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October 5, 2010

Roy Halladay


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Roy Halladay.

Q. You've waited a very, very long time to get to the postseason. Have you envisioned what it would be like to walk out on to that mound in the playoffs for the first time in your career?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah. I mean, not -- not recently. It's something I think you do over time. It's something that I think you do a lot more of when you're actually watching other people go through it. You know, I've been, you know, surprised through the whole process, getting ready. Not really surprised, but, you know, you get in your regular routine, your regular preparation and a lot of that envisioning that you normally do once the season's over and you're watching other people go through it, kind of goes away. It kind of takes on the normal process of preparing yourself and going out.
So it's definitely something I've thought about a lot, but, you know, I think since we've got ourselves into the playoffs, it's been more of a preparation mode than anything, and that's been great for me.

Q. What were past Octobers like for you? Did you watch the playoffs? Some guys don't like to watch if they're not in it, did you?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, I did on and off. I would say probably more so last year than any year. Obviously, being -- feeling like we're close to having something done, to come here before the trade deadline, having A.J. Burnett who is an ex-teammate here before, you know. They're also -- I think that kind of brought me a little closer to the whole thing.
I would say I watched it more last year than in any of the past years. But I think you always keep a tab on it. You're always catching up on it. You may not sit and watch every single inning like I probably did last year more than any year.
But there's always -- any time there's always an interest as a player to see what's going on, see how guys are doing, and I think everybody who is not there is envious of the guys who are.

Q. You guys were going through some pretty difficult times like from May through June with all the injuries and things like that. How was Charlie able to kind of keep everything together and keep things from falling apart? Was it just his style or what?
ROY HALLADAY: I thought we had a meeting in New York. I think we got swept in New York. I think at the time we were still in first place and we had a couple of different meetings over the course of the season. But really, the message was that, obviously, we need to get things going in the right direction.
But I think he believed the whole time and I think the players believed the whole time that we would end up where we needed to be. To me, there was no doubt in his mind. Obviously there were things we needed to correct, things we needed to do better. But every meeting it seemed like he still had the trust that we were going to be the team we were supposed to be. You know, that never wavered to me. There was never a sense of urgency. There was definitely a sense of what we needed to do better, what we were lacking, but there was never that urgency of do or die.

Q. You talk about trying to stay in your normal preparation and making everything normal. You've had a little extra time between starts and this is the first time you're in the playoffs. What have you done to try to keep things as normal as possible like another start, really?
ROY HALLADAY: Well, it's really been very normal. I just basically back to back five days and threw a good bullpen. Makes the couple days up until that bullpen regular workdays that I would put in. And then once I threw that bullpen, I took it as a regular five-day rotation.
It was, I think going in not exactly knowing the dates, the times, I think that's a little overwhelming. Once you know when you're playing and you have a plan of going forward with preparing, it makes things a lot easier. I feel great. I felt comfortable with the whole program. I didn't feel like it was anything a lot different than I've been doing all year.

Q. Can you talk a little bit maybe preparation helps a lot, but is the feeling different? I mean, this is why you came to Philly, Philadelphia, and all of a sudden you're in the spot you wanted to be. Is there a different feeling even during preparation?
ROY HALLADAY: There is definitely more excitement. I think you almost feel a sense that you've done the heavy lifting and now you get to enjoy it. You get to do what you wanted to do. Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done.
But I think when you go through the course of 162 games and you're battling every five days, the days in between you feel like now is the time to enjoy it and to -- obviously, you're going to give it everything you have. But when you go out there, I think you have to take it all in, I think, a little bit.
So I'm definitely looking forward to that. I think once the game starts it's business as usual. But you work all off-season, all season to get to this point. You don't want to go through it and miss something. It's definitely something I'm looking forward to. It's a great challenge. It's something I've wanted to do my whole career, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity.

Q. You've kind of walked right into my question. Younger guys, particularly I remember Cole when he pitched against Colorado in the postseason, talked about afterwards that he was too hyped up, he couldn't fall asleep. Being a veteran ace, does that help insulate you from that to a certain extent? And how will you approach it? You kind of hinted at it just now, but will you try to reduce it and make it what it is, which is a big game? How do you go about preparing that way?
ROY HALLADAY: No, I'm going to try to make it the same as every other start. I think over the course of my career I've learned that I think every pitcher would say that you're normally the best when you're relaxed and you're doing things as you normally would.
I think any time you try to put an emphasis on something or create a situation that really isn't there, I think you snowball problems for yourself. You do the best you can to keep things normal, make it a normal game. And I think that's easier said than done.
But once you get on the field, and the game actually starts, I think that's when you're able to do it more than any other time. I think, obviously, the stuff before and stuff after is always going to change, but I think when you're on the field it's easier to control.

Q. Having gone to the last two World Series, there are obviously expectations to go again. So what's it like to be the guy that starts it's off, gets the Game 1 assignment? And in addition to that, can you talk about what's impressed you most about Oswalt and Hamels this year?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah. Well, obviously, it's an honor for me to go out there. At the same time you feel that, you know, we really have three, if not four guys that could do it. And, you know, that's a great feeling going out there. I think it kind of helps with -- you realize there's a lot of guys on this team that can help carry the weight, and I think that's been the beauty of this team the entire season, especially in the second half.
You don't feel like it's always your responsibility. I think it's great to be a part of a team where you can lean on other guys, and we've been able to do that very well here in the second half, and I think that enables you to do a better job when you go out there.
But I've loved being a part of this staff. To be going out there and watching guys dominate the way they have, it's been a lot of fun for me. That is something that I haven't gotten to do a whole lot. I do it from the other dugout, not really the same dugout. So it's been tremendous. And really, Cole, to me, has been since day one by far the most impressive for me to watch. I've seen a lot more than I expected, and I expected a lot. So I've been very impressed with him all year.

