Mike Port’s professional baseball career spanned more than four decades, from 1969 to 2011. When his aspirations to play in the big leagues ended with an injury shortly after signing with San Diego, he accepted a position in the Padres’ minor league system and worked his way up to the role of farm director. In 1977, he began a 14-year stint with the California Angels where he was promoted to general manager in September, 1984. Following 18 months as the first president of the Arizona Fall League, Mr. Port migrated to the East Coast to begin a 12-year run with the Boston Red Sox as an assistant GM and held the acting general manager title during the 2002 season.
He was named Major League Baseball’s Vice President of Umpiring in August 2005 and remained in that position through the 2011 campaign. I conducted a telephone interview with Mr. Port in September of 2020 in which we discussed the general manager’s role and responsibilities (to be included in my upcoming book, Hardball Architects: Volume 2). Our chat drifted into topics such as umpiring, instant replay, and various rule changes that have been implemented in the past decade.
DB: A number of rule changes were implemented for the 2020 season – the three-batter minimum for pitchers, seven-inning double-headers, extra innings starting with a runner on second base, designated hitter in the National League. It remains to be seen which rules will stay on the books.
MP: I was told in early September that it’s “under consideration” for Major League Baseball to make all games seven innings. Certainly they’re going to forego a lot of concession revenue. As one former pitching specialist told me, “They’re playing these seven-inning double headers. Well, that’s still fourteen innings in one day. So, you’re getting the games in, but is it at some expense to the people on your staff?” Read the rest of this entry »
In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. I calculated revised standings for every season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition. Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.
Expanding on my research for the book, the following series of articles will reveal the teams with the biggest single-season difference in the WAR and Win Shares for the “Original” vs. “Actual” rosters for every Major League organization. “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The paperback edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.
Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.
OWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “original” teams
OWS – Win Shares for players on “original” teams
OPW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “original” teams
AWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “actual” teams
AWS – Win Shares for players on “actual” teams
APW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “actual” teams
The 2003 Cleveland Indians
OWAR: 41.6 OWS: 262 OPW%: .500 (81-81)
AWAR: 26.7 AWS: 204 APW%: .420 (68-94)
WARdiff: 14.9 WSdiff: 58
The “Original” 2003 Indians came within one game of the American League Central Division title as the White Sox held off the Tribe and the Twins. Jim Thome launched a League-leading 47 moon-shots and drove in a career-best 131 baserunners. He scored 111 runs, drew 111 bases on balls and earned his highest finish in the MVP balloting (fourth). Manny Ramirez scorched the opposition with a .325 BA, 37 wallops, 104 ribbies, 117 runs scored and a League-best OBP of .427. Richie Sexson (.272/45/124) matched his career-best in home runs and fell one short of his top RBI mark. Brian S. Giles suffered a drop in production from his previous four campaigns but still managed to belt 20 long balls while posting a .299 BA. “The Mayor” Sean Casey hit at a .291 clip but otherwise failed to deliver the power output expected from a first baseman. The lineup for the “Actual” 2003 Indians featured Milton Bradley (.321/10/56) and rookie outfielder Jody Gerut (.279/22/75).
Omar Vizquel (61st-SS) and Ellis Burks (77th-CF) placed in the top 100 player rankings according to “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract among members of the “Actuals” roster.
Original 2003 Indians Actual 2003 Indians
Bartolo Colon (15-13, 3.87) fashioned a WHIP of 1.198 and topped the American League with 9 complete games. Six-time All-Star lefthander C.C. Sabathia (13-9, 3.60) appeared in his first Mid-Summer Classic. David Riske notched 8 saves and a 0.964 WHIP along with a personal-best 2.29 ERA. Danys Baez (3.81, 25 SV) and Julian Tavarez (3.60, 11 SV) bolstered the relief corps.
Original 2003 Indians Actual 2003 Indians
October 28, 2002: Granted Free Agency.
December 6, 2002: Signed as a Free Agent with the Philadelphia Phillies.
October 27, 2000: Granted Free Agency.
December 19, 2000: Signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.
July 28, 2000: Traded by the Cleveland Indians with a player to be named later, Kane Davis and Paul Rigdon to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jason Bere, Bob Wickman and Steve Woodard. The Cleveland Indians sent Marco Scutaro (August 30, 2000) to the Milwaukee Brewers to complete the trade.
Brian S. Giles
November 18, 1998: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ricardo Rincon.
June 27, 2002: Traded by the Cleveland Indians with Tim Drew to the Montreal Expos for Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore and Lee Stevens.
March 30, 1998: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Cincinnati Reds for Dave Burba.
The 1941 Cleveland Indians
OWAR: 43.0 OWS: 267 OPW%: .545 (84-70)
AWAR: 34.9 AWS: 225 APW%: .487 (75-79)
WARdiff: 8.1 WSdiff: 42
Engaged in heated combat with the Red Sox and Yankees down the stretch in ’41, the Tribe emerged in third place, four games behind Boston. Thornton Lee (22-11, 2.37) topped the Junior Circuit in ERA, WHIP (1.165) and complete games (30) to merit his lone All-Star invitation. Bob Feller (25-13, 3.15) led the League in victories, starts (40), shutouts (6) and innings pitched (343). “Rapid Robert” paced the AL in strikeouts for the fourth consecutive season and placed third in the MVP voting. Jeff Heath (.340/24/123) established career-highs in base hits (199), triples (20), RBI and stolen bases (18) while making his first All-Star appearance. “Old Reliable” Tommy Henrich clubbed a career-best 31 round-trippers and registered 106 tallies. Ken Keltner rapped 31 doubles, 13 triples and 23 circuit clouts. “Old Shufflefoot” Lou Boudreau socked 45 two-baggers and scored 95 runs.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 2010 Orioles
Baseball America – Executive Database
James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York, NY.: The Free Press, 2001. Print.
