Ten Facts About the Original AL Expansion Teams

From SABR member Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times on March 28:

None of the 14 expansion teams has a winning record for its franchise history. It makes sense that they’d have trouble, given that all clubs struggle in the early goings, but most of these teams are far beyond their original goings. Yet they all still are on the wrong side of .500. You’d expect most of them to be under .500, but all 14? Wow. Some, like the Royals and D-backs, used to be over .500, but none are right now.

The Angels have one of the best records: their .498 marker is just 36 games under .500. Despite that, their franchise record peaked after team Game No. 1. They dropped their next eight games and have never again been over .500.

Things bottomed out for them early on April 23, 2002 – Mike Scioscia‘s 20th game as manager. A loss that day put them 232 games under .500 (3,150-3,382). They nearly dug themselves out of their pit, pulling up to 26 games under .500 a few times last year, but the Scioscia-era boys ran out of steam before they could pull the club all the way out of its once deep hole.

Texas is nowhere near that close. The Rangers are 459 games under .500. Only the Padres are worse among expansion teams. (To be fair, several others have a worse winning percentage, but haven’t played as many games as the half-century old Rangers). They bottomed out at 494 games under .500 at the end of April 2008.

Their moment under the sun came on June 2, 1961, when a win gave them a 24-23 franchise record. They went 37-77 the rest of the year, which proved to be the first of four straight 100-loss seasons.

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/10-things-i-didnt-know-about-the-original-al-expansion-teams/

Originally published: March 30, 2011. Last Updated: March 30, 2011.