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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

May 27, 2010 at 2:13 PM

Thursday potpourri: Blue Jays out-shine expansion-brethren Mariners; M’s minor-league report; Milton Bradley song

Here are a few things to get off my plate:

First, today’s Mariners’ minor-league report.

And yesterday’s, which I never had a chance to post.

Secondly, I’ve been mulling over some interesting numbers provided by the always informative Bill Chuck, who created the Billy-Ball.com website. Bill looked at the records of expansion teams that started in the same year. Bill noted that the Diamondbacks, with Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Colorado, are now 990-1,000 (.497). They are 10 wins shy of becoming the second-fastest expansion-era team to reach 1,000 victories since 1961. The Royals needed 11 seasons plus 124 games to win 1,000, making them the fastest to that mark. The Angels are currently second fastest to 1,000 (12 seasons plus 161 games). The Diamondbacks are in their 13th season, so they’ll beat the Angels provided they win 10 more before Game No. 161. And if they don’t, they’re in big, big trouble.

(BTW, Bill didn’t figure this out, but I did: The Mariners didn’t win their 1,000th game until their 15th season, which was 1991 — the same season in which they finally had their first winning record. More specifically, the 1,000th franchise win came in game No. 118 that season).

I was more interested, however, in Chuck’s chart of win-loss records of all expansion teams, organized by their first year of play.

The Mariners and Blue Jays both were launched in 1977. Since that time, the Blue Jays are 2,616-2,653 for a winning percentage of .496, while the Mariners are 2,478-2788, for a winning percentage of .471.

To put that in standings form, the Jays have a 136 1/2-game lead over the Mariners. Throw in their two World Series titles (1992 and ’93), juxtaposed against the zero (0) apperances by Seattle in the World Series, and you’d have to say that the Blue Jays have been the more successful franchise, hands down. On the other hand, the Jays haven’t been to the postseason since winning the World Series in 1993. The Mariners have been in the playoffs four times since then, though never getting any farther than the American League Championship Series (three times).

Here are the other expansion pairings:

Los Angeles Angels, 1961: 3,909-3,947, .498

Texas Rangers, 1961: 3,683-4,154, .470

(Angels have 216 1/2-game advantage)

***

Houston Astros, 1962: 3,827-3,865, .498

New York Mets, 1962: 3,678-4,004, .479

(Astros have 144-game advantage)

***

Kansas City Royals, 1969: 3,161-3,388, .483

Washington Nationals (formerly Montreal Expos), 1969: 3,121-3,432, .476

(Royals have 42-game advantage)

***

Milwaukee Brewers, 1969: 3,107-3,447, .474

San Diego Padres, 1969: 3,035-3,526, .463

(Brewers have 75 1/2-game advantage)

***

Florida Marlins, 1993: 1,307-1,425, .478

Colorado Rockies, 1993: 1,304-1,443, .476

(Marlins have 10 1/2-game advantage)

***

Arizona Diamondbacks, 1998: 990-1000, .497

Tampa Bay Rays, 1998: 858-1129, .432

(Diamondbacks have 130 1/2-game advantage)

And, finally, here is a new song by Erin Abbott, a singer-songwriter from Seattle. This one is an ode to Milton Bradley. You might recall that a few weeks ago, I posted her tribute to Ryan-Rowland-Smith.

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