As expected Mets reliever Tim Byrdak has decided to undergo shoulder surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule, which potentially could end the 39-year-old’s career.
Byrdak told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that his goal is to return late next season, but he understands how difficult that may be:
It’s been a very emotional two days. The hardest part was talking to my two little guys and telling them there’s a real good chance that dad might not play big league baseball no more. It’s something I can’t avoid. I could try to do the rehab. But my way of life–I want to play catch with my sons, I want to coach them and throw BP to them and stuff like that–and if I want to do that, I have to have this thing fixed
Byrdak had a pretty nice career considering he didn’t secure a regular gig in the majors until age 33. From that point on he logged 269 innings with a 3.62 ERA and has earned more than $5 million.
Rubin notes that Mets pitchers Johan Santana and Chris Young had the same surgery previously, with Santana returning after 20 months and Young returning after 13 months.
In 2016, late pitcher Roy Halladay was asked if he would prefer to wear a Blue Jays or Phillies cap on his plaque if he were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Per Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star, Halladay said, “I’d go as a Blue Jay.” He added, “I wanted to retire here, too, just because I felt like this is the bulk of my career.”
Obviously, circumstances have changed as Halladay tragically died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida in November 2017. Halladay was elected to the Hall of Fame yesterday, becoming the first player to be posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility since Christy Mathewson in the Hall of Fame’s inaugural year.
Today, Arash Madani reports that Halladay’s wife Brandy said her late husband will not wear a cap with the emblem of either team on his plaque. He will instead be portrayed with a generic baseball cap. Brandy said, “He was a Major League Baseball player and that’s how we want him to be remembered.”
Halladay spent 16 years in the majors, 12 with the Blue Jays and four with the Phillies. He meant a lot to both teams. He was a six-time All-Star and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2003 with the Jays. He won the NL Cy Young in 2010 with the Phillies and was a runner-up for the award in 2011, making the All-Star team both years and helping the Phillies continue their streak of reaching the postseason, which lasted from 2007-11. Halladay authored a perfect game in the regular season against the Marlins and a no-hitter in the postseason against the Reds as a member of the Phillies in 2010 as well.
In aggregate, Halladay won 203 games with a 3.38 ERA and 2,117 strikeouts in 2,749 1/3 innings during his storied 16-year career which was unfortunately cut a bit short by injuries.