Monday, October 29, 2012

The Ring Is The Thing ... Just Not In Flushing

Marco Scutaro (left) and Angel Pagan (right) traded in their orange and blue for some orange and champagne.

Last night, the San Francisco Giants swept their way to their second World Series title in three years.  Meanwhile, it's been 26 years (and counting) since the Mets won their last championship.

Mets fans have proudly been wearing their team colors year after year hoping to see the team claim what has eluded them for over a quarter century.  But some players who have worn those same colors during their time at Shea Stadium and Citi Field have traded them in for another team's colors, winning World Series rings for their new teams while their former fans in New York continue to wait ... and wait ... and wait some more.

Here is a list of players who played for the Mets after the team won its last World Series in 1986 (meaning those players never won a title wearing orange and blue), then left New York to became part of a world championship team elsewhere.  You'll see the player's name, followed by the year or years he played for the Mets, and capped off by when he won a World Series ring for another team.  The list, unfortunately, is longer than we'd like.

Player Name
Years With Mets
World Series Championships Won With Other Teams
Tom Edens
1991 Twins
David West
1991 Twins
Kevin Tapani
1991 Twins
David Cone
1987-92, 2003
1992 Jays, '96-'98, '00 Yankees
Pat Tabler
1992 Jays
Tony Castillo
1993 Jays
Dick Schofield
1993 Jays
Tony Fernandez
1993 Jays
Alejandro Peña
1995 Braves
Charlie O’Brien
1995 Braves
Bobby Bonilla
1992-95, 1999
1997 Marlins
John Cangelosi
1997 Marlins
Allen Watson
1999, 2000 Yankees
Ryan Thompson
2000 Yankees
Jose Vizcaino
2000 Yankees, 2006 Cardinals
Lance Johnson
2000 Yankees
Armando Reynoso
2001 Diamondbacks
Alex Ochoa
2002 Angels
Jorge Fabregas
2002 Angels
Dennis Cook
2002 Angels
Kevin Appier
2002 Angels
Carl Everett
2005 White Sox
Timo Perez
2005 White Sox, 2006 Cardinals
Jason Isringhausen
1995-99, 2011
2006 Cardinals
Preston Wilson
2006 Cardinals
Braden Looper
2006 Cardinals
Xavier Nady
2009 Yankees, 2012 Giants
Guillermo Mota
2010, 2012 Giants
Octavio Dotel
2011 Cardinals
Marco Scutaro
2012 Giants
Angel Pagan
2012 Giants
Joaquin Arias
2012 Giants

But wait, there's more!  Here are four additional notes on former Mets and the World Series rings they won (or in some cases, didn't win) after they left New York.

Note #1:  Darrin Jackson began the 1993 season in Toronto, but was traded to the Mets during the season.  He still received a World Series ring from the Blue Jays even though he finished the 1993 campaign in New York.  Similarly, Miguel Batista started the 2011 season in St. Louis, but was released by the Cardinals and finished the season with the Mets.  Batista was still given a World Series ring by St. Louis for his contributions to the team.

Note #2:  Wally Whitehurst (a Met from 1989 to 1992), and Paul Gibson (a Met in 1992 and 1993) played for the 1996 Yankees, but were never given World Series rings.  Stay classy, Yankee brass.

Note #3:  Bobby M. Jones (a Met in 2000 and 2002; no relation to Bobby J. Jones, who pitched a one-hitter to clinch the 2000 NLDS for the Mets) pitched three games for Boston in April 2004, but was not given a World Series ring when the Red Sox won the championship.  Despite the oversight, they're still classier than the Yankee brass.

Note #4:  Dennis Cook and Braden Looper share the unique distinction of being the only two players since 1986 to win a World Series ring the year before joining the Mets and the year after they moved on to another team.  Cook was part of the Florida Marlins world championship team in 1997, then played for the Mets from 1998 to 2001, before winning his second title as a member of the Anaheim Angels in 2002.  Similarly, Looper also won a title with the Marlins, although his came in 2003.  He then closed (or tried to close) for the Mets in 2004 and 2005, before signing with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 and becoming a part of their championship team.  This is yet another reason to always hate Braden Looper.


Brian Joura said...

I enjoyed this piece.

Most of these were role players who would have done nothing to push the Mets towards a WS title. Bonilla had the talent to but it was never going to happen with him and the Mets.

Tapani was great in 1991 but he wasn't leading that team to the World Series, either.

The biggest regret might have been Jason Isringhausen. Maybe he could have closed out Game 1 and led us to a series victory in 2000. But he had a 3.78 ERA and a 1.435 WHIP that year, so it's not like it was a slam dunk...

Ed Leyro (and Joey Beartran) said...

Thanks, Brian.

I actually did miss Tapani. He won 143 games in a very underrated career. He also got his "revenge" against the Mets in 1998 as a member of the Cubs. In that season, he won a career-high 19 games and won both of his starts against New York. The Mets finished a game behind the Cubs for the wild card (technically a game and a half since the Cubs had to play a 163rd game to decide the wild card). Tapani's two wins versus the Mets certainly helped his team.

I agree with Isringhausen. He's probably going to be one of the players I will spotlight in my annual 13-part weekly series that I do every offseason. I'm keeping the topic hush-hush for now, but Tapani is also a possibility to be one of the players I discuss.

I'm sure many people are missing Marco Scutaro now. He'd make a fine addition to the team on a one or two-year contract. His career has been far better than anyone could have expected.