James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.
Retrosheet – Transactions Database
The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at “www.retrosheet.org”.
Seamheads – Baseball Gauge
Sean Lahman Baseball Archive
The 2001 Texas Rangers
OWAR: 48.4 OWS: 278 OPW%: .513 (83-79)
AWAR: 34.2 AWS: 219 APW%: .451 (73-89)
WARdiff: 14.2 WSdiff: 59
The “Original” 2001 Rangers placed third in the American League West behind Seattle and Oakland. Sammy “Say It Ain’t” Sosa (.328/64/160) established personal bests in batting average, runs scored (146), RBI and bases on balls (116) while placing runner-up in the MVP balloting. Rich Aurilia (.324/37/97) contributed career-highs in nearly every batting classification including 114 tallies and 206 safeties. Juan “Igor” Gonzalez (.325/35/140) achieved his third All-Star invite and finished fifth in the American League MVP race. Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez (.308/25/65) merited his tenth straight Gold Glove Award. Jose Hernandez swatted 26 two-baggers and 25 big-flies. The “Actuals” lineup featured Alex Rodriguez (.318/52/135) who paced the circuit in four-baggers and runs scored (133). Rafael Palmeiro (.273/47/123) surpassed the century mark in walks and equaled his single-season HR total. Frank Catalanotto batted at a .330 clip and ripped 31 two-base hits.
Ivan Rodriguez rated thirteenth among backstops according to “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Rangers registered in the “NBJHBA” top 100 ratings include Sammy Sosa (45th-RF), Juan Gonzalez (52nd-RF) and Ruben Sierra (70th-RF). Moreover, Alex Rodriguez (17th-SS), Rafael Palmeiro (19th-1B), Ken Caminiti (25th-3B) and Andres Galarraga (42nd-1B) achieved the distinction among members of the “Actuals” roster.
Original 2001 Rangers Actual 2001 Rangers
Kevin J. Brown (10-4, 2.65) fashioned a 1.141 WHIP in an abbreviated season (19 starts). Robb Nen (3.01, 45 SV) struck out 93 batters in 77.2 innings and topped the circuit in saves. Jeff Zimmerman (2.40, 28 SV) was nearly unhittable out of the bullpen, producing a 0.897 WHIP.
Original 2001 Rangers Actual 2001 Rangers
July 29, 1989: Traded by the Texas Rangers with Wilson Alvarez and Scott Fletcher to the Chicago White Sox for Harold Baines and Fred Manrique.
March 30, 1992: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with Ken Patterson to the Chicago Cubs for George Bell.
December 22, 1994: Traded by the Texas Rangers with Desi Wilson to the San Francisco Giants for John Burkett.
November 2, 1999: Traded by the Texas Rangers with Danny Patterson and Gregg Zaun to the Detroit Tigers for Alan Webb (minors), Frank Catalanotto, Francisco Cordero, Bill Haselman, Gabe Kapler and Justin Thompson.
November 1, 2000: Granted Free Agency.
January 9, 2001: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians.
July 17, 1993: Traded by the Texas Rangers with Kurt Miller to the Florida Marlins for Cris Carpenter.
November 18, 1997: Traded by the Florida Marlins to the San Francisco Giants for Mick Pageler (minors), Mike Villano (minors) and Joe Fontenot.
January 3, 1990: Traded by the Texas Rangers to the Chicago Cubs for Bryan House (minors).
August 16, 1997: Traded by the Chicago Cubs to the New York Yankees for Frisco Parotte (minors).
November 3, 1997: Granted Free Agency.
January 22, 1998: Signed as a Free Agent with the San Francisco Giants.
November 5, 1998: Granted Free Agency.
December 11, 1998: Signed as a Free Agent with the Kansas City Royals.
October 29, 1999: Granted Free Agency.
December 7, 1999: Signed as a Free Agent with the Kansas City Royals.
April 3, 1992: Selected off waivers by the Cleveland Indians from the Texas Rangers.
June 1, 1993: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Chicago Cubs for Heathcliff Slocumb.
July 31, 1999: Traded by the Chicago Cubs with Terry Mulholland to the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named later, Micah Bowie and Ruben Quevedo. The Atlanta Braves sent Joey Nation (August 24, 1999) to the Chicago Cubs to complete the trade.
November 5, 1999: Granted Free Agency.
December 16, 1999: Signed as a Free Agent with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Kevin J. Brown
October 15, 1994: Granted Free Agency.
April 9, 1995: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
November 3, 1995: Granted Free Agency.
December 22, 1995: Signed as a Free Agent with the Florida Marlins.
December 15, 1997: Traded by the Florida Marlins to the San Diego Padres for Steve Hoff (minors), Derrek Lee and Rafael Medina.
