With ESPN’s latest documentary series “Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story” set to air Friday, one of Halladay’s longtime teammates and friends, Chris Carpenter, revealed just how complicated his friendship with Halladay really was.
Speaking on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” Thursday, Carpenter expressed regret about how he and Halladay, who died in a plane accident that was believed to be as a result of flying under the influence in November 2017, grew apart during their “post-playing days.”
“We both struggled, we both had issues,” Carpenter said. “Unfortunately, that’s something I wish I could take back. From that time until he passed, I was dealing with my own stuff, trying to get my own life together. Now, as we all know, so was Doc. I just wish I could have some of that time back, and maybe we could’ve gone through our things together, worked together, to try to fix it, to try to help him, and he try to help me.
“But you can’t take back what has happened, I’m just trying to move forward with loving on who he was, what he brought to this world, and also hold on to some of the memories that he brought to me.”
It’s unclear what personal issues Carpenter was dealing with at the time. What did become known following Halladay’s death was that he had been battling an addiction to opioids. On Nov. 7, 2017, Halladay died after crashing his ICON A5 amphibious plane off the Gulf of Mexico.
A number of drugs, including a muscle relaxer, an opioid, a sleep aid, morphine and an anti-depressant, were found in his system following an autopsy after the crash.
Halladay and Carpenter, who played 15 season the MLB, came up through the Toronto Blue Jays organization and appeared in the majors together from 1998 until 2002.
“It definitely is something that weighs heavy on my heart. I think when we both ended our careers, we definitely had our struggles,” Carpenter said. “I’ve shared before with many people that the game teaches you a lot — it teaches you responsibility; it teaches you how to compete; it teaches you how to navigate people, with all the different people that come into the clubhouse; it also teaches you and reminds you to stay financially secure because you retire at such an early age.
“What they don’t teach you is going from that everyday structure, that everyday competition … and then once it ends, you have nothing. You gotta figure out how to restructure your life when you’ve been doing it for the last 20 years.”