Phillies

'A Tormented Man:' ESPN's 'Imperfect' examines Roy Halladay's battle with addiction

'A Tormented Man:' ESPN's 'Imperfect' examines Roy Halladay's battle with addiction

Every Phillies fan remembers Roy Halladay’s perfect game against the Miami Marlins that took place 10 years ago today.

The image of Doc embracing Carlos Ruiz is crystal clear in all of our minds. It’s how many fans remember Roy.

What’s not as clear — something we’ve all heard rumblings about — is Halladay’s battle with addiction after walking away from the game of baseball.

That battle will be on full display this evening when Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story airs as an E:60 Special on ESPN at 7:00 pm.

The one-hour program dives deep into the battle Halladay fought with addiction by speaking to those closest to him. Roy’s widow Brandy shares honest and hard details about her husband’s dependence on pain medications throughout his life, including during his playing days in Philadelphia.

The special shares that at the end of the 2013 season Halladay checked in to a drug rehabilitation center in Florida to treat his opioid addiction. Brandy speaks about her memories of that experience and the shame that contributed to it not proving successful for her husband. Roy entered rehab for a second time in 2015 that lasted three months, according to a trailer for the series.

Brandy shares that Roy was formally diagnosed with ADD, depression and anxiety.

“Everyone sees him as this very strong, dominant person, but he was terrified. He was terrified that people wouldn’t think he was good enough. He didn’t want to let anybody down. He, for whatever reason, didn’t feel that he had the luxury of making mistakes. He was tormented. He truly was. He was a tormented man,” Brandy said.

In addition to Roy’s son Braden and baseball great Alex Rodriguez, the special features former Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee and teammate Kyle Kendrick. The special spans Roy’s early days in baseball through his peaks with the Toronto Blue Jays and Phillies, as well as the tragic plane crash that took his life and how those who loved him attempt to come to terms with the loss.

“For Brandy, reliving her husband's tragic last years has been painful but, by her own admission, necessary as she strives to contextualize her late husband's drug use and struggles with mental health. She wants people to know: There was more to her husband than what haunted him,” the special’s creators wrote.

“Everybody should be able to ask for help and they should not be judged and looked down on for that,” Brandy said.

The one-hour special airs tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN. You can watch the trailer for it below.

Phillies’ 2021 schedule includes a bucket list trip for baseball fans

Phillies’ 2021 schedule includes a bucket list trip for baseball fans

Three days after MLB’s 2020 schedule came out, the league released the 2021 schedule.

There’s so much uncertainty around baseball right now, with COVID-19 cases around the league, issues with testing, players opting out and many others wary of the virus. There will be no fans in the stands in 2020, but this look at the 2021 schedule provides some early excitement for if/when the coronavirus pandemic slows enough to allow fans back into stadiums.

The Phillies will open the 2021 season at home against the Braves on April 1. The first four series alternate between Braves and Mets, the first two at home and next two on the road.

The Phils’ earliest 2021 non-division road trip is to Colorado and St. Louis from April 23-29.

The month of May includes two long road trips — a nine-gamer through Atlanta, Washington and Toronto, and another nine-game trip to Miami, Tampa and Cincy the week of Memorial Day. The Phillies also have a home weekend series against the Red Sox.

The Phillies face a daunting slate in June, with 11 consecutive games against the Nationals, Braves, Yankees and Dodgers. That Dodgers series is the Phils’ first West Coast swing, with a series in San Francisco to follow.

The Phillies are home for July 4 (a Sunday) against the Padres and then close out the first half of 2021 on the road at Wrigley Field and Fenway Park in back-to-back series. That is a bucket list trip for many baseball fans.

From July 22 through Aug. 15, the Phils play 17 of 24 games at home, before their final West Coast trip to Arizona and San Diego.

September/October 2021 is not as heavy a dose of division matchups as usual for the final month. Only 13 of the Phillies’ 30 regular-season games after Sept. 1 are against NL East teams. Their final week is a trip to Atlanta and Miami.

The Phillies’ interleague schedule is entirely against the AL East, so these two divisions will become quite familiar over the next 15 months. The Phillies play the Rays, Blue Jays, Yankees and Red Sox on the road. They host the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays and Orioles.

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Who is that masked man at first base? It might be Rhys Hoskins

Who is that masked man at first base? It might be Rhys Hoskins

Rhys Hoskins is taking Major League Baseball’s health protocols very seriously.

Heck, he wore a mask during a zoom video session with reporters after Wednesday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park.

Hoskins did not wear a mask during the game.

But he may opt to wear one when the regular season starts on July 24.

Or even sooner.

Hoskins is a first baseman and that position isn’t exactly the best place to employ social distancing. You have to hold runners on base, take pickoff throws from the pitcher and make sweep tags on runners diving back to the base. Occasionally, a first baseman and base runner get physically tangled. You know, the throw from the pitcher is off-line. The first baseman lunges to stop it from going down the right-field line. Next thing you know, the first baseman is sprawled on top of the base runner.

That doesn’t exactly qualify as good social-distance practice.

So Hoskins may don a mask in the field one of these days.

“I thought that any time I was on the field, I would not be wearing a mask, but maybe it’s something I keep in my back pocket in a Ziploc baggie or something,” Hoskins said. “When somebody gets on first, I throw it on."

“It might make some more sense if I am wearing a mask in the field.”

Sitting outside the Phillies’ clubhouse, Hoskins tugged on the mask he was wearing during his zoom interview. 

“I’m not super bothered by it,” he said. “These are pretty comfortable. Hot for sure but the expense of being hot is worth not catching this thing and potentially ruining a season. It’s definitely something I’ll have to give thought to and ask the trainers and see what they say and go from there. I’m not opposed to it.”

Hoskins knows full well what a beast coronavirus can be. He and teammate Scott Kingery are longtime best buds. Kingery spoke of his battle with coronavirus earlier this week.

First base is baseball’s water cooler and the men who play the position are generally gregarious by nature. Hoskins is no exception. He likes to chat with base runners and share a laugh during breaks in the action.

That practice might be going away. Just like spitting.

Will Hoskins chat with base runners?

“I don't know if I will,” he said. “At least if I am, it's definitely not looking at him. I'll probably just continue to look at the pitcher.  

“But yeah, that's something that happens, I think, on every baseball field. Runner on first, there's usually some sort of exchange and off we go, we're talking about whatever we're talking about. Again, just a little adjustment that we'll have to make."

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