October 26, 1998: Granted Free Agency.
December 12, 1998: Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The 2007 Texas Rangers
OWAR: 36.9 OWS: 249 OPW%: .496 (80-82)
AWAR: 27.8 AWS: 225 APW%: .463 (75-87)
WARdiff: 9.1 WSdiff: 24
Texas finished a distant sixteen games behind Seattle in ’07. Carlos Pena (.282/46/121) registered 99 tallies and achieved personal-bests in virtually every offensive category. Mark Teixeira tagged 30 long balls, drove in 105 baserunners and contributed a .306 BA. Ian Kinsler swiped 23 bases in 25 attempts, scored 96 runs and clubbed 20 dingers during his sophomore season. Travis “Pronk” Hafner blasted 24 dingers and eclipsed the century mark in RBI for the fourth consecutive campaign. Ivan Rodriguez drilled 31 two-base hits while third-sacker Edwin Encarnacion delivered a .289 BA with 16 jacks. Aaron Harang (16-6, 3.73) posted a career-best 1.144 WHIP and placed fourth in the Cy Young balloting. Joaquin Benoit whiffed 87 batsmen over 82 innings while furnishing a 2.85 ERA along with a WHIP of 1.171.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 2003 Indians
Retrosheet – Transactions Database
The 1999 Chicago White Sox
OWAR: 45.1 OWS: 289 OPW%: .504 (82-80)
AWAR: 28.5 AWS: 225 APW%: .466 (75-86)
WARdiff: 16.6 WSdiff: 64
The “Original” 1999 White Sox tied the Royals for second place in the American League Central, eight games behind the Indians. Robin Ventura (.301/32/120) established career-highs in batting average and RBI while earning his sixth Gold Glove Award at the hot corner. Randy Velarde (.317/16/76) rapped 200 base knocks and set personal-bests in almost every offensive category. Mike Cameron drilled 34 doubles and pilfered 38 bags. Harold Baines (.312/25/103) topped the century mark in RBI for the third time in his career during his age-40 season. Ray Durham registered 109 tallies and swiped 34 bags. Magglio Ordonez (.301/30/117) scored 100 runs and merited his first All-Star invitation. Frank E. Thomas clubbed 36 two-baggers and delivered a .305 BA. Chris Singleton (.300/17/72) placed sixth in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting and Paul Konerko contributed 24 dingers and 81 ribbies for the “Actuals”.
Frank E. Thomas rated tenth among first basemen according to “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” White Sox chronicled in the “NBJHBA” top 100 ratings include Robin Ventura (22nd-3B) and Harold Baines (42nd-RF).
Original 1999 White Sox Actual 1999 White Sox
Mike Sirotka (11-13, 4.00) and James Baldwin (12-13, 5.00) labored through their second seasons in the Sox rotation. Alex Fernandez supplied a 7-8 record with a 3.38 ERA after missing the entire 1998 campaign due to injury. Bob Wickman notched 37 saves with an ERA of 3.39 for the “Originals” while Keith Foulke (2.22, 9 SV) and Bob Howry (3.59, 28 SV) secured late-inning leads for the “Actuals”.
Original 1999 White Sox Actual 1999 White Sox
October 23, 1998: Granted Free Agency.
December 1, 1998: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets.
January 5, 1987: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with Pete Filson to the New York Yankees for Mike Soper (minors) and Scott Nielsen.
December 23, 1994: Granted Free Agency.
April 12, 1995: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
November 2, 1995: Granted Free Agency.
November 21, 1995: Signed as a Free Agent with the California Angels.
December 7, 1998: Signed as a Free Agent with the Anaheim Angels.
November 11, 1998: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Cincinnati Reds for Paul Konerko.
July 29, 1989: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with Fred Manrique to the Texas Rangers for Wilson Alvarez, Scott Fletcher and Sammy Sosa.
August 29, 1990: Traded by the Texas Rangers to the Oakland Athletics for players to be named later. The Oakland Athletics sent Joe Bitker (September 4, 1990) and Scott Chiamparino (September 4, 1990) to the Texas Rangers to complete the trade.
January 14, 1993: Traded by the Oakland Athletics to the Baltimore Orioles for Allen Plaster (minors) and Bobby Chouinard.
November 1, 1993: Granted Free Agency.
December 2, 1993: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
October 20, 1994: Granted Free Agency.
December 23, 1994: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
November 6, 1995: Granted Free Agency.
December 11, 1995: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago White Sox.
November 18, 1996: Granted Free Agency.
January 10, 1997: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago White Sox.
July 29, 1997: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named later. The Baltimore Orioles sent Juan Bautista (minors) (August 18, 1997) to the Chicago White Sox to complete the trade.
October 29, 1997: Granted Free Agency.
December 19, 1997: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
December 7, 1996: Granted Free Agency.
December 9, 1996: Signed as a Free Agent with the Florida Marlins.
January 10, 1992: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with Domingo Jean and Melido Perez to the New York Yankees for Steve Sax.
August 23, 1996: Traded by the New York Yankees with Gerald Williams to the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later, Pat Listach and Graeme Lloyd. The Milwaukee Brewers sent Ricky Bones (August 29, 1996) to the New York Yankees to complete the trade. Pat Listach returned to original team on October 2, 1996.
