Which Blue Jays Team Was Better, 1992 or 1993?

Ian HunterCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2010

TORONTO - OCTOBER 23:  Outfielder Rickey Henderson and first baseman Joe Carter #29 of the Toronto Blue Jays hold up the World Series trophy after winning in Game Six against the Philadelphia Phillies at the Toronto Skydome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blue Jays won the game 8-6, winning the Series 4-2. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

They were two teams that will remain forever ingrained in the minds of Blue Jays fans.

Whenever you mention the '92 or the '93 Toronto Blue Jays, no matter how old you are, a cavalcade of fond memories comes flooding back.

There's no disputing that the Blue Jays were the best teams in baseball during the 1992 and 1993 seasons, but have you ever wondered who would win in a battle between both rosters?

Again, it's difficult to gauge just exactly which club was superior, but by evaluating each sector of the roster, I think I can effectively come to a conclusion about which team was the better of the two.

Starting rotation
Winner: 1992 Blue Jays

At 37 years old, Jack Morris wasn't exactly a spring chicken when he joined the Blue Jays, yet he ultimately accomplished what he was brought in to do: win games. Interestingly enough, sophomore Juan Guzman actually had better numbers than his highly-paid counterpart in Morris.

The '92 Blue Jays relied on seven starters throughout the season, and the well-rounded rotation served well throughout the season and into the playoffs.

Starting lineup
Winner: 1993 Blue Jays

Ultimately in baseball, you need to score runs to win the game, and the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays did that with ease. With WAMCO out there game after game, runs were never at a premium, and having the top three hitters in the league (Roberto Alomar, John Olerud, and Paul Molitor) certainly helped the cause.

The 1993 Blue Jays were only ever completely shut out once during the regular season, and their team batting average was slightly higher (.279 to .263) and their run scored/earned runs differential was also slightly higher than the 1992 squad (1.253 to 1.244).

Overall, it seemed like the 1993 Blue Jays could blow a game wide open at any given notice, even if their pitching staff wasn't as solid as the previous season.

The running game on the '93 roster was also much more active than the '92 roster. With the midseason acquisition of Rickey Henderson, the top half of the lineup was a constant threat to swipe bases—even 36-year-old Paul Molitor helped contribute to the cause by stealing 36 bases.

Winner: Tie

This one was too close to call, so I decided to call it a draw. Of course, you can't mention the bullpen without thinking of Duane Ward. He was a workhorse during both seasons: in 1992 as the setup man for Tom Henke, and in 1993 as the closer.

Some might argue that the '92 Jays had the better bullpen, but I believe the supporting cast from the '93 bullpen, which included Danny Cox, Mark Eichorn, and Al Leiter, was just as good as the relievers from 1992.


Winner: 1992 Blue Jays

In what was arguably the single most important pinch hit in franchise history, Ed Sprague came off the bench and nailed a two-run home run off Braves closer Jeff Reardon to help the Blue Jays win Game Two of the World Series. The 1992 Blue Jays had a little more power on the bench, with Jeff Kent, Derek Bell, and Pat Tabler at their disposal, and also could employ the running game if need be.

Winner: 1992 Blue Jays

I've debated back and forth over this one and gone through countless algorithms and weighed the options, and my pick for the better team is the 1992 Toronto Blue Jays. Overall, I think they were a better all-around team, and they had all facets of the game covered from the starting rotation, all the way to the bullpen.

Before I wrote this post, my original vote was for the 1993 Blue Jays because of their superior offensive prowess. The Achilles' heel of the '93 team, though, was the starting pitching. Most people forget that Jack Morris was even on the 40-man roster in 1993 because he pitched so badly, and when it came down to crunch time in the World Series, Dave Stewart was just awful.

The 1992 Blue Jays provided consistent results. Their success continued through into the playoffs, and their players delivered when they needed them the most (Alomar in Game Four of the ALCS, Sprague in Game Two of the World Series).

So, what do you think: Which Blue Jays squad was better—the 1992 roster or the 1993 roster?


Which team was better?