Baseball Toaster Mike's Baseball Rants
This is my site with my opinions, but I hope that, like Irish Spring, you like it, too.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Mike's Baseball Rants


10  09  07 
06  05  04  03 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
Links to MBBR
Nationals Pride
2005-04-21 21:50
by Mike Carminati

Even though the relocated Washington Nationals lost to the Braves tonight, 2-1, after giving up two runs on a Cristian Guzman error in the ninth, they remain in first place in the NL East, tied with the Florida Marlins at 9-7. Neither team has ever won the division in any full season.

The Nats are trying to complete the dual task of going from last to first while switching homes from Montreal to DC in the process. One has to wonder if shuffling off the baggage with which they'd been laden north of the border, not to mention their alter ego as the San Juan Expos, is enough to buoy this team into a pennant race. Or maybe it was losing Omar Minaya, who seemed more concerned with pleasing his former employers, the other owners, than in constructing a viable team in Montreal.

The Nats/Expos were 67-95 for a .414 winning percentage last year. They trailed the Braves by 29 games. Very few people picked them better than fourth this year in the East.

Is this just an early season fluke or can the Nats really contend? How have past relocated teams fared?

Well, here are all the teams that switched cities in the past with their record in the final year as the old team and in the first year as the new team:

Year 1Year 2
Washington Senators19716396.396Texas Rangers197254100.351-.046
Seattle Pilots19696498.393Milwaukee Brewers19706597.399.006
Kansas City Athletics19676299.385Oakland Athletics19688280.503.118
Milwaukee Braves19658676.531Atlanta Braves19668577.521-.009
Washington Senators19607381.474Minnesota Twins19617090.435-.039
Brooklyn Dodgers19578470.545Los Angeles Dodgers19587183.461-.084
New York Giants19576985.448San Francisco Giants19588074.519.071
Philadelphia Athletics195451103.327Kansas City Athletics19556391.406.080
St. Louis Browns195354100.351Baltimore Orioles195454100.351.000
Boston Braves19526489.413Milwaukee Braves19539262.586.173
Indianapolis Hoosiers19148865.561Newark Pepper19158072.516-.044
Baltimore Orioles19025088.355New York Highlanders19037262.529.175
Milwaukee Brewers19014889.345St. Louis Browns19027858.557.212

The average relocated team improved their winning percentage by 47 points. For the Nats, if that holds true, it would mean a .461 winning percentage this year, or about a 75-87 record. That seems about right, or at least it did before the season.

Their current winning percentage (.563) is almost a 150 point improvement over 2004. Three teams did record an improvement at least that good. They are the Milwaukee/St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles/NY Highlanders (cum Yankees), and Boston/Milwaukee Braves. When one considers that a .563 winning percentage will probably not be enough to win the division and may not be enough to secure a wild card spot and that even maintaining such a high winning percentage after a poor season last year, one has to question if they can even pull off becoming a real contender for the better part of the season.

Consider that in the expansion era only 22 clubs have had an improvement at least as good as the Expos have witnessed yet far this year over the course of a full season. That doesn't bode well. Here are those clubs:

Year 1Year 2
Detroit Tigers200343119.26520047290.444.179
Seattle Mariners20009171.562200111646.716.154
Arizona Diamondbacks19986597.401199910062.617.216
Detroit Tigers199653109.32719977983.488.160
San Francisco Giants19927290.444199310359.636.191
Philadelphia Phillies19927092.43219939765.599.167
Atlanta Braves19906597.40119919468.580.179
Chicago White Sox19896992.42919909468.580.152
Baltimore Orioles198854107.33519898775.537.202
Texas Rangers19856299.38519868775.537.152
Chicago Cubs19837191.43819849665.596.158
Oakland Athletics197954108.33319808379.512.179
Milwaukee Brewers19776795.41419789369.574.160
Chicago White Sox19766497.39819779072.556.158
Texas Rangers197357105.35219748476.522.170
New York Mets19687389.448196910062.617.169
Chicago Cubs196659103.36419678774.537.173
Philadelphia Phillies196147107.30319628180.503.200
Cincinnati Reds19606787.43519619361.604.169
Detroit Tigers19607183.461196110161.620.159

Does any of this have any direct affect on the Nats' season this year? Absolutely not. However, if they do contend, it would be quite a story. It would also be a great way to launch a team in DC.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.