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How do you stop Roy Halladay? Marine says use a giant tankThe good news: A Marine lieutenant colonel (left) finally figured out a way for the St. Louis Cardinals to defeat Roy Halladay(notes).

The bad: It involves actually shooting and killing the Philadelphia Phillies ace pitcher with a 68-ton battle tank.

Seriously, in the history of "uh, you might have gone too far with this one" references, the one captured by Crossing Broad on Tuesday night has to rank way up there. While in the Cardinals broadcast booth to publicize Marine Week in St. Louis, Col. Shane Tomko suggested the hometown team borrow heavy artillery to neutralize Halladay, who gave up one run over six innings in the Phillies' 10-2 win at Busch Stadium.

Could Tomko's plan of attack have been considered a compliment on Halladay's current status as an unstoppable force of nature with his 2.51 ERA? Maybe if he hadn't left us with the impression that his middle name is "Gung Ho" with his unsolicited offering.

Watch the video here

Let's go to the transcript:

Col. Tomko: I'll tell you what, with that M1A1 Abrams (tank) we got across the street, if Halladay keeps on pitching well, we can fix that with one round pretty quickly.

Cards broadcaster Dan McLaughlin: - awkward laugh - I'm sure you could. I don't know if we should say that, but you just did.

OK, so maybe Tomko was just making a bad joke in the "we're going to need a bigger boat" vein?  Surely Tomko would offer a non-threatening laugh of his own and flash that sense of humor that the United States Marine Corps is so famous for. Right?

Not quite.

Col. Tomko: I can say whatever I want because I'm a war fighter, and this is the Cardinals Nation the last time I checked.

Hey, easy there, Tackleberry! Save that kind of ballpark talk for Luke Scott!

Tomko followed up by intimating that Lewis and Clark could have done more in the Western U.S. with the Marines' extensive line of weaponry instead of Sacagawea. Of course he did.

Now, I've been taught that the man in charge of a gigantic battle tank is always right, so I probably wouldn't have even been able to offer McLaughlin's response of "you're making me kind of nervous" in the booth there.

But I will say this: Tomko's willingness to fight and blow any potential threat to smithereens — even very talented baseball pitchers, I guess — probably makes him a very good Marine.

It does, however, make him a rather iffy spokesman for the branch.

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Fox Sports Midwest just sent over this statement: "The comment was an attempt at humor, but was clearly inappropriate. We apologize to any fans who may have been offended."

UPDATE #2: Dan Lamothe, a writer for the Military Times, offers this take on the story:

Somewhere, there are Marine public affairs officers banging their heads on a table, especially since a primary purpose of Marine Week is to reinforce the perception that the Corps is accessible and friendly. Call me crazy, but a battalion commander joking about being able to 'say whatever I want' probably isn't helping in that regard.

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