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Halladay healthy, driven to deliver in 2013

The SportsXchange

Roy Halladay isn't thinking about windows or contracts. He isn't looking for more individual awards or redemption. He doesn't care if his fastball pops off the radar gun.

No, the 36-year-old righthanded starter has only one thing that he seems to worry about right now -- how to get an elusive World Series ring.

"Every year you realize that you are a little older and a little slower and the game is getting quicker and guys are getting younger," Halladay said during an opening day of spring training press conference at the Phillies facility in Clearwater, Fla. "I've felt very fortunate to have played as long as I've played. You don't take days for granted here. I don't think anybody does. So I've never really looked at it that way of what if the better days are behind me. For me, its always looking forward to whats in front of you and whats ahead of you and (trying) to embrace that."

After a rocky 2012 that saw Halladay hindered by a right lat strain and a season-long case of back soreness -- not revealed until this week -- the two-time Cy Young Award winner said that he feels good as the 2013 campaign gets underway.

"I feel like the things we've done this winter have made a big difference," Halladay said. "There is no such thing as a crystal ball. But I'm confident that if I can maintain the way I feel right now, that I'm going to be effective."

Halladay is entering the final guaranteed year of his contract -- which does have a vesting option that would have to qualify with 258 2/3 innings of work. But he also has been a player who has resisted change, picking Philadelphia as his landing spot during a December, 2009 trade instead of going on the open market when he could have made a windfall as a free agent.

"I think all our dialogue right now has been ‘how do we get things going in the direction?'" Halladay said. "Really, that was my concern, I know it was their concern and I'm not at all worried about next season. I really am not. I'm worried about this year and making the most of this year and then you go from there."

To go about it, Halladay changed his workout program to something less reliant on running and more sport-specific and intense.

"It really started at the end of last season when we sat down with the trainers, with the strength coaches, different doctors and coming up with a game plan, I knew what issues where, it was just a matter of 'How do I solve them?' So, really I felt like I had a plan," he said. "More than anything that builds confidence when you feel like you have a plan, an approach, a way of attacking something and your confidence is going to grow. So I felt good about what we were doing."
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