The 1932 Chicago White Sox
OWAR: 21.5 OWS: 205 OPW%: .380 (58-96)
AWAR: 17.0 AWS: 147 APW%: .325 (49-102)
WARdiff: 4.5 WSdiff: 58
The cellar-dwelling “Original” 1932 White Sox fared better than their “Actual” counterparts in terms of team WAR, Win Shares and winning percentage. Although the “Actuals” recorded only 49 victories, the team finished in seventh place ahead of the miserable Red Sox (43-111). Willie Kamm clubbed 34 doubles, delivered a .286 BA and drove in 83 baserunners for the Pale Hose. Second-sacker Bill Cissell posted career-bests in batting average (.315), runs (85), hits (184), doubles (36), home runs (7) and RBI (98). Rookie right fielder Bruce Campbell (.286/14/87) contributed 36 two-baggers and 11 three-base hits. Smead “Smudge” Jolley (.312/18/106) drilled 30 doubles while outfield mate Carl Reynolds produced a .305 BA. Luke Appling aka “Old Aches and Pains” rewarded the Chicago brass with 20 two-base hits and 10 triples after achieving full-time status. Ted Lyons completed 19 of 26 starts and furnished an ERA of 3.28.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 2001 Rangers
The 1993 California Angels
OWAR: 39.3 OWS: 277 OPW%: .533 (86-76)
AWAR: 27.8 AWS: 212 APW%: .438 (71-91)
WARdiff: 11.5 WSdiff: 65
The “Original” 1993 Angels placed runner-up to the Rangers for the division title, yet the ball club held a fifteen-game advantage over the “Actual” Halos. Tim Salmon garnered 1993 AL Rookie of the Year honors with a .283 BA, 31 dingers, 95 ribbies and 93 runs. Devon White collected his fifth Gold Glove Award and posted career-bests with 42 doubles and 116 runs scored. “Devo” successfully swiped 34 bags in 38 attempts. Dante Bichette provided a .310 BA while clubbing 43 two-base hits and launching 21 moon-shots. Wally Joyner aka “Wally World” contributed 36 doubles along with a .292 BA. Chad Curtis tallied 94 runs and pilfered 48 bases in his sophomore season. Brian Harper (.304/12/73), Mark T. McLemore (.284/4/72) and Paul Sorrento (.257/18/65) augmented the Angels’ attack.
Wally Joyner ranked thirty-seventh among first basemen according to “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Angels registered in the “NBJHBA” top 100 ratings include Dickie Thon (57th-SS), Tim Salmon (72nd-RF), Devon White (81st-CF), Tom Brunansky (85th-RF), Dante Bichette (90th-RF) and Brian Harper (99th-C). Furthermore, the list includes Gary Gaetti (34th-3B) and Chili Davis (64th-RF) from the “Actual” Angels ’93 roster.
Original 1993 Angels Actual 1993 Angels
Chuck Finley (16-14, 3.15) whiffed 187 batsmen and paced the Junior Circuit in complete games with 13. The Halos compensated for a pedestrian rotation with a stellar bullpen consisting of Bryan Harvey (1.70, 45 SV), Roberto Hernandez (2.29, 38 SV) and Alan Mills (5-4, 3.23). Mark Langston (16-11, 3.20) topped the “Actuals” in strikeouts (196) and innings pitched (256.1) while earning his fourth All-Star invitation.
Original 1993 Angels Actual 1993 Angels
December 2, 1990: Traded by the California Angels with Willie Fraser and Marcus Moore to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later, Junior Felix and Luis Sojo. The Toronto Blue Jays sent Ken Rivers (minors) (December 4, 1990) to the California Angels to complete the trade.
March 14, 1991: Traded by the California Angels to the Milwaukee Brewers for Dave Parker.
November 17, 1992: Traded by the Milwaukee Brewers to the Colorado Rockies for Kevin Reimer.
October 28, 1991: Granted Free Agency.
December 9, 1991: Signed as a Free Agent with the Kansas City Royals.
November 17, 1992: Drafted by the Florida Marlins from the California Angels as the 20th pick in the 1992 expansion draft.
December 11, 1981: Traded by the California Angels to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Tim Foli.
December 12, 1984: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with John Tudor to the St. Louis Cardinals for Steve Barnard (minors) and George Hendrick.
April 1, 1986: Released by the St. Louis Cardinals.
April 25, 1986: Signed as a Free Agent with the Detroit Tigers.
March 23, 1987: Released by the Detroit Tigers.
May 12, 1987: Purchased by the Oakland Athletics from San Jose (California).
October 12, 1987: Released by the Oakland Athletics.
January 4, 1988: Signed as a Free Agent with the Minnesota Twins.
November 4, 1991: Granted Free Agency.
December 19, 1991: Signed as a Free Agent with the Minnesota Twins.
Mark T. McLemore
August 17, 1990: the California Angels sent Mark McLemore to the Cleveland Indians to complete an earlier deal made on September 6, 1989. September 6, 1989: The California Angels sent a player to be named later to the Cleveland Indians for Ron Tingley.
December 13, 1990: Released by the Cleveland Indians.
March 6, 1991: Signed as a Free Agent with the Houston Astros.
June 25, 1991: Released by the Houston Astros.
