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 1978 Pittsburgh Pirates
OWAR: 49.0 OWS: 345 OPW%: .559 (91-71)
AWAR: 40.0 AWS: 263 APW%: .547 (88-73)
WARdiff: 9.0 WSdiff: 82
Pittsburgh emerged victorious from a three-team battle with Montreal and Philadelphia for the National League Eastern Division crown. The “Original” Pirates paced the Senior Circuit in OWS and accrued an 82-point Win Shares differential compared to the “Actual” Bucs.
Dave Parker (.334/30/117) collected his second straight batting crown and earned NL MVP and Gold Glove honors. “Cobra” scored 102 runs and topped the League with 340 total bases and a .585 SLG. Willie Randolph recorded 36 steals in 43 attempts and coaxed 82 bases on balls. Willie “Pops” Stargell (.295/28/97) achieved All-Star status for the seventh time. Al “Scoop” Oliver drilled 35 two-base knocks and posted a .324 BA. Mitchell Page (.285/17/70) supplied a solid sophomore season after placing runner-up in the Rookie of the Year balloting in the previous campaign. Don Money batted .293 with 30 doubles to secure his fourth All-Star invitation. Omar Moreno and Frank Taveras ran wild on the base paths, swiping 71 and 46 bases, respectively.
Willie Stargell rated ninth among left fielders in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Pirates teammates registered in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Dave Parker (14th-RF), Willie Randolph (17th-2B), Al Oliver (31st-CF), Manny Sanguillen (42nd-C), Dave Cash (50th-2B), Don Money (55th-3B), Richie Hebner (56th-3B), Richie Zisk (69th-RF), Freddie Patek (73rd-SS), Bob Bailey (79th-3B), Tony Armas (89th-RF) and Rennie Stennett (90th-2B). Jim Fregosi (15th-SS), Bert Blyleven (39th-P) and Phil Garner (41st-2B) achieved top-100 status among the individuals who played solely for the “Actual” 1978 Pirates.
Original 1978 Pirates Actual 1978 Pirates
|STARTING LINEUP||POS||OWAR||OWS||STARTING LINEUP||POS||AWAR||AWS|
|Al Oliver||LF||3.24||21.42||Bill Robinson||LF||0.33||13.75|
|Omar Moreno||CF||2.02||18.08||Omar Moreno||CF||2.02||18.08|
|Dave Parker||RF||6.91||36.75||Dave Parker||RF||6.91||36.75|
|Willie Stargell||1B||2.42||22||Willie Stargell||1B||2.42||22|
|Willie Randolph||2B||5.16||22.83||Rennie Stennett||2B||0.34||4.95|
|Craig Reynolds||SS||3.09||17.66||Frank Taveras||SS||0.76||16.43|
|Don Money||3B/1B||3.32||18.96||Phil Garner||3B||2.86||19.58|
|Milt May||C||0.94||8.46||Ed Ott||C||1.3||11.76|
|Mitchell Page||LF||2.34||20.02||John Milner||LF||0.93||10.1|
|Frank Taveras||SS||0.76||16.43||Manny Sanguillen||1B||-0.29||3.57|
|Richie Hebner||1B||2.81||16.19||Dale Berra||3B||-0.14||2.82|
|Art Howe||2B||3.09||15.77||Duffy Dyer||C||-0.52||2.36|
|Richie Zisk||DH||1.25||15.11||Steve Brye||LF||-0.11||2.26|
|Ed Ott||C||1.3||11.76||Mario Mendoza||2B||0.05||1.32|
|Dave Cash||2B||-0.6||11.31||Ken Macha||3B||-0.1||1.08|
|Freddie Patek||SS||0.28||10.8||Jim Fregosi||3B||0.05||0.52|
|Mike Edwards||2B||-1.12||6.07||Alberto Lois||LF||0.04||0.29|
|Rennie Stennett||2B||0.34||4.95||Cito Gaston||LF||0.02||0.13|
|Bob Robertson||DH||0.17||4.07||Fernando Gonzalez||2B||-0.15||0.08|
|Gene Clines||LF||-0.56||3.66||Steve Nicosia||C||-0.06||0.05|
|Manny Sanguillen||1B||-0.29||3.57||Doe Boyland||1B||-0.05||0.01|
|Miguel Dilone||LF||-0.75||3.31||Matt Alexander||–||-0.01||0|
|Tony Armas||RF||-0.36||2.95||Dave May||–||-0.03||0|
Don “Caveman” Robinson (14-6, 3.47) produced a WHIP of 1.139 and placed third in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. “The Candy Man” John Candelaria contributed 12 victories and a 3.24 ERA following a 20-win effort in the previous campaign. The bullpen trifecta consisted of Doug Bair (1.97, 28 SV), Gene Garber (2.15, 25 SV) and Kent Tekulve (2.33, 31 SV). Bert Blyleven tallied 14 victories for the “Actuals” while posting a 3.03 ERA.
