On Wednesday night in the desert, a team that threw caution to the wind in 2021-22's free agency and signed two of the top shortstops available won the World Series, while the shortstop-needy team that signed none of them stayed home.
The New York Yankees may not have won the 2023 World Series (oh, boy, did they ever not!), but their fingerprint was all over the Texas Rangers' title. Brian Cashman passed on Corey Seager (and Marcus Semien), then took ex-Rangers infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa after Texas had already shipped him out to Minnesota to make room for better talent. Aroldis Chapman was in the Rangers' bullpen. Jordan Montgomery and Nathan Eovaldi were in their rotation. Joey Gallo was on neither team, but his evacuation from Texas also paved the way for their lineup to improve.
And so, in the middle of Wednesday's confetti, there they all were, a long way from the Bronx. Eovaldi, Montgomery, Chapman and Andrew Heaney, posing with the trophy Yankees fans have been yearning for since 2009. A nice, calm clearing in the middle of the mania. A genuine reflection on how far they'd come together since their days in -- well, wait a minute. Eovaldi left New York after 2016. He teamed with Chapman. He might've crossed paths with Montgomery at spring training, but they never spent any time on the active roster together. Heaney showed up in 2021, for goodness sakes!
Is this just a group of four close Rangers sharing a moment together after a triumph? Or is it a group of four Rangers who bonded over being ex-Yankees from slightly different eras, thrilled they all got outta there?
Former Yankees Nathan Eovaldi, Jordan Montgomery, Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Heaney (???) pose together with World Series trophy
How'd this picture get commissioned? Do all four just happen to be close friends? Were Eovaldi, Montgomery and Chapman posing together before one of them noticed Heaney wandering, then yelled, "Wait, Heandog! Over here, we're gonna make sure Cashman sees this one!" Did they text it directly to Randy Levine or to his secretary first? Lots to ponder here.
Obviously this is the Yankee Bias talking, but it's difficult to look at this particular crew -- especially with Heaney involved -- and think this wasn't supposed to be a shot at the Bronx Bombers. Could've been worse, though. At least it's not Corey Seager putting his arm around a pile of money and a printout of Anthony Volpe's OPS+ and cackling with laughter.
This season tested your faith as a Yankees fan, but you can prepare for a bounce-back effort next season with a no-sweat bet worth up to $1,000 at Caesars Sportsbook! Just sign up with the link below, use the promo code FSMLB1000 and deposit $10 or more. Then, your first bet will be backed by the house for up to $1,000!