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. Therefore, Ron Santo is listed on the Cubs roster for the duration of his career while the Dodgers declare Steve Garvey and the Diamondbacks claim Justin Upton. 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 finest single-season rosters for every Major League organization based on overall rankings in OWAR and OWS along with the general managers and scouting directors that constructed the teams. “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
The 1997 Boston Red Sox OWAR: 63.7 OWS: 317 OPW%: .583
Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1997 Red Sox outperformed the Yankees, seizing the American League pennant by ten games. Boston led the circuit in OWS and OWAR. GM Lou Gorman acquired 28 of the 36 ballplayers (78%) on the 1997 Red Sox roster.
Jeff Bagwell (.286/43/135) finished third in the MVP balloting and established personal-bests in RBI and stolen bases (31). Brady Anderson followed his 50-homer campaign in ’96 with 39 doubles and 18 jacks. Nomar Garciaparra (.306/30/98) merited the 1997 AL Rookie of the Year Award as he topped the charts with 209 base knocks and 11 triples. Mo “Hit Dog” Vaughn delivered a .315 BA with 35 round-trippers. John Valentin contributed 29 two-baggers and a .296 BA while third-sacker Wade Boggs managed a .292 average as a part-timer.
Bagwell and Boggs rate fourth among first and third basemen, respectively, according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” Teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Roger Clemens (11th-SP), Garciaparra (T-17th-SS), Vaughn (51st-1B), Anderson (63rd-CF) and Burks (77th-CF).
Roger Clemens (21-7, 2.05) paced the Junior Circuit in victories, ERA, complete games (9), shutouts (3), strikeouts (292) and WHIP (1.030). The “Rocket” collected the fourth of seven Cy Young Awards and made his sixth All-Star appearance. Curt Schilling struck out a career-high 319 batsmen and fashioned a record of 17-11 with a 2.97 ERA. Paul Quantrill led a bullpen-by-committee, posting a 1.94 ERA along with 6 wins and 5 saves.
The “Original” 1997 Boston Red Sox roster
|NAME||POS||WAR||WS||General Manager||Scouting Director|
|Roger Clemens||SP||12||32.22||Haywood Sullivan||Eddie Kasko|
|Jeff Bagwell||1B||7.47||30.58||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Curt Schilling||SP||5.93||22.29||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|John Valentin||2B||4.45||21.03||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Nomar Garciaparra||SS||4.19||25.54||Dan Duquette||Wayne Britton|
|Brady Anderson||CF||3.44||25.97||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Mo Vaughn||1B||3.2||22.31||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Paul Quantrill||RP||2.64||11.66||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Scott Hatteberg||C||2.21||6.4||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Wade Boggs||3B||1.26||11.37||Dick O’Connell|
|John Flaherty||C||1.26||12.67||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Ellis Burks||CF||1.03||13.6||Haywood Sullivan||Eddie Kasko|
|Tim Naehring||3B||1||8.1||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Frankie Rodriguez||SP||0.93||5.97||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Ron Mahay||RP||0.71||3.4||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Aaron Sele||SP||0.64||6.71||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Todd Pratt||C||0.63||4.46||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Joe Hudson||RP||0.42||2.93||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Shayne Bennett||RP||0.34||1.51||Lou Gorman||Wayne Britton|
|Jeff Suppan||SP||0.24||3.72||Lou Gorman||Wayne Britton|
|Erik Plantenberg||RP||0.06||1.07||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|John Marzano||C||0.05||2.39||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Phil Plantier||LF||-0.02||2.24||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Walt McKeel||C||-0.04||0||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Jose Malave||LF||-0.08||0.04||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Ryan McGuire||1B||-0.12||3.98||Lou Gorman||Wayne Britton|
|Josias Manzanillo||RP||-0.17||0.28||Haywood Sullivan||Eddie Kasko|
|Brian Rose||SP||-0.17||0||Dan Duquette||Wayne Britton|
|Reggie Harris||RP||-0.22||1.37||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Greg Hansell||RP||-0.24||0||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Michael Coleman||CF||-0.27||0.11||Dan Duquette||Wayne Britton|
|Cory Bailey||RP||-0.33||0.21||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Jody Reed||2B||-0.46||1.52||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Scott Cooper||3B||-0.47||0.78||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
|Danny Sheaffer||3B||-0.71||0.79||Haywood Sullivan||Eddie Kasko|
|Ken Ryan||RP||-1.09||0||Lou Gorman||Eddie Kasko|
The “Original” 1912 Red Sox OWAR: 55.1 OWS: 317 OPW%: .591
Boston sailed to the pennant by a 13-game margin over the Athletics and Senators. Tris Speaker delivered an MVP season, notching League-bests with 53 doubles, 10 round-trippers and a .464 OBP. “The Grey Eagle” batted at a .383 clip, registered 136 tallies and posted career-highs in base hits (222) and stolen bases (52). Smoky Joe Wood (34-5, 1.91) dazzled opposition batsmen, twirling 10 shutouts and completing 35 of 38 starts. Larry Gardner contributed a .315 BA and legged out 18 three-baggers. Buck O’Brien recorded 20 victories with a 2.58 ERA in his only complete season in the Major Leagues. Hugh Bedient matched O’Brien’s win total and fashioned a 2.92 ERA in his rookie campaign. Duffy Lewis rapped 36 doubles and established a personal-best with 109 ribbies.
The “Original” 1969 Reds
References and Resources
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.
Derek Bain is a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games. He has written a number of articles for Fangraphs and Seamheads, and enjoys spending quality time with his family.