Everyone in baseball was shocked this past December when news broke that Roy Halladay would be retiring from the game he's dominated for so long.
But it didn't take long for the announcement to come that he would not be leaving the game for good.
By January, it was official. Halladay would be a guest instructor with the Phillies once camp started.
It wasn't something that was an immediate decision for Halladay, who said he first spoke with Ruben Amaro Jr. about being an instructor at baseball's winter meetings. Halladay wanted to make sure he'd still have enough time to spend with his family, so when Amaro called him after Christmas and assured Halladay the flexibility he desired, the eight-time All-Star accepted.
Halladay said the Phillies weren't the only team he's helped out as he spoke with reporters at Bright House Field Wednesday. He's assisted the Blue Jays as well.
"I went over a month ago, they had a rookie camp, I talked to the guys there," said Halladay. "You know, I'm just trying to help out where I can. But I've really enjoyed being in this organization. Being here recently, I feel like I know people here really well, and that makes it easy to come in and feel comfortable. I really like that part of it."
New pitching coach Bob McClure loves the luxury of having Halladay around this month.
"Doc is such a level-headed person … If he's critical, it's in a helping way and not a bashing way," said McClure. "It's more like he's being critical to help the guy. It's not, 'He can't do this,' it's, 'He's having trouble doing this, and this is how he can do it.' It's been outstanding."
Is coaching something Halladay might eventually do full-time?
Halladay didn't give a definitive answer, but said it's something he could do after his sons are older and leave the house. Right now, he's going to continue helping out where he can, while balancing time with his family.
While he still felt the need to be working out during the winter, the 36-year-old isn't having any second thoughts regarding walking away from the game as a player. He also doesn't let the fact that he never won a World Series bother him.
"I figured the only way I could walk away is knowing I did everything I could to prepare myself and to compete the best I could," explained Halladay. "I felt like I did that to my best ability throughout my career."
One of the main concerns Wednesday at the Carpenter Complex was a possum, foaming at the mouth, sitting on the left field fence at Ashburn Field during morning workouts.
A Florida police officer and a Phillies staff member stood in left field to ensure player safety before the possum eventually jumped off the opposite side of the fence.
After fleeing from the fence, and before anyone was harmed, the possum was trapped in a garbage can and safely removed from the complex.