December 1, 2021

Seamheads Historical League Preview – Part 5 of 7 – Expansion One Division

January 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

More than halfway through the previews, we turn our attention to the Expansion teams of the ’60s and ’70s.  To keep the playing field level, the divisions are balanced based on when they joined Major League Baseball. Today, the first of the three divisions are previewed.  Check back tomorrow for the final two previews.

 The first of the three “expansion” divisions consist of the four teams that joined the league in 1961 and 1962.  In 1961, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (originally the Los Angeles Angels from 1961 to 1964 then the California Angels from 1965 to 1996 then the Anaheim Angels from 1997 to 2004 then their current title in 2005) and the Texas Rangers (initially the Washington Senators from 1961 to 1971 before moving to Texas and becoming the Rangers in 1972).  The next season, the Angels and Rangers were joined by the Houston Astros (debuted as the Houston Colt .45s from 1962 to 1964 before changing their name to the Astros in 1965) and the New York Mets (always known as the Mets).

HOUSTON ASTROS (1962-2008, 1 Pennant, 9 Playoff Appearances)

GENERAL MANAGER: Kevin Wheeler, KMOX Sports Talk Show Host

40-Man Roster

Catchers (3): Alan Ashby, Brad Ausmus, Mitch Melusky

Infielders (12): Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Ken Caminiti, Glenn Davis, Morgan Ensberg, Jeff Kent, Ray Knight, Mark Loretta, Julio Lugo, Joe Morgan, Miguel Tejada, Dickie Thon

Outfielders (9): Moises Alou, Carlos Beltran, Lance Berkman, Cesar Cedeno, Jose Cruz, Steve Finley, Richard Hidalgo, Carlos Lee, Jimmy Wynn

Pitchers (16): Larry Andersen, Roger Clemens, Octavio Dotel, Ken Forsch, Mike Hampton, Randy Johnson, Brad Lidge, Joe Niekro, Roy Oswalt, J.R. Richard, Nolan Ryan, Joe Sambito, Mike Scott, Dave Smith, Jose Valverde, Billy Wagner


vs. LHP
1. Cesar Cedeno (CF)
2. Craig Biggio (2B)
3. Lance Berkman (LF)
4. Jeff Bagwell (1B)
5. Ken Caminit (3B)
6. Jimmy Wynn (RF)
7. Alan Ashby (C)
8. Dickie Thon (SS)

vs. RHP
1. Steve Finley (RF)
2. Joe Morgan (2B)
3. Berkman (LF)
4. Bagwell (1B)
5. Caminiti (3B)
6. Carlos Beltran (CF)
7. Mitch Melusky (C)
8. Thon (SS)

Bench: Ashby/Melusky, Cedeno/Beltran, Wynn/Finley, Biggio/Morgan, Glenn Davis, Julio Lugo, Mark Loretta

1. Nolan Ryan
2. J.R. Richard
3. Roger Clemens
4. Randy Johnson
5. Roy Oswalt

Jose Valverde
Billy Wagner
Larry Andersen
Dave Smith

Brad Lidge

On the Farm: Brad Ausmus, Octavio Dotel, Ray Knight, Jeff Kent, Morgan Ensberg, Miguel Tejada, Jose Cruz, Carlos Lee, Moises Alou, Richard Hidalgo, Joe Sambito, Mike Hampton, Mike Scott, Joe Niekro, Ken Forsch

Five Questions…

  • Who should be the closer for this team?
  • Am I the only one curious how Mitch Melusky would perform based on his one big season in Houston?
  • Isn’t it good to see Biggio and Bagwell back in the same lineup?
  • How much would Mike Hampton pay to return to the healthy stretch of his career?
  • Which Brad Lidge will show up?

LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM (1961-2008, 1 World Championship, 1 Pennant, 8 Playoff Appearances)

GENERAL MANAGER: Chad Finn, Boston Globe Sports Reporter

40-Man Roster

Catchers (2): Mike Napoli, Lance Parrish

Infielders (11): Willie Aiken, Orlando Cabrera, Rod Carew, Doug DeCinces, Jim Fregosi, Troy Glaus, Bobby Grich, Butch Hobson, Jerry Remy, Mark Teixeira, Jason Thompson

Outfielders (11): Don Baylor, Lyman Bostock, Brian Downing, Jim Edmonds, Vladimir Guerrero, Fred Lynn, Tony Phillips, Frank Robinson, Tim Salmon, Leon Wagner, Dave Winfield

Pitchers (16): Jim Abbott, Jose Arredondo, Dean Chance, Brendan Donnelly, Chuck Finley, Bryan Harvey, John Lackey, Mark Langston, Bob Lee, Andy Messersmith, Donnie Moore, Troy Percival, Francisco Rodriguez, Nolan Ryan, Frank Tanana, Ken Tatum


vs. LHP
1. Rod Carew (1B)
2. Doug DeCinces (3B)
3. Vladimir Guerrero (RF)
4. Brian Downing (LF)
5. Fred Lynn (CF)
6. Bobby Grich (2B)
7. Jim Fregosi (SS)
8. Lance Parrish (C)

vs. RHP
1. Carew (1B)
2. Tony Phillips (LF)
3. DeCinces (3B)
4. V.Guerrero (RF)
5. Lynn (CF)
6. Jerry Remy (2B)
7. Jim Fregosi (SS)
8. Lance Parrish (C)

Bench: Grich/Remy, Downing/Phillips, Mike Napoli, Willie Aikens, Troy Glaus, Don Baylor, Frank Robinson

