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
|STARTING LINEUP||POS||OWAR||OWS||STARTING LINEUP||POS||AWAR||AWS|
|Manny Ramirez||LF||3.63||26.99||Matt Lawton||LF||1.07||9.65|
|Brian S. Giles||CF/LF||5.09||24.55||Milton Bradley||CF||4.21||18.53|
|Dustan Mohr||RF||0.52||7.06||Jody Gerut||RF||1.98||14.24|
|Richie Sexson||DH/1B||4.13||24.93||Travis Hafner||DH||0.8||7.4|
|Jim Thome||1B||4.56||28.67||Ben Broussard||1B||0.59||8.77|
|John McDonald||2B||-0.43||2.04||Brandon Phillips||2B||-1.22||4.28|
|Jhonny Peralta||SS||0.16||4.22||Omar Vizquel||SS||0.11||5.25|
|Russell Branyan||3B||0.44||5.82||Casey Blake||3B||0.51||11.48|
|Einar Diaz||C||0.63||4.75||Josh Bard||C||0.81||6.35|
|Sean Casey||1B||-0.27||14.88||Coco Crisp||CF||-0.17||6.51|
|David Bell||3B||0.12||4.42||Shane Spencer||RF||0.69||4.99|
|Kelly Stinnett||C||-0.07||3.49||Ellis Burks||DH||0.38||4.76|
|Victor Martinez||C||0.27||3.36||Jhonny Peralta||SS||0.16||4.22|
|Damian Jackson||2B||-0.44||1.85||Ryan Ludwick||RF||0.56||3.94|
|Marco Scutaro||2B||0.19||1.81||Victor Martinez||C||0.27||3.36|
|Julius Matos||3B||-0.14||0.6||Alex Escobar||RF||0.51||3.01|
|Zach Sorensen||2B||-0.28||0.32||Tim Laker||C||-0.1||2.71|
|Mike Edwards||DH||0.03||0.19||John McDonald||2B||-0.43||2.04|
|Herbert Perry||1B||-0.3||0.07||Angel Santos||2B||0.05||1.47|
|Mark Budzinski||CF||-0.09||0.03||Chris Magruder||LF||0.32||1.42|
|Mike Glavine||1B||-0.09||0.01||Ricky Gutierrez||SS||-0.08||0.79|
|Mitch Meluskey||–||-0.04||0||Greg LaRocca||3B||0.06||0.39|
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
|Bartolo Colon||SP||5.23||17.34||CC Sabathia||SP||3.86||12.89|
|CC Sabathia||SP||3.86||12.89||Brian Anderson||SP||0.32||6.67|
|Jason Davis||SP||0.07||5.13||Jake Westbrook||SP||1.12||5.8|
|Danny Graves||SP||-0.4||3.4||Jason Davis||SP||0.07||5.13|
|Jason Stanford||SP||1.03||2.85||Billy Traber||SP||0.05||2.96|
|David Riske||RP||2.07||9.84||David Riske||RP||2.07||9.84|
|Julian Tavarez||RP||0.52||9.19||Danys Baez||RP||0.28||8.61|
|Danys Baez||RP||0.28||8.61||Jack Cressend||RP||0.95||4.05|
|Curt Leskanic||RP||1.72||8.09||Rafael Betancourt||RP||0.86||3.92|
|Paul Shuey||RP||0.55||6.62||Jason Boyd||RP||0.18||3.19|
|Steve Kline||RP||0.44||5.05||Jason Stanford||SP||1.03||2.85|
|Alan Embree||RP||0.68||4.91||Terry Mulholland||RP||-0.62||2.71|
|Mike Matthews||RP||-0.18||2.91||Cliff Lee||SP||0.42||2.69|
|Jaret Wright||RP||-1.84||1.31||Jose Santiago||RP||0.51||2.28|
|Travis Driskill||RP||-0.95||0.64||Dan Miceli||RP||0.38||1.54|
|Charles Nagy||RP||-0.11||0.17||Carl Sadler||RP||0.29||0.92|
|Brian Tallet||SP||-0.23||0.14||Ricardo Rodriguez||SP||-0.62||0.59|
|Mike Bacsik||SP||-0.86||0||David Lee||RP||-0.01||0.51|
|Ryan Drese||SP||-0.85||0||Jason Bere||SP||0.11||0.32|
|Tim Drew||SW||-0.58||0||Brian Tallet||SP||-0.23||0.14|
|Alex Herrera||RP||-0.35||0||Nick Bierbrodt||RP||-0.19||0|
|Albie Lopez||RP||-1.49||0||David Cortes||RP||-0.32||0|
|Robert Person||RP||-0.29||0||Chad Durbin||SP||-0.57||0|
|Rudy Seanez||RP||-0.17||0||Dave Elder||RP||-0.37||0|
|Matt White||RP||-0.93||0||Alex Herrera||RP||-0.35||0|
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
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.