July 5, 1991: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
October 15, 1991: Granted Free Agency.
February 5, 1992: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
December 19, 1992: Released by the Baltimore Orioles.
January 6, 1993: Signed as a Free Agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
The 2001 Anaheim Angels
OWAR: 37.4 OWS: 267 OPW%: .467 (76-86)
AWAR: 31.1 AWS: 225 APW%: .463 (75-87)
WARdiff: 6.3 WSdiff: 42
The “Original” and “Actual” 2001 Angels finished in the American League West basement. Perennial Gold Glove center fielder Jim Edmonds socked 38 doubles and 30 long balls. “Jimmy Baseball” supplied a .304 BA with 95 runs scored and 110 ribbies. Mark T. McLemore batted .286 and nabbed 39 bags in 46 attempts. Troy Glaus crushed 41 circuit clouts and 38 two-baggers as he topped the century mark in runs and RBI. Garret Anderson rapped 194 base knocks including 39 doubles and 28 round-trippers while establishing a personal-best with 123 RBI. Jarrod Washburn delivered 11 victories with an ERA of 3.77. Troy Percival (1.65, 39 SV) made his fourth appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic and furnished a 0.988 WHIP with more than 11 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched. Glaus, Anderson, Washburn and Percival appear on the “Original” and “Actual” Angels rosters in 2001.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1999 White Sox
The 2008 Seattle Mariners
OWAR: 41.0 OWS: 251 OPW%: .519 (84-78)
AWAR: 21.3 AWS: 183 APW%: .377 (61-101)
WARdiff: 19.7 WSdiff: 68
The “Original” 2008 Mariners finished a few percentage points behind the Athletics for the AL West crown but out-gunned the “Actual” M’s by a 23-game margin. Alex Rodriguez (.302/35/103) paced the Junior Circuit with a .573 SLG. Raul Ibanez (.293/23/110) established career-highs with 186 base hits and 43 two-base knocks. Ichiro Suzuki nabbed 43 bags in 47 attempts and batted .310, topping the League with 213 safeties. Jose Lopez socked 41 doubles and 17 long balls while posting personal-bests with 191 hits and a .297 BA. Adrian Beltre clubbed 25 four-baggers and earned his second Gold Glove Award for the “Actuals”.
Ken Griffey Jr. ranked seventh in the center field charts according to “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Mariners chronicled in the “NBJHBA” top 100 ratings include Alex Rodriguez (17th-SS) and Omar Vizquel (61st-SS).
Original 2008 Mariners Actual 2008 Mariners
Derek Lowe and Gil Meche compiled identical records (14-11) while starting 34 games apiece. “King” Felix Hernandez contributed nine victories with an ERA of 3.45 in his third full season in the Major Leagues. Brian Fuentes accrued 30 saves while fashioning an ERA of 2.73 along with a 1.101 WHIP. “T-Rex” whiffed 82 batsmen in 62.2 innings pitched.
Original 2008 Mariners Actual 2008 Mariners
October 30, 2000: Granted Free Agency.
January 26, 2001: Signed as a Free Agent with the Texas Rangers.
February 16, 2004: Traded by the Texas Rangers with cash to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later and Alfonso Soriano. The New York Yankees sent Joaquin Arias (April 23, 2004) to the Texas Rangers to complete the trade.
October 29, 2007: Granted Free Agency.
December 13, 2007: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
July 31, 1997: Traded by the Seattle Mariners with Jason Varitek to the Boston Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb.
November 1, 2004: Granted Free Agency.
January 11, 2005: Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
July 26, 2006: Traded by the Seattle Mariners with a player to be named later to the Cleveland Indians for Ben Broussard and cash. The Seattle Mariners sent Shawn Nottingham (minors) (August 24, 2006) to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade.
October 31, 2006: Granted Free Agency.
December 13, 2006: Signed as a Free Agent with the Kansas City Royals.
Ken Griffey Jr.
February 10, 2000: Traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Cincinnati Reds for Jake Meyer (minors), Mike Cameron, Antonio Perez and Brett Tomko.
September 13, 1996: the Seattle Mariners sent David Ortiz to the Minnesota Twins to complete an earlier deal made on August 29, 1996. August 29, 1996: The Seattle Mariners sent a player to be named later to the Minnesota Twins for Dave Hollins.
December 16, 2002: Released by the Minnesota Twins.
January 22, 2003: Signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.
The 1999 Seattle Mariners
OWAR: 46.4 OWS: 296 OPW%: .549 (89-73)
AWAR: 33.8 AWS: 237 APW%: .488 (79-83)
WARdiff: 12.6 WSdiff: 59
The “Original” 1999 Mariners secured the American League Western Division title by six games over the Rangers. The “Actuals” placed third, sixteen games behind Texas. Ken Griffey Jr. (.285/48/134) paced the circuit in home runs, tallied 123 runs and collected his tenth Gold Glove Award. Edgar Martinez (.337/24/86) topped the League with a .447 OBP. Alex Rodriguez (.285/42/111) swiped 21 bags and scored 110 runs. Slick-fielding shortstop Omar Vizquel posted career-highs in batting average (.333), runs scored (112) and base hits (191) while stealing successfully on 42 of 51 attempts. Tino Martinez clubbed 28 four-baggers and plated 105 baserunners. Bret Boone tagged 38 doubles and surpassed the century mark in runs. Jason Varitek drilled 39 two-base knocks and swatted 20 big-flies during his first full campaign.
