It's certainly been very painful for Roy Halladay to throw a baseball during the past two seasons. As all Philadelphia Phillies' followers know, it's been nearly as excruciating to watch him work as well.
'Doc' was the greatest starting pitcher of his generation. With the past tense fully noted in that last statement, an even older story must be told.
The lanky lefty, whose masterful slider once perplexed the greatest hitters of his day, just didn't know when to quit. The final three painful seasons that he lingered in the major leagues never overshadow all that he accomplished. They also didn't prevent a call to Cooperstown. But, a more realistic response by Carlton, or the teams that continued to employ him during that time, would have stopped what became a very sorry scene.
Halladay hasn't embarrassed himself yet. He has simply fulfilled his current contract and legitimately tried to return from serious shoulder surgery.
There have been other great hurlers who won a ton of pitching awards, but never wore a World Series ring. Many similarly failed 'comeback' baseball stories were written because other men tried to reach that final goal as well.
No one, including Carlton himself, will probably be able to convince Halladay that his time on the mound has ended until zero offers of major league employment are seen. Regrettably, that might not happen for a year, or more.