With a winner having been determined in the World Series, the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) season comes to an end. The Texas Rangers officially won the MLB World Series on Wednesday, November 1. They defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games, marking their first World Series championship in franchise history.
Throughout the season there have been some familiar faces on this Rangers team. Some hit a little too close to home for New York Mets fans, those being Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer.
It’s a tale as old as time. Star players are attracted to the bright lights of New York and join the Mets. They have the highest payroll in all of sports allowing them to acquire whoever they want. But it never goes well and ultimately they leave and find success elsewhere. This was the case for both of these star pitchers who spent some time with the Mets and were arguably their “ace” at some point.
Scherzer is the most recent example as he was traded at the deadline of the 2023 season after the Mets accepted their fate of not making the playoffs. His tenure in New York was complicated. He spent a lot of time on the injured list (IL) and was a shell of his former self. With that being said, he still produced quality numbers and performed as arguably the best pitcher on the team at times. During his time with New York he started in 42 games, posting a 20-9 record, 294 strikeouts, and a superb ERA of 3.02. His most memorable moment, unfortunately, is his blow-up Wildcard game against the Padres in 2022. It marked the worst postseason performance of his career as he allowed 7 runs and 4 home runs.
Scherzer had his moments this year and seemed to be turning things around before the trade deadline. This allowed the Mets to at least gain a solid return in trading Scherzer making Mets fans somewhat satisfied. “Mad Max” ultimately got the better end of the deal as he got his second World Series ring. Now, it’s up for debate on whether Scherzer really impacted this Texas Rangers team enough, especially because of his poor performance in the playoffs. But the harsh reality is that when he left New York he immediately became a champion.
Jacob DeGrom might be the more painful name to hear. He was a home-grown, New York-developed star. He’s been with the franchise since his debut in 2014 and has proven to be the best pitcher in baseball at times. His time here in New York will always be remembered. In 209 games, he had a 82-57 record, 1,607 strikeouts, and a 2.52 ERA. He broke countless franchise and MLB records, and earned 4 All-Star Game appearances, and 2 Cy Youngs. His one downside? He couldn’t stay healthy. The man was made of glass. This was ultimately the reason New York let him go this past offseason.
With the Texas Rangers acquiring DeGrom, they instantly became one of the World Series favorites. His start to the year had Mets fans crying as he showed glimpses of his former self. In his first 6 games started, he had a 2-0 record, 45 strikeouts, and a 2.67 ERA. It was early but he seemed like he could make a run for his third Cy Young award. But, as it was in New York, his season came to an abrupt end due to injury. For this reason, DeGrom was not physically on the roster for the World Series winning team, but he got the ring nonetheless.
“After another tough year as a Mets fan, it only got worse seeing the Rangers win the World Series with Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom,” Patrick Mattia, a Mets fan from Commack. “While most fans like me are happy to see them be successful, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth having to watch former Mets players win everywhere but with the Mets. It’s not just this year though it’s every year with countless other players succeeding on other teams. Just to throw a few names out there: Justin Verlander, Justin Turner, and Zach Wheeler are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s getting hard to watch at this point, and it seems like talent is just being thrown away. There is no definitive solution, no one can predict the future, but something has to change.”
It’s controversial whether or not these former star Mets’ pitchers had anything to do with the Texas Rangers first World Series. But the fact of the matter is that they both received a ring after leaving New York. The Mets have to figure out a way to turn their franchise around before they lose anymore of their star players. Fan morale is at an all-time low, but look out for next season to see if they can flip the script.