November 16 Philadelphia Daily News:
“Once in a great while, a ballplayer comes along who enhances the performance of a major league team by more than his numbers.
He also changes the perceived culture of the team, alters the chemistry and the image itself, if you will, in a way that extends from the clubhouse inner sanctum to the fan base.
Pete Rose was a difference-maker when he became a free agent after the 1978 season. He told the world that the Phillies were the team he wanted to join, the whining, woe-is-us playoff team that had been rolled over by Rose’s Reds in 1976 and by the Dodgers in 1977 and ’78. He helped them find the mental toughness it took to survive the crucible of the 1980 season and win the first World Series in the long and previously wretched history of the franchise.
A generation later, Roy Halladay has changed the culture of the most successful Phillies team since the Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton years that Rose helped over the hump.
He used the leverage of his impending 2010 walk year to force a trade from the Blue Jays to the team of his choice, the Phillies. It was an intriguing first: The best pitcher in baseball wanting to pitch in a ballpark where routine flies such as Juan Uribe’s recent first-row dagger into the hearts of millions left the yard.
The 6-6 righthander signed a no-hassle, 3-year contract extension that will pay him $20 million a season through 2013, with the Phillies holding a 2014 vesting option for the same salary.
Charlie Manuel beats the sun to work during spring training. The first time the manager arrived at Bright House Field last February, Halladay already was there, in the middle of one of his grueling workouts. Cole Hamels, a physical disappointment in 2009, had worked hard in the offseason with a personal trainer. When he saw Halladay’s routine, he began working even harder. The result was a dramatic turnaround.”
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