Former Mets in the Postseason

The Mets can’t make it to the postseason, but at least some former Mets are able to get in.

It seems that every year at this time, even though the Mets’ season is over, I see familiar faces still on the field. I’m sure it’s just a function of annual turnover and nothing out of the ordinary to see former Mets scattered about the rosters of playoff clubs, but it’s still simultaneously annoying and comforting. Annoying, for the obvious reasons, and comforting, because these are players for whom I’ve rooted in the past, and it’s nice to be able to root for them again — especially in games that really matter.

Some of the Mets I’ve seen already include:

Darren O’Day (Orioles), who pitched spectacularly in relief for Baltimore. Remember when the Mets didn’t have room for him on their roster?

Luis Ayala (Orioles). We didn’t actually see him on the mound, but the fact that he was available in the ‘pen is enough. He’s like Darren Oliver or the pitcher mentioned below under Honorable Mention, in that every year you think he’s retired, or out of baseball, and at the end of the year he shows up on a postseason club.

Omar Quintanilla (Orioles). I don’t remember for sure, but I probably had snarky words for the Mets’ signing of Quintanilla, but when he was up with the big club, he performed as well as one could expect — maybe a little better.

Endy Chavez (Orioles). No “catch” seen by Endy yet, but it’s early. Hmmm … four former Mets on the O’s postseason roster? There must be a former Met scout or official with some pull somewhere in the organization.

Chip Hale (Orioles). Oh, maybe THAT’S the connection! I have to say, I was absolutely thrilled to see gritty Chip manning the third base coaching box. The Mets never should have allowed him to escape — the guy is a winner.

Carlos Beltran (Cardinals). Funny, even though Beltran was in a Mets uniform only 15 months ago, it feels like 15 years ago.

Nelson Cruz (Rangers). Holy Jorge Velandia! OK, he doesn’t really count, since the Mets sent him away when he was a teenager in the low minors and he never donned the official orange and blue. But still.

Honorable Mention

Miguel Batista (Braves). Completely under the radar, Batista wormed his way onto Atlanta’s 25-man roster in late August and very nearly made the Wild Card roster. No kidding.

To Be Seen Soon Enough

Freddy Garcia (Yankees)

Octavio Dotel (Tigers)

Miguel Cairo (Reds)

Wilson Valdez (Reds)

Guillermo Mota (Giants)

Yusmeiro Petit (Giants)

Angel Pagan (Giants)

Marco Scutaro (Giants)

Jesus Flores (Nationals)

I think that’s everyone; if I missed anyone, let me know in the comments.

What does it mean? Probably nothing. But as each of the above players makes an appearance, there will be a little, tiny place in my heart rooting for him.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Izzy October 6, 2012 at 11:13 am
    How could you have missed the man who brought us our last championship…..? Davey Johnson was a heck of a lot more of a Met than 90% of the guys you have listed.
    • Joe Janish October 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm
      Dang! How DID I miss that one? Guess it’s been such a long time since the Mets had a great manager, I forgot.

      Thanks!

  2. Josh October 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    Honorable Mentions-
    Ron Washington was a coach with the Triple A Tidewater Tides and then Norfolk Tides for the first half of the 90′s!

    Travis Blackley played for Buffalo briefly in 2010.

  3. Joe October 6, 2012 at 12:26 pm
    The Os thus are the honorary Mets team.

    A bit of trivial:

    “Making his MLB debut on May 20, 2007, in an interleague game against the New York Mets, Clippard recorded his first MLB win.[31] He pitched six innings, giving up one run off the bat of David Wright and three hits. He struck out his first major league batter, José Reyes, on three pitches. He recorded his first career hit in his second at-bat off Mets pitcher Scott Schoeneweis, a double to right center in the sixth inning.”

    And, he has a pretty good baseball name. Non-germane, perhaps, but I’m sure Gary Cohen would cite it if given the chance.

    • argonbunnies October 7, 2012 at 5:49 pm
      I notice you omitted the identity of Clippard’s team at the time: THE YANKEES.

      Regardless, I think I’m rooting for the Nats. I like big turn-arounds, smart roster moves, Davey, Jordan Zimmermann, and, yes, Harper. And, y’know, it’d be even more embarassing to have our division stomped by a team that whiffed in the postseason.

  4. argonbunnies October 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm
    Easiest player mentioned to root for: Endy.

    I’ll root for Beltran as much as I can while rooting against the Cardinals.

    Remembering how Ayala screwed us in ’08, I’ll be rooting against him as much as I can while rooting for the Orioles.

    Pagan is sort of in between. I certainly won’t root against him, but it’d sting a bit if he had a monster postseason.

    After those guys, the next most Met-ful association I have is actually Yusmeiro Petit, who I was extremely high on as a prospect, and later had the bad luck to get called up in Arizona, where his extreme flyball tendencies resulted in death by HRs.