Mike Hampton (22-4, 2.90) placed runner-up in the Cy Young Award balloting. Derek Lowe notched 15 saves in 74 relief appearances. Dave Burba contributed a 15-9 record and set personal-bests with 34 starts and 220 innings pitched.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1993 Angels
Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony La Russa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.
The 1985 Montreal Expos
OWAR: 55.8 OWS: 320 OPW%: .556 (90-72)
AWAR: 37.5 AWS: 252 APW%: .522 (84-77)
WARdiff: 18.3 WSdiff: 68
The “Original” 1985 Expos claimed the National League Eastern division title with a 90-victory campaign, outpacing the Mets by five games. Tim “Rock” Raines swiped 70 bases in 79 attempts, registered 115 runs, batted .320 and set a career-high with 13 triples. Gary “Kid” Carter (.281/32/100) established personal-bests in home runs and placed sixth in the NL MVP balloting. Tim Wallach clubbed 36 doubles and merited the first of three Gold Glove Awards at the hot corner. Andre “The Hawk” Dawson swatted 23 big-flies and knocked in 91 baserunners. Vance Law ripped 30 two-base hits for the “Actuals”.
Gary Carter (catcher) and Tim Raines (left field) ranked eight at their respective positions in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Expos teammates chronicled in the “NBJHBA” top 100 ratings include Andre Dawson (19th-RF), Tim Wallach (27th-3B), Andres Galarraga (42nd-1B), Larry Parrish (53rd-3B) and Tony Phillips (66th-RF). “Actuals” first baseman Dan Driessen ranked seventy-eighth while third-sacker Hubie Brooks placed eighty-ninth.
Original 1985 Expos Actual 1985 Expos
Bob James locked down the late innings for Montreal, saving 32 contests with a 2.13 ERA and a 1.027 WHIP in 69 appearances. Shane Rawley fashioned a 13-8 record with a 3.31 ERA at the top of the rotation. Fellow portsider Joe Hesketh posted a 2.49 ERA to complement a 10-5 mark during his rookie campaign. Bryn Smith (18-5, 2.91) paced the “Actuals” in wins and WHIP (1.052). Tim Burke (9-4, 2.39) and Jeff Reardon (3.18, 41 SV) anchored the “Actuals” bullpen.
Original 1985 Expos Actual 1985 Expos
December 10, 1984: Traded by the Montreal Expos to the New York Mets for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham and Floyd Youmans.
June 10, 1982: Sent to the Detroit Tigers by the Montreal Expos as part of a conditional deal.
May 4, 1983: Returned by the Detroit Tigers to the Montreal Expos as part of a conditional deal.
December 7, 1984: Traded by the Montreal Expos to the Chicago White Sox for Vance Law.
December 12, 1980: Traded by the Montreal Expos to the Chicago White Sox for Rich Wortham.
June 15, 1983: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Seattle Mariners for Julio Cruz.
December 7, 1983: Traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Cleveland Indians for Jack Perconte and Gorman Thomas.
May 27, 1977: the Montreal Expos sent Shane Rawley and Angel Torres to the Cincinnati Reds to complete an earlier deal made on May 21, 1977. May 21, 1977: The Montreal Expos sent players to be named later to the Cincinnati Reds for Santo Alcala.
December 9, 1977: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Seattle Mariners for Dave Collins.
April 1, 1982: Traded by the Seattle Mariners to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later, Bill Caudill and Gene Nelson. The New York Yankees sent Bobby Brown (April 6, 1982) to the Seattle Mariners to complete the trade.
June 30, 1984: Traded by the New York Yankees to the Philadelphia Phillies for Marty Bystrom and Keith Hughes.
The 2008 Washington Nationals
OWAR: 37.2 OWS: 243 OPW%: .500 (81-81)
AWAR: 18.3 AWS: 177 APW%: .366 (59-102)
WARdiff: 18.9 WSdiff: 64
The “Original” 2008 Nationals played .500 ball and finished fourth in the division. The “Actuals” dreadful results placed them 22 games off the “Originals” pace. Grady Sizemore (.268/33/90) produced a 30-30 season, successfully stealing 38 bags in 43 attempts while eclipsing the century mark in runs scored for the fourth straight season. Left fielder Jason Bay (.286/31/101) tallied 111 runs and drilled 35 doubles. Vladimir Guerrero (.303/27/91) topped the .300 mark for the 12th consecutive year and supplied 31 two-base knocks. Milton Bradley (.321/22/77) clubbed 32 doubles, paced the circuit with a .436 OBP and merited his lone All-Star appearance. Orlando Cabrera contributed 33 two-baggers while double-play partner Brandon Phillips blasted 21 dingers and pilfered 23 bases. Cliff P. Lee (22-3, 2.54) achieved Cy Young honors and led the League in ERA. Armando Galarraga (13-7, 3.73) finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year balloting.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 2008 Mariners
The 2013 Miami Marlins
OWAR: 33.0 OWS: 255 OPW%: .468 (76-86)
AWAR: 18.5 AWS: 185 APW%: .383 (62-100)
WARdiff: 14.5 WSdiff: 70
The “Original” 2013 Marlins tied with the Phillies for last place, yet the ball club managed to school the “Actuals” by a 14-game margin. Miguel Cabrera seized MVP honors for the second consecutive season and notched his third straight batting title. “Miggy” produced a .348 BA, dialed long-distance 44 times and knocked in 137 baserunners. Adrian Gonzalez swatted 22 big-flies and reached the century mark in RBI for the sixth time in his career. Matt Dominguez drilled 25 two-base hits and blasted 21 round-trippers. Giancarlo Stanton supplied 26 doubles and 24 four-baggers as a member of the “Originals” and “Actuals”.
