10/08/10 5:34 PM ET
Halladay wants focus on team, not himself
Phils ace turned down numerous TV offers after no-hitter
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Yeah, good luck with that.
Halladay met with reporters for the second time since he threw a no-hitter against the Reds in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park. He touched on various topics. Here are the highlights:
On why he turned down an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman and other national media outlets: "I think in season is tough. But I think especially right now, I would like to keep the focus as much on the team as possible. I don't want to stray too far from my routine also. I want to avoid making this a distraction and becoming too much of a story. I think that us being in the postseason is enough excitement, and obviously needs to be the focus. I'm trying to do the best I can to keep it that way."
On his disappointment when he heard Blue Jays teammates say they were more relaxed without him in the clubhouse: "I wasn't disappointed. I think different guys look at different things different ways. I've tried to do things the way I thought was best, not only to help myself prepare, but to help the team prepare. I've seen a great combination of that over here.
"There's obviously a relaxed atmosphere here, but there is an intensity that kicks in. It doesn't always have to be from the time you get to the field, but it's definitely there. You can tell. You get an hour or two before the game, and it's a different atmosphere. I think that's something that you pick up on."
On why he shook off Carlos Ruiz's sign with a 0-1 count to Brandon Phillips with two outs in the ninth inning (it was the only time he shook off Ruiz the entire game): "He wanted fastball up and in. You know, elevating is something I'll do on occasion, but it was just something at that point I wasn't comfortable doing. I felt like I'd rather stay something hard, something away. It was a pitch we hadn't thrown much that night, so to throw the first one or two of them at that point, I wasn't as comfortable with it. I'm sure it wasn't so much the pitch as my comfort that I had of throwing it right there. I just felt there were one or two other pitches I'd rather throw first."
On a specific moment he got comfortable throwing to Ruiz: "I thought definitely for us it was a car ride. We drove to Tampa to pitch in the Minor League game and we rode together. Just got to talk a little bit, and that's where I first kind of realized how much pride he took in catching. He made a couple comments to me that he wants to take control of the game and be responsible for the game. That he feels bad when he feels like he's not calling the right pitches or guys don't trust what he's doing, that stuck out to me. To have a guy that wants to be responsible, that wants to be making the decisions is a lot. That's taking on a lot. So just kind of having that conversation, that drive, spending the time together, definitely kind of helped us break the ice and get to know each other a little bit and trust in each other. I think he trusts what I'm trying to do and I obviously trust what he's doing also."
On who drove to Tampa: "Chooch. He didn't get lost either, so I was impressed."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.