The answer is back in Philadelphia, 3 and a half years after leaving under very acrimonious circumstances.Â Â Will the experiment be a success? Only time will tell. But we can check history to see how similar situations worked out in the past.
Tom Seaver: The Mets traded their franchise to Cincinnati in 1977, mostly because Daily News columnist Dick Young wrote a piece criticizing Seaver, and his wife, for asking about a new contract. That prompted the future Hall of Famer to demand a trade, and Mets management fulfilled that request.Â Apparently, the hard feelings subsided over the years. Seaver was traded back to the Mets before the 1983 season. He went 9-14, and the team gave him to the White Sox as compensation after they signed a free agent from Chicago. Seaver eventually went from Chicago to Boston, where he spent the 1986 season.
Verdict: Didn’t work
Ken Griffey Junior: The kid was the best player in baseball for most of the 90’s. He spent the first 11 years of his Hall of Fame career, before “heading home” to Cincinnati before the 2000 season. We all know how that turned out. Griffey’s one way ticket to being the best player ever was revoked because of a series of injuries.Â Griffey was eventually traded to the White Sox, then returned to Seattle last season. He hit .214 in part time duty, but has signed for one more season.
Verdict: So far, it’s been a failure but Griffey could have a big season and make everyone forget last year.
Mark Messier: He was the Messiah in New York. Delivering the cup in ’94, and changing the entire culture of a snake bitten franchise. The Rangers even brought in Wayne Gretzky, reuniting one of the greatest tandems in hockey history for the 1997 season. Together, they led the Rangers to the conference finals. Then the off season came, Messier looked at the contract extension Garden management gave to Patrick Ewing, asked for similar treatment, and ended up wearing an ugly uniform in Vancouver.Â He returned to the Rangers three years later, and spent the last four seasons of his career on Broadway. He never even sniffed the playoffs again.
Verdict: It was certainly good to have him back in New York. He never should have left in the first place. But, the fact remains, the reunion didn’t lead to wins, and that’s the most important fact to consider. It did not work out well.
Jason Kidd: Remember the 3J ranch? It was only the coolest poster ever. Jimmy Jackson, Jamal Mashburn and Jason Kidd were going to lead the Mavericks to Championship after Championship. Then Toni Braxton showed up. The team ended up getting rid of all three players. Kidd went to Phoenix, then New Jersey then a couple of years ago, he forced another trade and returned to Dallas.
Verdict: Jason Kidd returned home to Dallas a bit slower, a lot less effective on defense, yet still capable of throwing up a triple double every game. The Mavs may not be what they once were, but they’re still a power in the NBA. This one has worked out so far.
There are obviously many more examples. Leave your best in the comments.