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 La Russa 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 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
|STARTING LINEUP||POS||OWAR||OWS||STARTING LINEUP||POS||AWAR||AWS|
|Tim Raines||LF||6.31||35.45||Tim Raines||LF||6.31||35.45|
|Andre Dawson||CF/RF||1.61||16.14||Mitch Webster||CF||1.55||9.53|
|Larry Parrish||RF||-0.95||5.78||Andre Dawson||RF||1.61||16.14|
|Terry Francona||1B||0.1||6.06||Dan Driessen||1B||-0.36||7.83|
|Tony Bernazard||2B||2.86||16.58||Vance Law||2B||3.63||24.03|
|Tim Wallach||3B||5.06||23.24||Tim Wallach||3B||5.06||23.24|
|Gary Carter||C||5.05||33.5||Mike R. Fitzgerald||C||-0.05||3.74|
|Gary Roenicke||LF||0.82||7.85||Herm Winningham||CF||0.05||8.24|
|Tony Phillips||3B||1.23||6.59||Terry Francona||1B||0.1||6.06|
|Bryan Little||2B||1.26||6.56||U. L. Washington||2B||0.17||4.91|
|Mike Stenhouse||DH||-0.23||2.97||Sal Butera||C||-0.11||1.71|
|Al Newman||2B||-0.11||0.53||Jim Wohlford||RF||-0.4||1.18|
|Andres Galarraga||1B||-0.57||0.37||Fred Manrique||2B||0.23||1.17|
|Razor Shines||1B||-0.59||0.19||Scot Thompson||1B||0.02||0.62|
|Ellis Valentine||RF||-0.22||0.06||Al Newman||2B||-0.11||0.53|
|Roy Johnson||RF||-0.07||0||Miguel Dilone||CF||-0.57||0.51|
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
|Shane Rawley||SP||3.23||12.82||Bryn Smith||SP||2.93||15.35|
|Joe Hesketh||SP||2.61||11.66||Joe Hesketh||SP||2.61||11.66|
|Bill Gullickson||SP||1.27||9.48||Bill Gullickson||SP||1.27||9.48|
|Scott Sanderson||SP||2.16||8.88||David Palmer||SP||0.64||5.75|
|David Palmer||SP||0.64||5.75||Floyd Youmans||SP||1.18||5.43|
|Bob James||RP||3.39||21.93||Tim Burke||RP||2.64||13.11|
|Randy St. Claire||RP||-0.07||3.2||Jeff Reardon||RP||1.14||12.22|
|Tom Gorman||RP||-0.72||0.51||Gary Lucas||RP||0.1||4.47|
|Rick Grapenthin||RP||-0.73||0.22||Bert Roberge||RP||0.27||3.9|
|Jack O’Connor||RP||-0.36||0.01||Randy St. Claire||RP||-0.07||3.2|
|Dan Schatzeder||SP||0.07||3.6||Dan Schatzeder||SP||0.07||3.6|
|John Dopson||SP||-0.95||0||Mickey Mahler||SP||0.23||1.9|
|Dale Murray||RP||-0.34||0||Rick Grapenthin||RP||-0.73||0.22|
|Steve Rogers||SP||-0.65||0||Jack O’Connor||RP||-0.36||0.01|
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
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.