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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

HardballTalk: The Angels are now the only expansion team to have a .500 record

...but despite all of that expansion history, no expansion team sat at .500 or above as play began last night. With their win over the Blue Jays last night, the Angels are now even at 4,272 wins and 4,272 losses.

Now, they aren’t the first expansion team to break .500. As Dbacks’ Vice President Josh Rawitch noted on Twitter last night, Arizona was 652-644 between 1998 and 2005, getting over the .500 hump and staying there for a time after their first couple of seasons. Such early success for an expansion team is unusual, however, and they have since sunk below sea level. The Angels were above .500 twice in their first four seasons, but they had not been at .500 in the aggregate since they were 1-1 following the second day of the 1961 season. They’ve spent over 50 years climbing out of the hole they dug. Pretty cool.

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 08:28 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels

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   1. JRVJ Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4745991)
This is a nice little tidbit, like when the Phillies lost their 10,000 game, but pretty darn irrelevant.

Mind you, there's some Angels fans who have lived through the totality of the Angels' history, so in that sense they are unlike some of the older franchises (some of which go back to the 19th century), but to almost all Angels fans, there's no sting to losses in the 1960s (obviously, a few more will remember the Nolan Ryan 70s, a few more will remember Donny Moore, etc., etc.).
   2. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4746001)
The Blue Jays are close (2949-3011), in the sense that they are only a few winning seasons away from the mark.
In comparison, the Mariners are 390 games below .500 (2784-3174).
   3. Batman Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4746003)
The Padres have managed to get 531 games under .500 in their 45 1/2 seasons. Only the Senators/Twins, Browns/Orioles, and Phillies are more games under.
   4. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4746006)
I would've guessed Toronto made it back over .500
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4746007)
Since the Angels are in the second biggest media market in the country, it doesn't say much for the franchise that it's taken them this long just to break even. You can ascribe a lot of their early mediocrity to the way that the first expansion draft screwed the new teams, but given that they managed to go 86-76 in their second year of existence, that's more of an excuse than a reason.
   6. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4746010)
Now, they aren’t the first expansion team to break .500. As Dbacks’ Vice President Josh Rawitch noted on Twitter last night, Arizona was 652-644 between 1998 and 2005, getting over the .500 hump and staying there for a time after their first couple of seasons. Such early success for an expansion team is unusual, however, and they have since sunk below sea level.


The Royals spent two-plus decades over .500.

   7. smileyy Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4746020)
I'd expect most/all expansion teams to remain under .500

If you figure that all teams tend towards .500 over time, the inevitable early failures of expansion teams will serve as an anchor around their neck in the attempt to get to .500
   8. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4746041)
Since the Angels are in the second biggest media market in the country, it doesn't say much for the franchise that it's taken them this long just to break even.


Well, the Mets are in the biggest media market in the country, and have been around as long as the Angels, and they're 375 games under .500.

The Mets' next win will be their 4,000th in franchise history. Get on it, Jay Horwitz!
   9. BDC Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4746056)
DFW SABR member Steve West (via chapter president Paul Rogers) notes this:

Jake Smolinski apparently became the 1000th Ranger/Senator to appear in a major league game last night.


That's the very definition of trivia, but as long as we're talking about 1961 AL expansion teams …
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4746072)
Since the Angels are in the second biggest media market in the country, it doesn't say much for the franchise that it's taken them this long just to break even.

Well, the Mets are in the biggest media market in the country, and have been around as long as the Angels, and they're 375 games under .500.


I would've mentioned that, but I don't like to pick on cripples.
   11. BDC Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4746079)
Ah, correction, also via Paul Rogers:

John Blake advises that Phil Irwin will be the 1000th when he starts tonight against the Astros. Smolinski was number 999.


And if the Rangers' roster keeps churning like this, we should see #2,000 sometime in early September.
   12. Matt Welch Posted: July 08, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4746117)
You can ascribe a lot of their early mediocrity to the way that the first expansion draft screwed the new teams

The Angels had one of the most successful shots out of the gate of any expansion franchise -- .484 their first six years. I think only KC, Colorado, and Arizona can compete with that. In part the comparative success was because the first expansion draft was particularly good to them, bringing as it did Jim Fregosi and Dean Chance (and Albie Pearson, and few other solid players).

The "mediocrity" tag that became associated with the franchise had a lot more to do with the 1968-76 squads, which were often listless sacks of scrubs playing ineptly behind a few dominant starters.
   13. Astroenteritis Posted: July 08, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4746187)
The Astros were above .500 for a short time, I think in 2006, but of course they have been worse than their expansion years lately and are way below .500 now.
I'm always surprised when looking at how well the Angels did in their early years. Did the later expansion teams have more favorable startup conditions than the sixties teams?
   14. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 08, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4746316)
That's pretty cool--very surprised to learn that it's a club of one.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 08, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4746447)
The Angels had one of the most successful shots out of the gate of any expansion franchise -- .484 their first six years. I think only KC, Colorado, and Arizona can compete with that. In part the comparative success was because the first expansion draft was particularly good to them, bringing as it did Jim Fregosi and Dean Chance (and Albie Pearson, and few other solid players).

