I had the strangest dream the other day.
There were two versions of me, each reading the newspaper and talking to each other.
About the trade deadline. And about Roy Halladay. You know, the wonderful right-handed pitcher from Toronto who is a six-time All-Star? And one of the versions of me, let’s call this one Pro, was really excited about the prospect of Halladay coming home to Denver in a trade to pitch for the Rockies.
Pro went on and on about how Halladay was a throw-back type of pitcher who went right at hitters, finished his games, and was ruthlessly efficient. He’s one of the most feared pitchers in baseball, he said.
The other version of me, the one sitting in the right side chair with the sunlight glancing across his lap, was adamantly opposed to this idea. He was not opposed Halladay, but he was opposed to surrendering the players that the Blue Jays would demand. He thought that pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez and powerful third baseman Ian Stewart, both starters for the Rockies, were too much to trade.
This alternate version, let’s call him Con, expounded upon Stewart’s upper deck power potential and his athletic fielding around third base, about how the Stewart-Tulowitzki tandem might be the best in the National League for a decade.
But the Pro me countered that a player like Halladay was rarely available, and that he was the sort of pitcher who could propel the Rockies into the playoffs and make them legitimate contenders. There are maybe two or three other pitchers of his quality in the entire National League, he said. And even an organization as penurious as the Rockies could see how success and the allure of the hometown kid (a la Chauncey Billups) could help offset his $10 million salary.
A-ha, said Con. Jimenez, who has some of the most purely nasty stuff in all of baseball, and Stewart are both under 26 and both earn the major league minimum salary of $392,000. Besides, he argued, they both have the potential to be All-Stars for years to come.
But Halladay is an All-Star now! Boy, was Pro inflamed. The Rockies pursued him hotly in 2007, and now he’s theirs for the taking. And it only costs them a couple of young prospects – well, several more would be in the trade, but not of the Jimenez/Stewart caliber. Every single team has prospects, he hollered, but only a handful of teams have All-Pro starting pitchers. And, he added, most of them are in the National League West, the very division the Rockies are trying to compete in.
Dreams are so very bizarre at times. This dream was a perfect summer afternoon, with two intelligent, handsome baseball fans arguing a serious baseball argument. I wondered if the Rockies could actually acquire Halladay? Would he be as good a pitcher here as he is in Toronto, avoiding the nasty American League East? Would Jimenez and Stewart ever mature into the great players they are predicted to be?
The dream was quite vivid, but it got even more scintillating when a third version of me walked into the room, a tray of chilled beverages in his hand.
Hey guys, he said, can you believe that the Rockies are leading the wild card race?
What a great dream!