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Newsflash: The Yankees weren’t exactly stoked about their 2001 pennant rings

In this Nov. 4, 2001, photo, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson is embraced after the Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the baseball World Series in Phoenix. Johnson was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Dave Cruz)

The 2001 World Series is the best of memories for the Arizona Diamondbacks and their fans, and conversely, one of the worst for the New York Yankees.

In case you needed a little reminder of that, one came Monday in a New York Times feature on runner-up rings. In Tim Rohan’s piece, he goes over the history of how teams handle celebrating their season after losing the championship, focusing mainly on Major League Baseball.

The NHL and NBA runners-up get nothing and in the NFL, second-place teams get a budget for a ring that’s half the size of the winners. In MLB, there is no money given by the league, but a pennant ring is commonplace.

One of the interviews done for the article was Mike Stanton, who pitched for the Yankees on that 2001 team. He talked about what it was like when the team got their rings.

After the Yankees won four World Series in five years and then lost the 2001 Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks on a blown save in Game 7 by Mariano Rivera, they still made rings commemorating the season, even if they did not seem overjoyed about it.

“The ceremony the next year could not have been more subdued or shorter,” said Mike Stanton, a pitcher on that team. “I’m not even sure how much they advertised it, as far as the media or fans were concerned. It seemed like it was an afterthought. ‘We have to give them rings.’ They basically threw them at us. It took like a grand total of five minutes.”

Fourteen years later and the schadenfreude still feels good.

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