2. David Cone Gets Mike Piazza, 2000 World Series
Midway through Game 4 of the 2000 World Series, Joe Torre didn’t ask if David Cone still had it. He didn’t worry about how long he could stretch his former ace, the man who was perfect just one year prior.
He simply wanted to know if Cone had enough in the tank to make one, final perfect pitch to cut a Yankees enemy down at the waist. Cone answered the bell.
Locked in a 3-2 game in the fifth inning of World Series Game 4, Torre ruthlessly took the ball from midseason acquisition Denny Neagle, one out short of the ability to earn a World Series victory, and handed it to Cone, whose stuff had shaken him over the past year, but whose self-confidence never wavered.
Torre’s faith in him never dipped, either. You’ve got to be a little crazy to manage in this city.
Cone finished that season with a 6.91 ERA, and even went to Boston the next season in an attempt to reclaim an ending on his own terms (it worked; Cone went 9-7, 4.31).
But ignore that mark. He entered the World Series with one job (the hardest, arguably, of anyone in the ballpark that night), and wrapped up the gig with a 0.00 mark. Doesn’t matter how many batters were involved.
He only needed one.