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Halladay proves up to Cy-level hype

NEW YORK — Roy Halladay arrived in Philadelphia to a standing ovation, a $60 million contract extension and the billing as baseball's top ace. That was before he threw a pitch.

Doc delivered, and then some.

Halladay added another victory to an almost perfect season Tuesday, unanimously winning the NL Cy Young Award and becoming the fifth pitcher to earn the honor in both leagues.

"It's by far the most fun I've ever had playing this game," he said on a conference call from Mexico, where he was golfing with Phillies teammate Mike Sweeney, Cardinals star Chris Carpenter and free-agent pitcher Chris Young.

"It was everything I hoped it would be," Halladay said. "I'm looking forward to trying to improve on it next year."

In the year of the pitcher, he became the only one ever to throw a perfect game and no-hitter in the same season, the latter coming in the playoffs.

Halladay was an easy choice after going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts. He led the league in wins and topped the majors in innings (2502/3), shutouts (four) and complete games (nine). His ERA was the lowest for a Phillies starter since 1992.

Halladay received all 32 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright was second and Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez third.

"It's surprising," Halladay said. "There could have been a lot of cases made, strong cases."

This year's AL Cy Young Award winner will be announced Thursday. Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez, Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia and Rays left-hander David Price appear to be the favorites.

Acquired from Toronto in December, Halladay quickly adjusted to a new league and added to the 2003 AL Cy Young he won with the Blue Jays.

Halladay pitched a perfect game at Florida on May 29. Voting for the award ended after the regular season; then three days later Halladay pitched a no-hitter against the Reds in his postseason debut.

Halladay's seven-year gap between Cy Youngs ties the longest in history, matching Tom Glavine.

"To be able to do it again after so long," he said, "means a lot to me."

CUBS ASK FOR AID: Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts trotted out iron workers, restaurant owners and more, saying all will benefit from his proposal to use $200 million in state bonds to help renovate Wrigley Field.

Flanked by representatives of unions and civic groups, Ricketts tried to dispel suggestion that his proposal would cost the public — unless they come through the turnstiles — any money at all.

"This is not a new tax, not an increased tax and a tax only paid by people who come to Cubs games and buy Cubs tickets," he said. "Taxpayers are being asked for nothing."

SHEPPARD HONORED: Congress is honoring the late Yankee Stadium public-address announcer Bob Sheppard.

New York congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy introduced the resolution in tribute to his lifetime achievement. It was passed by the House of Representatives.

Sheppard died in July at 99.

WATSON OUT: Bob Watson will retire at the end of the year as baseball's vice president in charge of discipline. Watson, 64, has decided penalties for brawls, intentional hit batters and other matters since 2002 in his role as VP of on-field operations.

Halladay proves up to Cy-level hype 11/16/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 11:53am]
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