02/21/12 4:15 PM EST
Halladay armed, ready for another title shot
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
"I actually have to talk," he said.
Last year at this time, Halladay sat at a dais with Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton, and his teammates helped answer questions from reporters about one of the greatest rotations in baseball history. But after his workout on Tuesday, Halladay sat alone to discuss his thoughts on the upcoming season and his chase for a World Series championship.
"We've had opportunities here," Halladay said. "That's all I wanted. It hasn't gone the way we wanted it to go. The drive is always going to be there. As long as I play, I want to win as much as I can. I still feel like this is the best place to do it. We've hit teams that were peaking at the right time and playing better than they were at any point in the season. We realize we'd like to hit our peak a little better. But we have talent on this team to overcome playing teams like that. It's also important for us to play because we want to be there, not because we have to do something."
Halladay has done his part to help the Phillies win a World Series. He is 3-2 with a 2.37 ERA in five postseason starts, including a no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds, and a 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS.
Halladay lingered in front of his locker for more than 20 minutes following that loss to St. Louis. He allowed six hits, one run, one walk and struck out seven in eight innings.
He deserved a win, but a first-inning run proved enough for St. Louis.
Halladay said he never thinks about that game or the pitches that led to that first-inning run. But he does think about getting closer to the end of his career and not winning a World Series. Halladay turns 35 in May. He can't pitch forever.
"I realize that I'm not getting younger," he said. "I'm probably going to play less going forward than I've played already, so I understand that. But you know, the greatest thing that's ever happened to me was coming here. I've given myself two chances to be in the playoffs and try to be in the World Series that I wouldn't have had in a lot of other places, let alone where I already was. So, to this point, I have no regrets. If I go the rest of my career and never get another shot, I'll have no regrets. But I wanted that chance and I enjoyed that chance and I'm looking forward to that chance again. But it is -- the window is getting [smaller] and it would be nice, when you do go away, to go away as a world champion. I think any player would want that. And I definitely do."
Halladay came into camp in incredible shape once again. He threw six bullpen sessions before pitchers and catchers held their first official workout on Sunday. He is expected to be the Phillies' Opening Day starter for the third consecutive season. He is ready for another shot.
"I think in the moment, how much you want to win doesn't change whether it's Philadelphia or Toronto," Halladay said. "After the game, I want to win more in Philadelphia. It makes your life a lot easier. It was much easier to walk around Toronto after I lost than it is Philadelphia. But in the moment, if you're a true competitor, you want to win regardless, wherever you are. But they're phenomenal fans. There's nowhere like it in baseball right now. It's been an incredible run they've had, and hopefully something that continues."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.