halladay’s career were beset with injuries: he had a 5.15 ERA in 38 starts, made two lengthy stays on the disabled list and required shoulder surgery last May.
Despite the ultra-competitive nature that defined his career, and the fact that he never had the chance to pitch in a World Series, Halladay will not make a comeback attempt.
“For me it was a long decision —it wasn’t something that happened overnight,” Halladay said. “It was the right decision for me. I felt it was the best option and the only option. I still feel good about it.”
Halladay has sat in on coaches meetings this month with the Phillies. He’s also consulted with first-year pitching coach Bob McClure about his own observations, and he’s enjoyed lengthy, one-on-one conversations with several pitchers in camp, including top prospect Jesse Biddle.
“He’s a Hall of Famer,” the 22-year-old Biddle. “He’s unbelievable. There are a lot of things you want to learn from a guy like that.”
Halladay is content with retirement. He’s enjoying time with his family, coaching his sons’ baseball and basketball teams. But since his family home is only a short drive from Clearwater, he’s happy to help his former team, too.
“Anything they want to talk about,” Halladay said. “We’ve talked mechanics, mental stuff, pitch selection. We’ve really kind of covered the gambit. I enjoy talking pitching and talking baseball. And I don’t have all the answers. I don’t claim to, but I’m more than happy to share my beliefs.”