The Angels also had the unique fortune of being in the (relatively) weakest Major League since WWII. Under any other set of circumstances they wouldn't have done nearly as well.
   16. alilisd Posted: July 08, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4746561)
Did the later expansion teams have more favorable startup conditions than the sixties teams?


Yes, I believe the conditions were quite a bit better for the most recent expansion clubs like the Rockies, Marlins, Rays, and Diamondbacks. IIRC, the 60's expansion clubs had relatively slim pickings compared to the 90's teams.
   17. Matt Welch Posted: July 08, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4746576)
The Angels also had the unique fortune of being in the (relatively) weakest Major League since WWII. Under any other set of circumstances they wouldn't have done nearly as well.

Hardball Times link, please?
   18. Matt Welch Posted: July 08, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4746578)
the conditions were quite a bit better for the most recent expansion clubs like the Rockies, Marlins, Rays, and Diamondbacks. IIRC, the 60's expansion clubs had relatively slim pickings compared to the 90's teams.

They also had the ability to sign free agents!
   19. bobm Posted: July 08, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4746611)
For cumulative team seasons, From 1960 to 2014, Total (within Season Totals), sorted by greatest Win-Loss % for this split

                                         
Rk       I Split From   To W-L%    W    L
1      NYY Total 1960 2014 .561 4866 3815
2      LAD Total 1960 2014 .536 4663 4033
3      STL Total 1960 2014 .529 4589 4094
4      BOS Total 1960 2014 .529 4598 4094
5      CIN Total 1960 2014 .525 4557 4130
6      MLN Total 1960 2014 .521 4524 4154
7      BAL Total 1960 2014 .520 4509 4167
8      SFG Total 1960 2014 .519 4511 4185
9      CHW Total 1960 2014 .506 4393 4293
10     KCA Total 1960 2014 .505 4391 4303
11     LAA Total 1961 2014 .500 4272 4272
12     DET Total 1960 2014 .500 4345 4347
13     PHI Total 1960 2014 .498 4327 4362
14     WSH Total 1960 2014 .497 4316 4373
15     PIT Total 1960 2014 .496 4300 4378
16     ARI Total 1998 2014 .495 1329 1354
17     TOR Total 1977 2014 .495 2949 3011
18     HOU Total 1962 2014 .487 4087 4299
19     CLE Total 1960 2014 .486 4221 4457
20     KCR Total 1969 2014 .481 3485 3754
21     MON Total 1969 2014 .480 3479 3763
22     SEP Total 1969 2014 .479 3471 3776
23     NYM Total 1962 2014 .478 3999 4374
24     WSA Total 1961 2014 .477 4065 4464
25     CHC Total 1960 2014 .474 4112 4564
Rk       I Split From   To W-L%    W    L
26     FLA Total 1993 2014 .470 1609 1814
27     COL Total 1993 2014 .470 1612 1818
28     SEA Total 1977 2014 .467 2784 3174
29     SDP Total 1969 2014 .463 3361 3892
30     TBD Total 1998 2014 .461 1236 1446


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/8/2014.
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 08, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4746641)
I guess the Angels just made extremely good decisions early in their history. The contemporaneous Washington Senators 2.0 weren't nearly as good.
   21. FrankM Posted: July 08, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4746658)
#20 - Those Senators were roundly outdrafted by the Angels, plus they were on a shoestring budget and made many poor decisions. They picked up a veteran pitcher in the expansion draft in Dick Donovan, who had a good year for them, leading the league in ERA. So deal him for a couple of good prospects, right?. Nope, they traded him to Cleveland for a washed up Jim Piersall.
   22. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:21 AM (#4746758)
Sometimes a Sr. VP of Communications should be careful about how & when he "tweets" his teams horn. Apparently disgruntled fans also follow his twitter.

@joshrawitch
@BillShaikin From 1998-2005, Dbacks were 652-644 (.503), never falling under .500 at any point during those years after our second season.

@DogShitFrosting
@joshrawitch @BillShaikin I remember those Diamondbacks days fondly, when team wasn't owned by a tightwad, and not run by morons
   23. Matt Welch Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4746882)
I guess the Angels just made extremely good decisions early in their history.

Up until the mid-'60s, their franchise-building was exceptional. But then they started screwing around with and squandering their young talent, doing dumb stuff like trading away a young Jose Cardenal, and yo-yoing potentially useful pieces like Ed Kirkpatrick. More on that here: http://www.halosheaven.com/2010/10/16/1755324/dizzy-about-mike-trout-recall-the-cautionary-tale-of-ed-kirkpatrick
   24. Matt Welch Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4746982)
Nope, they traded him to Cleveland for a washed up Jim Piersall.

... who gave them -1.2 WAR for 1.3 seasons, after which he was traded for a retiring Gil Hodges, and then re-signed as a free agent by ... the Los Angeles Angels! For whom he gave a decent 1.5 WAR (.279/.327/.349) as a part-timer for four-plus years, also providing crucial early-career moral guidance to, uh, Jay Johnstone.

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