blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter
blogging Phillies baseball and the home of Phillies Talk Podcast by Rich Baxter

HOF Day: Halladay’s accident covered by drugs cloud – it was no ‘out of the blue’ accident

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The Pirates seemed to have fun in their throwback uniforms, beating the Phillies caused them to jump with joy

As my headline read yesterday, “Phils win, but can they keep winning?” – the answer was ‘no’ last night, as the Phils bats stayed in the racks and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat them by a 5-1 score. What happened to the small ball hits that got the Phillies back into the winning column?

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Not sure who the Phillies should stay with as a starter, Pivetta or Eflin or neither so far Pivetta is in the pen, if the Phils add a starter, Eflin could be gone too

We saw some different relief pitchers last night, finally the Phils seem to have a clue about the fact that they needed to do this. Zach Eflin, Phillies starter, went 4.0 I and gave up 3 ER on 5 H – the bullpen then took the rest of the game and combined they gave up 8 H and only 2 R on the night. The Phils offense had no answer last night with 29 AB, they could only muster 3 H and were 0-5 with RISP.

It’s Hall of Fame Day in Cooperstown, a huge heatwave has enveloped the entire Northeast, so it will be hot up there, and a former Phillies and Blue Jay will be going into the Hall. Roy Halladay will be a Hall of Famer today, unfortunately he died in a plane crash. Halladay was a fabulous pitcher, an autopsy revealed that Halladay was on many medications at the time of the crash, he was not even able to operate a motor vehicle let alone an airplane under these drugs that were in his system at the time of the crash. In other words he was on drugs. His final flight took his plane just 75 feet from houses, if he would have crashed into them, it could have been even a worse catastrophe. Was this a suicide attempt? The NTSB report from flight data revealed the plane also went down the beach line at just 11 feet GPS and 92 knots, this is really bizarre.

A writer from Sports Illustrated talks about Roy and what happened

Another question was Halladay addicted to these drugs? For how long? Here’s an excerpt from Flying Magazine about the Halladay crash, this was no ‘happened out of the blue’ accident, he was intoxicated and under the influence of drugs. Very little has been said about this. I guess drugs pass the muster of the Hall of Fame and Baseball? Or worse a connotation that when Halladay died, he was actually risking a catastrophe with the way he operated that plane, taking a guy who is as celebrated on the field as Halladay was and replacing him with a ‘John Q Public’ if they did this, what would the opinion be?

Halladay’s blood report listed zolpidem, amphetamine, free morphine and ethanol, while the urine test uncovered cotinine, dihydromorphone, fluoxetine, hydromorphone, morphine, morphine metabolities, nicotine and zolpidem. A physician/pilot I spoke to about the results said there was no doubt Halladay was “soused,” when he crashed. He also said some of the drugs, most of which are not on the FAA’s list of approved medications, were essentially contradictory, like zolpidem, a generic name for Ambien, a sleep aid, and amphetamine and Adderall a medication to perk people up and is often used to treat ADD. Fluoxetine was another strange addition to this medical cocktail of Halladay’s. Fluoxetine is a generic name for Prozac used to treat depression.

This kind of changes my opinion about Halladay, of course I loved his pitching but I wonder if he was on these meds when he was playing? I’ve always heard of his awesome work ethic, his getting to the ballpark early. But then all of this? It doesn’t really sit that well, straitlaced looking athlete during his career and then drug addicted flyer in his retirement? It just goes to show you that you don’t know about these players, they have a public persona that everything is just great, and then these kind of things happen.

This is a quote from Forbes Magazine on the Halladay levels of amphetamines in his body at the time of the crash:

“That amphetamine level shocks me,” Dr. Mitchell Garber said after reviewing the report of the District 6 Medical Examiners office in Tampa. The level taken from Halladay’s cardiac blood was 1,800 ng/ml. “I saw that number and said, ‘Am I reading that right? 1,800, holy cow.’ That just jumps off the page at me.”
Amphetamine in the system can cause death at 500 ng/ml. An overdose can produce symptoms that could lead to reckless piloting of an airplane or debilitating the pilot with convulsions, hallucinations, restlessness and cardiac arrest. Dr. Garber noted that according to reference material on amphetamine overdose, death does not happen right away but can take several hours.

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