Hardball Retrospective – What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1985 Expos

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

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
Hubie Brooks SS 1.04 15.12
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
Mike O’Berry C 0.04 0.41
Andres Galarraga 1B -0.57 0.37
Skeeter Barnes 3B -0.31 0.29
Steve Nicosia C -0.45 0.28
Razor Shines 1B -0.59 0.19
Doug Frobel RF -0.15 0.11
Doug Flynn 2B -0.06 0.04
Roy Johnson RF -0.07 0
Ned Yost C -0.14 0

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
John Dopson SP -0.95 0
Ed Glynn RP -0.41 0
Bill Laskey SP -1.81 0
Steve Rogers SP -0.65 0

 Notable Transactions

Gary Carter 

December 10, 1984: Traded by the Montreal Expos to the New York Mets for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham and Floyd Youmans. 

Bob James 

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.

Tony Bernazard

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.

Shane Rawley

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.


Honorable Mention


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.

On Deck

What Might Have Been – The “Original” 2008 Mariners

References and Resources

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


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.

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7 years ago

So I’ve been enjoying this series, but I have a problem with this entry, because there’s no shortstop. I guess it would be Tony Phillips, considering he played over 200 games there prior to 85, but he didn’t play much that year. Little didn’t do much either, but played short as well. I just think that hypothetical situations fall apart if there’s one position missing, and this was maybe better off as an honorable mention.
I also feel that the Nationals and Expos need to be separate. What would be the next best season for both Expos and Nationals?