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Roy Halladay’s life was celebrated yesterday

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Yesterday was not Roy Halladay’s funeral. Rather, it was a “celebration of life” for the late Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher. It took place in Clearwater, Florida on the Phillies spring training field. It featured Halladay’s family, friends and teammates, all of whom shared their stories and memories.

Chase Utley, Charlie Manuel, Carlos Ruiz, Chris Carpenter and J.P. Ricciardi were among the speakers from Halladay’s baseball life. His father, Roy Halladay Jr. and his wife Brandy Halladay likewise spoke.  In attendance were former teammates and friends Frank Thomas, Jimmy Rollins, Jose Bautista, Cito Gaston, Ryan Howard, A.J. Burnett, Carlos Ruiz, Aaron Hill, Shane Victorino, Orlando Hudson, Brad Lidge, Scott Rolen, Cliff Lee, B.J. Ryan, Raul Ibanez, John McDonald and Kyle Kendrick.

From Brandy Halladay’s 18-minute speech, which invoked her sons, Braden and Ryan Halladay, who are 17 and 13, respectively:

“We miss him, but we still have so much of him. We still have a million phone cords and iPads. We have enough cigars to open our own store. We have a garage full of model airplanes. We still have his not-so-secret stash of hidden ice cream sandwiches. And best of all, I still get to see him every day because I look at you. And if this is what it took for me to have you boys, then it’s worth it.”

Tough stuff, but warm memories of a man who will be long remembered:

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.