It was a day of blockbuster deals for New York's baseball teams yesterday as the Yankees braced for a pennant race and the Mets prepared for the future. The Yankees acquired last season's American League Cy Young Award winner, David Cone, from Toronto for three minor league pitchers, then sent the disgruntled slugger Danny Tartabull to Oakland for Ruben Sierra. The Mets traded Bobby Bonilla* to Baltimore for Alex Ochoa, a talented outfield prospect.
The impetus for the trades is twofold: The Yankees and Orioles are girding for the A.L. East race. The Mets and Jays are trying to shed salaries and build for the future.
From ESPN's Page 2 where the trade was ranked the 10th worst deadline trade ever in baseball (up to that point)...for the Blue Jays:
The Yankees most recent dynasty began in 1995, and Cone was a key ingredient in the Pinstripers 1995 playoff push, going 9-2. During the next five seasons, the aging right-hander was a team leader, was named to the All-Star team twice, led the AL in wins with 20 in 1998, and compiled a 55-38 record. Oh, and he pitched a perfect game. None of the pitchers the Blue Jays acquired played in the majors
In his six years with the Yankees, Cone compiled a 64-40 record and had a 3.91 ERA in 145 games (144 starts). He pitched seven complete games, one perfect game, was 2-0 in the World Series (Both wins were against the Braves - one in 1996 and one in 1999), won a career high 20 games in 1998, and he was 6-1 in the postseason with the Yankees.
Now, Coney can be seen and heard, though not nearly enough in my opinion, on the YES Network where he works the pre and postgame shows, as well as calls games from time to time. Come on YES, we need more Cone on our TVs.
My favorite Cone pitching performance in pinstripes, other than the perfect game that I was supposed to attend but missed because my leg is a jackhole, was Game 3 of the 1996 World Series against Atlanta. It was a must-win game with the Braves winning the first two in Yankee Stadium and outscoring the Yanks 16-1, and Coney did everything he could to make sure the Yankees would win.
Here is the game in its entirety, just in case you have nearly three hours to spare today:
And here's one of my all-time favorite Yankees commercials of the 90s. Remember how good they were?
Happy Anniversary, Coney!
*And the Mets still paying Bonilla.