I’m not sure what the purpose of this particular list is, but I felt it necessary to make anyway.
Since 2006, there have been twelve players on World Series teams that are former Mets. (I’m going to take for granted that the Tampa Bay Rays will be making it to the World Series.) Here’s the list:
-Kenny Rogers (2006 Detroit Tigers)
-Vance Wilson (2006 Detroit Tigers)
-Braden Looper (2006 St. Louis Cardinals)
-Jose Vizcaino (2006 St. Louis Cardinals)
-Timo Perez (2006 St. Louis Cardinals)
-Preston Wilson (2006 St. Louis Cardinals)
-Jorge Julio (2007 Colorado Rockies)
-Kaz Matsui (2007 Colorado Rockies)
-Clif Floyd (2007 Tampa Bay Rays)
-Dan Wheeler (2008 Tampa Bay Rays)
-Scott Kazmir (2008 Tampa Bay Rays)
-Chad Bradford (2008 Tampa Bay Rays)
Kenny Rogers was booed out of New York after walking Andruw Jones with the bases loaded to eliminate the Mets from the playoffs in 1999.
Vance Wilson was traded from the Mets before the 2005 season for Anderson Hernandez, whose biggest Mets accomplishment was being the “player to be named later” in the deal for Louis Ayala. Wilson had become expendable after the Mets acquired Ramon Castro for no good reason.
Braden Looper’s middle name is “LaVerne.” He was doomed from the start. In 2005, he blew saves on Opening Day (Pedro Martinez’s first Mets start), on the Sunday of the Mets/Yankees series which would have given the Mets a sweet, and on a day in which the Mets gave up an eight-run lead to the Nationals. Needles to say, when the Mets refused to pick up his option for 2006, the Shea faithful were not unhappy.
Jose Vizcaino hit .270 in his illustrious 2-year Mets career.
Timo Perez will forever be regarded as the man who single-handedly cost the Mets Game 1 of the 2000 World Series. Personally, I hate him for it.
Preston Wilson was traded for Mike Piazza in 1998. I’m okay with this.
Jorge Julio ended up as the lesser part of the deal that also brought John Maine to the Mets for Kris Benson in 2006.
Kaz Matsui hit Opening Day home runs in all three seasons with the Mets. Unfortunately, that Opening Day would be the best day of his year in each of those three seasons.
Cliff Floyd was a good guy, but when his contract was up with the Mets after 2006. Maybe it’s because he missed 180 games in his four seasons.
Dan Wheeler was traded for Adam Seuss in 2004. Umm… yeah…
Chad Bradford pitched well in 70 games for the Mets in 2006, and then left as a free agent. Bastard.
Scott Kazmir never actually played for the Mets, but it still hurts. But for the purposes of my argument, I’m going to ignore Scott Kazmir’s connection to the Mets.
Cliff Floyd and Kenny Rogers were past their primes when they left the Mets. Chad Bradfor and Jorge Julio were good bit parts in the pen, but neither was a superstar. Dan Wheeler had not shown the potential that he so clearly has by that point in his career. Kaz Matsui and Braden Looper could not have been less comfortable playing in New York and they needed to go. The others were all bit players at best.
So this all begs some questions: why do these players find success when they leave the team, but fail to make an impact with the Mets? What makes a bit player help a team to a World Series? What changes when a player is removed from the spotlight of New York? And why do those same bit players often have career years when they play for the Yankees?
Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for any of these questions. But I’m finding it very interesting that there’s so many players in this category.