I thought it would be fun to see what links there are between the two teams in the World Series and the Toronto Blue Jays. If I miss any, please feel free to add them all in the comments, as I’m always interested to get more facts straight and find them interesting.
The most impactful link between the Jays and these two teams is none other than 3B Micheal Young. The Jays drafted Michael, a very good friend of Vernon Wells, in the 5th round of the 1997 draft and signed him soon thereafter. They wound up trading him to Texas, along with Darwin Culliban, in return for Estaban Loaiza in July of 2000. Since that time, the Jays have had an endless stream of mediocrity at SS and 3B, making you wonder what could have been if they would have retained Young. Loaiza never had an ERA under 5 with the Jays and wound up lasting 2 seasons before taking his lame show to the Chicago White Sox. Gord Ash was GM when this deal was made, which I wanted to clarify for those who were ready to blame JP Ricciardi. Gord had been under trumendous pressure, which may explain why he dealt for such a mediocre pitcher at such a high cost. It didn’t work out, and he lost his job in 2001.
The next biggest link is none other than the speedy big boy behind the plate, Bengie Molina. He spent one very productive season with the Jays, hitting .284 with 19 HRs and 57 RBI after signing a 1 year $4,500,000 deal. However, like me, the Jays considered him too heft and thought his weight would catch up to him as he got older. Did it? No way, as he has proven to be as steady as you can get behind the plate with 3 very nice years for the Giants, who were able to keep Buster Posey in the minors for a longer period as a result. That’s the biggest link between the 2 WS teams as well, Bengie vs Buster. I would be willing to bet that both will get some clutch hits.
Jackie Moore is not a household name in Toronto, but he was a member of the Jays coaching staff in the early years, from 1977 to 1979. Being part of the innaugural coaching staff sure makes him an important part of Jays history, and thus gives Jays fans 1 more reason to cheer for the Rangers during this World Series.
Current Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti is the lone Giant I could find with a link to the Blue Jays. He played for the Jays in 1994, after signing a 1 year FA deal. However, he only threw 13.1 innings for the Jays and therefore does not really have much history with the franchise.
As you can see above, there are more reasons to cheer for the Rangers during this World Series than the Giants, therefore, that’s who I will be cheering for. Add to that list the fact that Ron Washington and Josh Hamilton have overcome so much to get to where they are today, the fact that Nolan Ryan is the new owner and the first Rangers owner with credibility, and the fact that Vladdy Guerrero (my favorite ex-Expos) plays for them, and it all adds up to my cheering for the Rangers this week.
Again, if I missed anyone, let me know and I’ll be more than happy to add him to the list!
Enjoy this year’s World Series, as it should be a dandy and doesn’t include the evil empire!