Hardball Retrospective – The “Original” 1979 Montreal 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. Therefore, Tony Perez is listed on the Reds roster for the duration of his career while the Red Sox declare Wade Boggs and the Rockies claim Troy Tulowitzki. 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 finest single-season rosters for every Major League organization based on overall rankings in OWAR and OWS along with the general managers and scouting directors that constructed the teams. “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.

Terminology

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

Assessment

The 1979 Montreal Expos          OWAR: 53.9     OWS: 327     OPW%: .572

GM Jim Fanning acquired 88% (23/26) of the ballplayers on the 1979 Expos roster. Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1979 Expos captured the first pennant in franchise history with 93 victories while topping the National League in OWAR and OWS.

Gary “Kid” Carter paced Montreal with 28 Win Shares and 5.2 WAR. The Hall of Fame backstop slugged 22 round-trippers and commenced a run of 10 consecutive All-Star appearances. Third-sacker Larry Parrish (.307/30/82) clubbed 39 two-baggers en route to a four-place finish in the N.L. MVP balloting. Andre “The Hawk” Dawson displayed his five-tool talent, blasting 25 long balls and nabbing 35 bags. Gary Roenicke swatted 25 big-flies while platooning in left field. Warren Cromartie delivered career-highs with 181 base knocks and 46 doubles. Ellis Valentine contributed 21 jacks and Tony Scott swiped 37 bases.

Tim Raines received the proverbial “cup of coffee” in 1979 with six pinch-running appearances. “Rock” pilfered 808 bases during a career that spanned 23 seasons. He ranks eighth among left fielders according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” Teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Carter (8th-C), Dawson (19th-RF) and Parrish (53rd-3B).

LINEUP POS WAR WS
Tony Scott RF/CF 1.21 13.93
Warren Cromartie 1B/LF 3.28 17.18
Andre Dawson CF 2.74 24.01
Gary Carter C 5.25 28.95
Larry Parrish 3B 4.07 27.34
Gary Roenicke LF 3.33 18.9
Tony Bernazard 2B 0.6 2.56
SS
BENCH POS WAR WS
Jerry White RF 0.79 6.09
Barry Foote C 1.58 12.2
Bombo Rivera LF 0.55 5.17
Ellis Valentine RF 0.4 14.41
Tim Raines 0 0
Terry Humphrey C -0.22 0.21

Steve Rogers (13-12, 3.00), the Expos first-round selection in the June 1971 Amateur Draft, hurled a League-leading 5 shutouts and achieved his third All-Star invitation. Dan Schatzeder posted a 10-5 mark with a 2.83 ERA. David Palmer fashioned a 2.64 ERA with a record of 10-2 in his rookie campaign. Scott Sanderson contributed 9 victories along with a 3.43 ERA. Byron McLaughlin collected 7 wins and 14 saves working in a variety of roles while portsider Shane Rawley saved 11 contests.

ROTATION POS WAR WS
Steve Rogers SP 3.78 16.61
Dan Schatzeder SP 3.31 13.13
David Palmer SP 2.25 11.23
Scott Sanderson SP 1.89 10.21
Balor Moore SP 0.01 5.7
BULLPEN POS WAR WS
Byron McLaughlin SW 1.29 11.04
Shane Rawley RP 0.78 7.84
Bill Atkinson RP 0.22 2.08
Dale Murray RP -1.09 3.15
Bill Gullickson RP 0.02 0.14
Gerry Hannahs SP 0.03 0.74
Bob James RP -0.21 0
Craig Minetto SP -2 0.47

The “Original” 1979 Montreal Expos roster

NAME POS WAR WS General Manager Scouting Director
Gary Carter C 5.25 28.95 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Larry Parrish 3B 4.07 27.34 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Steve Rogers SP 3.78 16.61 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Gary Roenicke LF 3.33 18.9 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Dan Schatzeder SP 3.31 13.13 Jim Fanning Danny Menendez
Warren Cromartie LF 3.28 17.18 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Andre Dawson CF 2.74 24.01 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
David Palmer SP 2.25 11.23 Jim Fanning Danny Menendez
Scott Sanderson SP 1.89 10.21 Charlie Fox Danny Menendez
Barry Foote C 1.58 12.2 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Byron McLaughlin SW 1.29 11.04 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Tony Scott CF 1.21 13.93 Jim Fanning
Jerry White RF 0.79 6.09 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Shane Rawley RP 0.78 7.84 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Tony Bernazard 2B 0.6 2.56 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Bombo Rivera LF 0.55 5.17 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Ellis Valentine RF 0.4 14.41 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Bill Atkinson RP 0.22 2.08 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Gerry Hannahs SP 0.03 0.74 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Bill Gullickson RP 0.02 0.14 Charlie Fox Danny Menendez
Balor Moore SP 0.01 5.7 Jim Fanning
Tim Raines 0 0 Charlie Fox Danny Menendez
Bob James RP -0.21 0 Jim Fanning Danny Menendez
Terry Humphrey C -0.22 0.21 Jim Fanning
Dale Murray RP -1.09 3.15 Jim Fanning Mel Didier
Craig Minetto SP -2 0.47 Jim Fanning Mel Didier

Honorable Mention

The “Original” 1985 Expos     OWAR: 55.8     OWS: 320     OPW%: .556

Montreal claimed the National League East division title by a five-game margin over New York while pacing the Senior Circuit in OWAR and OWS. Tim Raines stole 70 bases in 79 tries and batted .320 with 115 runs scored. Raines (35 WS) and Gary Carter (33 WS) surpassed the 30 Win Share plateau as the “Kid” blasted 32 moon-shots. Tim Wallach dialed long-distance 22 times and earned his first Gold Glove Award. Tony Bernazard supplied career-bests with a .301 BA, 169 hits, 17 home runs and 73 RBI. Andre Dawson collected his sixth consecutive Gold Glove Award and drove in 91 runs. Bob James anchored the bullpen staff with 32 saves, 8 victories and a 2.13 ERA. Shane Rawley provided 13 wins with a 3.31 ERA in 31 starts while Joe Hesketh delivered a 2.49 ERA and a record of 10-5 in his freshmen year.

On Deck

The “Original” 1977 Pirates

References and Resources

Baseball America – Executive Database

Baseball-Reference

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

Seamheads – Baseball Gauge

Sean Lahman Baseball Archive



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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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Michael Bacon
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Michael Bacon

I purchased your book. It would have much better if you had written the book in the format you use here. As it is written it is difficult because you have a list of names without even the years they played, or even their first year.