Original 2013 Marlins Actual 2013 Marlins
Jose D. Fernandez (12-6, 2.19) merited 2013 NL Rookie of the Year honors and an All-Star invitation while placing third in the NL Cy Young balloting. Portsider Jason Vargas contributed 9 victories with a 4.02 ERA to the “Originals” rotation and Henderson “The Entertainer” Alvarez fashioned a 3.59 ERA and 1.140 WHIP for the “Actuals” in 17 starts. The Marlins’ bullpen featured Steve Cishek (2.33, 34 SV). A.J. Ramos whiffed 86 batsmen in 68 relief appearances.
Original 2013 Marlins Actual 2013 Marlins
December 4, 2007: Traded by the Florida Marlins with Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for Dallas Trahern (minors), Burke Badenhop, Frankie De La Cruz, Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller and Mike Rabelo.
July 11, 2003: Traded by the Florida Marlins with Will Smith (minors) and Ryan Snare to the Texas Rangers for Ugueth Urbina.
January 6, 2006: Traded by the Texas Rangers with Terrmel Sledge and Chris Young to the San Diego Padres for Billy Killian (minors), Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka.
December 6, 2010: Traded by the San Diego Padres to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later, Reymond Fuentes, Casey Kelly and Anthony Rizzo. The Boston Red Sox sent Eric Patterson (December 16, 2010) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.
August 25, 2012: Traded by the Boston Red Sox with Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for players to be named later, Ivan De Jesus, James Loney and Allen Webster. The Los Angeles Dodgers sent Rubby De La Rosa (October 4, 2012) and Jerry Sands (October 4, 2012) to the Boston Red Sox to complete the trade.
July 4, 2012: Traded by the Miami Marlins with Rob Rasmussen to the Houston Astros for Carlos Lee.
July 31, 2012: Traded by the Miami Marlins with Kyle Kaminska (minors) to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Gorkys Hernandez.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1985 Expos
The 1979 New York Mets
OWAR: 50.7 OWS: 262 OPW%: .479 (78-84)
AWAR: 24.8 AWS: 188 APW%: .389 (63-99)
WARdiff: 25.9 WSdiff: 74
The “Original” 1979 Mets ended the season in the cellar, yet the club outpaced the “Actuals” by fifteen victories! Ken Singleton earned runner-up status in the MVP balloting on the strength of a .295 BA with 35 circuit clouts and 111 ribbies. Lee “Maz” Mazzilli (.303/15/79) nabbed 34 bags and merited his lone All-Star appearance. Tim Foli set personal-bests in batting average (.288), base hits, runs and RBI. John “The Hammer” Milner contributed a .276 BA with 16 jacks while splitting time between left field and first base. “Actuals” right fielder Joel Youngblood posted a .275 BA and raked 37 doubles. Richie “The Gravedigger” Hebner added 25 two-base knocks and drove in 79 baserunners.
Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan rated sixth and twenty-fourth, respectively, among pitchers in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Mets teammates registered in the “NBJHBA” top 100 ratings include Ken Singleton (18th-RF) Paul Blair (66th-CF) and Bud Harrelson (88th-SS). “Actuals” third baseman Richie Hebner ranked fifty-sixth while center fielder Jose Cardenal placed seventh-sixth.
Original 1979 Mets Actual 1979 Mets
Jerry Koosman reached the 20-win plateau for the second time in his career. Tom “The Franchise” Seaver (16-6, 3.14) led the National League with 5 shutouts and finished fourth in the Cy Young Award balloting. Nino Espinosa delivered 14 victories with a 3.65 ERA. Nolan Ryan aka the “Ryan Express” tallied 16 victories and struck out 223 batsmen. Craig Swan augmented the “Originals” and “Actuals” rotation with 14 wins and a 3.29 ERA after securing the National League ERA title during the previous campaign.
Original 1979 Mets Actual 1979 Mets
April 5, 1972: Traded by the New York Mets with Tim Foli and Mike Jorgensen to the Montreal Expos for Rusty Staub.
December 4, 1974: Traded by the Montreal Expos with Mike Torrez to the Baltimore Orioles for Bill Kirkpatrick (minors), Rich Coggins and Dave McNally.
December 8, 1978: Traded by the New York Mets to the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named later and Greg Field (minors). The Minnesota Twins sent Jesse Orosco (February 7, 1979) to the New York Mets to complete the trade.
June 15, 1977: Traded by the New York Mets to the Cincinnati Reds for Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman and Pat Zachry.
March 27, 1979: Traded by the New York Mets to the Philadelphia Phillies for Richie Hebner and Jose Moreno.