Original 1978 Pirates Actual 1978 Pirates
|Don Robinson||SP||2.63||14.13||Bert Blyleven||SP||3.65||16.94|
|John Candelaria||SP||3.29||12.87||Don Robinson||SP||2.63||14.13|
|Rick Langford||SP||2.1||10.57||John Candelaria||SP||3.29||12.87|
|Silvio Martinez||SP||0.33||6.43||Bruce Kison||SP||1.12||6.08|
|Bruce Kison||SP||1.12||6.08||Jim Bibby||SP||0.41||5.92|
|Gene Garber||RP||3.45||20.73||Kent Tekulve||RP||2.88||19.7|
|Kent Tekulve||RP||2.88||19.7||Grant Jackson||RP||0.63||6.21|
|Doug Bair||RP||3.83||17.45||Ed Whitson||RP||0.56||5.44|
|Ed Whitson||RP||0.56||5.44||Dave Hamilton||RP||-0.35||0.91|
|Dock Ellis||SP||-0.72||5.39||Jim Rooker||SP||-0.73||4.76|
|Woodie Fryman||SP||-0.04||5.17||Jerry Reuss||SP||-0.45||1.57|
|Rick Honeycutt||SP||-0.6||3.45||Odell Jones||SP||0.18||1.17|
|Odell Jones||SP||0.18||1.17||Will McEnaney||RP||-0.66||0|
December 11, 1975: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Ken Brett and Dock Ellis to the New York Yankees for Doc Medich.
December 8, 1977: Traded as part of a 4-team trade by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Nelson Norman to the Texas Rangers. The Atlanta Braves sent Willie Montanez to the New York Mets. The Texas Rangers sent Tommy Boggs, Adrian Devine and Eddie Miller to the Atlanta Braves. The Texas Rangers sent a player to be named later and Tom Grieve to the New York Mets. The Texas Rangers sent Bert Blyleven to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Mets sent Jon Matlack to the Texas Rangers. The New York Mets sent John Milner to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Texas Rangers sent Ken Henderson (March 15, 1978) to the New York Mets to complete the trade.
March 15, 1977: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Tony Armas, Doug Bair, Dave Giusti, Rick Langford and Doc Medich to the Oakland Athletics for Chris Batton, Phil Garner and Tommy Helms.
October 25, 1972: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Kansas City Royals for Jim Rooker.
July 12, 1974: Purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Kansas City Royals.
December 15, 1967: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Harold Clem (minors), Woodie Fryman and Bill Laxton to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jim Bunning.
October 31, 1972: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with Bill Champion and John Vukovich to the Milwaukee Brewers for Ken Brett, Jim Lonborg, Ken Sanders and Earl Stephenson.
December 7, 1976: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Jimmy Sexton to the Seattle Mariners for Grant Jackson.
The 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates
OWAR: 46.1 OWS: 303 OPW%: .597 (97-65)
AWAR: 24.2 AWS: 236 APW%: .488 (79-83)
WARdiff: 21.9 WSdiff: 67
The “Original” 2012 Bucs bested the Brew Crew by four games and trounced the “Actuals” by an 18-game margin. Andrew McCutchen (.327/31/96) established personal bests in batting average, home runs, RBI, runs (107), hits (194) and SLG (.553). He placed third in the NL MVP race and earned his first Gold Glove Award. Aramis Ramirez (.300/27/105) topped the circuit with 50 two-base hits. Pedro “El Toro” Alvarez dialed long distance 30 times and knocked in 85 baserunners. Jose A. Bautista bashed 27 long balls despite missing nearly half the season due to injury. Jeff Keppinger boasted a .325 BA in a platoon role.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1992 Padres
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.
The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at “www.retrosheet.org”.
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.