Morton again shrugs off Halladay comparisons

Morton again shrugs off Halladay comparisons

Morton again shrugs off Halladay comparisons
ATLANTA -- While engaging in a 10-minute-plus conversation with reporters on Thursday, Charlie Morton emphasized one thing in particular again and again and again.

He is not trying to be Roy Halladay.

All season long, Morton has been hearing Halladay comparisons. Opponents have said it, as have fans and members of the media. Look closely at Morton's delivery motion and reliance on the sinker, and it's easy to understand why. He mirrors Halladay in a lot of ways, particularly since adopting the same shoulder tuck Halladay uses during his motion.

That tuck, though, is the only part of Halladay's motion that Morton deliberately emulated. There was no purposeful attempt made at becoming just like the Phillies ace. Rather, in Morton's attempts to find any change that would help him rebound from 2010, he just so happened to settle into a motion that looks like that of someone else.

"It's not like we had posted frame-by-frame posters of him," Morton said. "Anything that I was doing and anything I've done in my career mechanically has been done to benefit my career. It's not to gain notoriety because I look like somebody or I'm trying to be somebody.

"The only thing I try to do that he does is the tuck thing he does with his shoulder. And I doubt I even do it right."

There was a purpose to all this talk about Halladay on Thursday. As the schedule would have it, Morton will oppose the Philadelphia right-hander in Friday's series opener. While that matchup might be intriguing to everyone else, Morton wasn't even certain who he was facing until someone confirmed it to him.

"It's a story. I understand," Morton said. "The second I start worrying about who I'm pitching against, it's going to occupy my mind more so than it should. Also, it's going to take away from me going over their hitters. It's been more of a story than anything at the forefront of my mind."

Morton faced the Phillies back in June and earned a win with a seven-inning, two-run performance.