December 10, 1971: Traded by the New York Mets with Frank Estrada, Don Rose and Leroy Stanton to the California Angels for Jim Fregosi.
The 2012 New York Mets
OWAR: 27.7 OWS: 262 OPW%: .492 (80-82)
AWAR: 24.1 AWS: 221 APW%: .457 (74-88)
WARdiff: 3.6 WSdiff: 41
The “Original” 2012 Mets placed third, fourteen games in arrears to the Nationals. David “Captain America” Wright (.306/21/93) raked 41 two-base hits and received his sixth All-Star invite. Angel “Crazy Horse” Pagan topped the circuit with 15 triples and set career-highs with 38 two-baggers and 95 runs scored. Jose B. Reyes swiped 40 bags and rapped 37 doubles while double-play partner Daniel Murphy contributed a .291 BA with 40 two-base knocks. Nelson R. Cruz nailed 45 doubles and jacked 24 round-trippers. First-sacker Ike B. Davis established personal-bests with 32 taters and 90 ribbies. A.J. Burnett paced the starting staff with 16 victories along with a 3.51 ERA and 180 strikeouts.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 2013 Marlins
The 1921 Detroit Tigers
OWAR: 49.3 OWS: 289 OPW%: .553 (85-69)
AWAR: 40.4 AWS: 212 APW%: .464 (71-82)
WARdiff: 8.9 WSdiff: 77
The “Original” 1921 Tigers paced the Junior Circuit in OWAR and OWS. Detroit finished third in the American League, ten games in arrears to the Red Sox. Harry “Slug” Heilmann (.394/19/139) collected his first batting title, smashed 43 two-baggers and topped the leader boards with 237 safeties. Ty Cobb (.389/12/101) continued to mash opposition offerings. “The Georgia Peach” tallied 197 base knocks, 124 runs, 37 doubles and 16 triples while recording an OBP of .452 and a .596 SLG. Baby Doll Jacobson (.352/5/90) contributed 211 base hits, 38 doubles and 14 triples to Detroit’s powerful lineup. Ray “Rabbit” Powell (.306/12/74) legged out 18 three-base hits to lead the League and scored 114 runs. Powell and outfield mate Bobby Veach (.338/16/128) established personal-bests in almost every major offensive category. Lu Blue supplied a .308 BA with 103 runs scored and 33 two-baggers in his inaugural campaign while fellow first-sacker Wally Pipp (.296/8/103) drilled 35 doubles.
Ty Cobb placed runner-up to Willie Mays among center fielders in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Tigers teammates registered in the “NBJHBA” top 100 ratings include Harry Heilmann (16th-RF), Bobby Veach (33rd-LF), Carl Mays (38th-P), Donie Bush (51st-SS), Lu Blue (77th-1B), George H. Burns (79th-1B), Wally Pipp (83rd-1B) and Baby Doll Jacobson (85th-CF).
“Actuals” backstop Johnny Bassler rated forty-seventh.
Original 1921 Tigers Actual 1921 Tigers
Carl “Sub” Mays (27-9, 3.05) topped the American League in victories, games (49), saves (7) and innings pitched (336.2). Clarence Mitchell fashioned a 2.89 ERA and notched 11 wins while splitting time among the bullpen and starting rotation. Dutch H. Leonard contributed a 3.75 ERA with an 11-13 record for the “Actuals”.
Original 1921 Tigers Actual 1921 Tigers
Before 1914 Season: Returned to Providence (International) by the Detroit Tigers after expiration of minor league working agreement.
Before 1914 Season: Obtained by the Boston Red Sox from Providence (International) as part of a minor league working agreement.
July 30, 1919: the Boston Red Sox sent Carl Mays to the New York Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on July 29, 1919. July 29, 1919: The Boston Red Sox sent a player to be named later to the New York Yankees for Bob McGraw, Allen Russell and $40,000.
Baby Doll Jacobson
Before 1915 Season: Purchased by the Detroit Tigers from Chattanooga (Southern Association).
August 18, 1915: Traded by the Detroit Tigers with $15,000 to the St. Louis Browns for Bill James.
July 10, 1917: Purchased with Wally Rehg by the Boston Braves from Providence (International).
October 16, 1917: Selected off waivers by the Brooklyn Robins from the Cincinnati Reds.
August, 1912: Purchased by the Detroit Tigers from Kalamazoo (Southern Michigan). (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)
February 4, 1915: Purchased with Hugh High by the New York Yankees from the Detroit Tigers.
The 2003 Detroit Tigers
OWAR: 14.8 OWS: 195 OPW%: .400 (65-97)
AWAR: 7.1 AWS: 129 APW%: .265 (43-119)
WARdiff: 7.7 WSdiff: 66
The “Original” 2003 Tigers finished last in the AL Central, 17 games behind the White Sox. However the “Actuals” finished 47 games off the pace with a ghastly 43-119 record.
Juan Encarnacion (.270/19/94) established career-highs in RBI and doubles (37). Frank Catalanotto contributed a .299 BA with 34 two-base knocks. Robert Fick registered a personal-best with 80 ribbies and Dave R. Roberts pilfered 40 bags. The bullpen featured John Smoltz (1.12, 45 SV) and Francisco Cordero (2.94, 15 SV).
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1979 Mets