(Adrian Beltre is congratulated by Rangers president Nolan Ryan after his three-homer game in Tuesday’s Division Series clincher over Tampa Bay. Photo by Associated Press).
It’s hard to watch the MLB postseason and not notice the parade of former Mariner players. Not when Adrian Beltre busts loose with three home runs for Texas, Yuniesky Betancourt and Willie Bloomquist are starting opposite each other at shortstop, J.J. Putz is closing out an Arizona victory, and Doug Fister is lined up to pitch the decisive fifth game in the Tigers’ series with the Yankees.
My first thought was that, well, I’m sure the followers of every other team in baseball is saying the same thing about their former players. So I set out on a project (which ended up taking a lot longer than I thought it would, but was actually some fun research): I checked out every player on the postseason roster, and wrote down each of his former teams, if there were any. I only counted teams for which that player reached the majors. If he was in the minor leagues with another organization, but didn’t make it up to the majors, I didn’t count that organization. Then I made a list of all the teams in baseball, and put a check next to each one represented by a former player.
Lo and behold, when I had finished, the Mariners had more checks than anyone — 16, to be exact. Next in line was the Kansas City Royals with 15, and the White Sox, Braves and Dodgers with 13 each. The team with the fewest former players represented in the postseason is last year’s World Series champion, the Giants, with just three.
Here, for the record, are the 16 former Mariners who were on the active roster for the division seres in this year’s postseason (a 17th, Josh Wilson, just missed the cut. The Brewers’ final roster spot reportedly came down to Wilson or Taylor Green, with Green getting the nod):
Rangers: Endy Chavez, Adrian Beltre, Yorvit Torrealba
Rays: Casey Kotchman
Yankees: Freddy Garcia, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano.
Tigers: Doug Fister, Ramon Santiago
Phillies: Cliff Lee, Raul Ibanez, Wilson Valdez
Cardinals: Arthur Rhodes
Diamondbacks: J.J. Putz, Willie Bloomquist
Brewers: Yuniesky Betancourt
Here is the list of former players from each MLB team represented on the rosters of the eight playoff teams:
White Sox 13
Red Sox 10
Blue Jays 10
I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that this year’s playoff teams don’t have many players that got away. The Cardinals (4), Diamondbacks (5), Brewers (5), Phillies (5), and Rays (6) are all in the bottom portion of the list. On the other hand, the Tigers (12), Rangers (10) and Yankees (9) are all in the upper portion of the list. The Mariners, meanwhle, are at the top of the list, just taunting M’s fans with their ubiquitous presence in the postseason.