Q. Obviously when you were in Toronto you were approaching a point in your career where you could control your destiny to a certain degree, but were you at all concerned that you were never going to get the opportunity to pitch on the big stage and compete for a championship while you were up there?
ROY HALLADAY: Well, yeah, really, I mean, that was my biggest concern. As much as I enjoyed Toronto, I didn't want to pass up an opportunity that I felt like down the road I'd be upset that I missed out on.
It was a perfect storm for me, really. A lot of guys that I had seen, that I admired, that I liked, and I had a chance to go play for that team. Not only did they have good guys, good players, but knew how to win. It just couldn't have worked out any better for me. It really couldn't have.
But as much as I did like it in Toronto, you know, I would have loved to stay, but that was my biggest concern. I have a short window that I need to try and win, and it's an opportunity I can't pass up. I think as much as you enjoy it, you're dreading leaving, and then you come to a place like this and it makes it all worth it. It makes those decisions seem pretty simple once they're done.

Q. Just as a guy who has faced this lineup and obviously studied this Reds lineup, what is the biggest challenges they present for a pitcher?
ROY HALLADAY: They do a lot of things. I think there are guys in the front of the lineup, the leadoff guys not only have power, but can run, can create trouble on the base paths, solid middle of the lineup, and some veteran guys at the end of the lineup. I think they're very well rounded. Obviously, having quite possibly the MVP in the middle of your lineup is extremely helpful.
It's a good team. It's going to be a good challenge for us. I think we're all looking forward to it. But you see these teams all year. I think there's always some sort of a difference. The team that makes it to the playoffs, they find ways to win, they find ways to get themselves in a good position. So there's always a little bit of that factor going in that you know is going to make it a good game.

Q. You kind of just touched on this, but did you give any consideration at all last December that you know what, I'm just a year away from free agency? You signed obviously a healthy extension, but you possibly could have just gone through the year and signed really one of the bigger contracts for a pitcher. Did that ever cross your mind that I could grind out one more year and get the real big payday?
ROY HALLADAY: No. I mean, the contract never was a factor for me. I think the biggest thing for me was going somewhere that had a chance to compete for a couple years, and being able to do that as soon as possible. I think you never really know how long you're going to play. You hate to suck up a year just to be able to control exactly where you go, when you can already go there before that. If things wouldn't have worked out to where it was the Phillies, I don't know. I might have stayed and assessed things afterwards.
I think the biggest factor was there was this team, the one team that I really wanted to go to that was able to make things work. It made it very simple for me. But the biggest factor for me was where can I go that I have a chance to win right away, and not only right away, but hopefully have a couple chances at it. You know, it was a simple decision for me.

Q. Yours and Roy Oswalt's careers have kind of paralleled timeline-wise. How much did you know about him pitching in the American League as you guys kind of worked your way up the ladder? And after you got here, do you remember your first conversation with him or did you talk to him at all before the trade went down? What was that like, you two joining forces?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, I definitely knew about him. Jimy Williams used to stop by a lot in spring training in Dunedin. So just talking about him, I heard a little about Roy early on, this is 2000-2001. So I started to hear about him, definitely watched him a lot. Being in Toronto, you get a lot of those West Coast games, so I'm able to see a lot of those things. Definitely a guy that I like the style and the way he pitched. He was quick, he was aggressive, he challenged guys. You know, I enjoyed that.
Coming over here I didn't really get a chance to know him much as a person, more as a player. But it's been great for me to have a guy like that come in. I think to his credit, not only on the field, he's done a phenomenal job on the field, but I think in the clubhouse. It can be tough coming over midseason and not rocking the boat. And I think he did a great job of coming over, finding his spot in the clubhouse, finding his spot on the team and becoming a part of that. And I've enjoyed getting to know him. He's been phenomenal.

Q. Your June 30th start against the Reds, you gave up 13 hits and then you came back around at Philadelphia and you only gave up five hits and got the win. What do you think the biggest difference was between those two starts for you?
ROY HALLADAY: Eight hits (laughing).

Q. 13 hits on June 30th.
ROY HALLADAY: No, I think you're always aggressive. I'm going to give up hits at times. That's part of who I am. I think if I can control that to a certain extent and control the damage of it, I thinks that's a big factor. So, yeah, I'm going to continue to be aggressive, continue to challenge guys, but I'm going to try to do it on my pitches, get quick outs, get outs on quality pitches, and I think that's the biggest difference.

Q. Was there something though that you saw from your first outing to your second outing?
ROY HALLADAY: No, I think I just executed better. And I think that's with all pitchers. There's never, as much as you study guys, there's never a certain way that I think you have to pitch them. There may be times where you fool them. But I think more than anything it just comes to out-executing, that is the bottom line. If you're executing pitches, you're going to be in great shape one way or the other.

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