Nolan Ryan
Andy Messersmith
Frank Tanana
Chuck Finley
John Lackey

Troy Percival
Jose Arredondo
Bryan Harvey
Bob Lee

Francisco Rodriguez

On the Farm: Jason Thompson, Mark Teixeira, Orlando Cabrera, Butch Hobson, Lyman Bostock, Jim Edmonds, Tim Salmon, Leon Wagner, Dave Winfield, Donnie Moore, Brendan Donnelly, Mark Langston, Ken Tatum, Dean Chance, Jim Abbott

Five Questions…

  • Is the team’s lack of depth at catcher and short stop going to hurt them?
  • Since Tim Salmon is “Mr. Angel”, does that automatically earn him a spot on the 25-man roster?
  • You really could make a case for every player on this roster being in the starting lineup or on the farm, couldn’t you?
  • I know, I know… “Angels in the Outfield” but do they really need 11 outfielders?
  • If this team were televised, how many times would I have to see Dave Henderson’s home run off of Donnie Moore and would I still get sick to my stomach?

NEW YORK METS (1962-2008, 2 World Championships, 4 Pennants, 7 Playoff Appearances)

GENERAL MANAGER: Ted Berg, SNY.TV Senior Editorial Producer

40-Man Roster

Catchers (2): Gary Carter, Mike Piazza

Infielders (8): Edgardo Alfonso, Wally Backman, Keith Hernandez, Howard Johnson, Dave Magadan, John Olerud, Jose Reyes, David Wright

Outfielders (11): Tommie Agee, Carlos Beltran, Bobby Bonilla, Steve Henderson, Cleon Jones, Lee Mazilli, Kevin McReynolds, John Milner, Rusty Staub, Darryl Strawberry, Mookie Wilson

Pitchers (19): Armando Benitez, David Cone, Ron Darling, John Franco, Dwight Gooden, Jerry Koosman, Terry Leach, John Matlack, Roger McDowell, Tug McGraw, Randy Myers, Bobby Ojeda, Jesse Orosco, Jeff Reardon, Bret Saberhagen, Johan Santana, Tom Seaver, Frank Viola, Billy Wagner

vs. LHP
1. Jose Reyes (SS)
2. Carlos Beltran (CF)
3. David Wright (3B)
4. Darryl Strawberry (RF)
5. Mike Piazza (C)
6. Keith Hernandez (1B)
7. Mookie Wilson (LF)
8. Wally Backman (2B)

vs. RHP
1. Reyes (2B)
2. Wright (3B)
3. Strawberry (RF)
4. Piazza (C)
5. Hernandez (1B)
6. John Milner (LF)
7. M.Wilson (CF)
8. Backman (2B)

Bench: Beltran/Milner, Gary Carter, Dave Magadan, Edgardo Alfonso, Howard Johnson, Bobby Bonilla, Rusty Staub

Tom Seaver
Dwight Gooden
David Cone
Bret Saberhagen
Frank Viola

Tug McGraw
Randy Myers
John Franco
Jeff Reardon

Billy Wagner

On the Farm: John Olerud, Tommie Agee, Steve Henderson, Cleon Jones, Lee Mazilli, Kevin McReynolds, Armando Benitez, Johan Santana, Ron Darling, John Matlack, Jesse Orosco, Jerry Koosman, Terry Leach, Roger McDowell, Bob Ojeda

Five Questions…

  • Should an executive decision be made to put Nolan Ryan on the roster so that every team in the Expansion One Division has the Ryan Express?
  • Does Johan Santana’s one great season in ’08 get him in the rotation?
  • Is this team overloaded with pitchers and outfielders?
  • Mike Piazza or Gary Carter?
  • Since this version of the Mets has four current players, does that make the team prone to an September/October collapse?

TEXAS RANGERS (1961-2008, 3 Playoff Appearances)

GENERAL MANAGER: Jamey Newberg, Attorney/Author/Writer

40-Man Roster

Catchers (3): Gerald Laird, Ivan Rodriguez, Jim Sundberg

Infielders (11): Hank Blalock, Will Clark, Chris Davis, Julio Franco, Ian Kinsler, Rafael Palmeiro, Dean Palmer, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, Mark Teixeira, Michael Young

Outfielders (9): Bobby Bonds, Milton Bradley, Marlon Byrd, Carl Everett, Juan Gonzalez, Rusty Greer, Darryl Hamilton, Al Oliver, Ruben Sierra

Pitchers (17): Bert Blyleven, Kevin Brown, Francisco Cordero, Eric Gagne, Jose Guzman, Rick Helling, Tom Henke, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Kern, Akinori Otsuka, Gaylord Perry, Kenny Rogers, John Russell, Nolan Ryan, Aaron Sele, John Wetteland, Jeff Zimmerman


vs. LHP
1. Al Oliver (CF)
2. Alex Rodriguez (SS)
3. Mark Teixeira (1B)
4. Juan Gonzalez (RF)
5. Alfonso Soriano (2B)
6. Dean Palmer (3B)
7. Rusty Greer (LF)
8. Ivan Rodriguez (C)

vs. RHP
1. Oliver (CF)
2. Soriano (2B)
3. A.Rodriguez (SS)
4. Rafael Palmeiro (1B)
5. Milton Bradley (RF)
6. Hank Blalock (3B)
7. Greer (LF)
8. I.Rodriguez (C)

Bench: Palmeiro/Teixeira, Blalock/Palmer, J.Gonzalez, Bradley, Jim Sundberg, Julio Franco, Michael Young, Ruben Sierra

Nolan Ryan
Gaylord Perry
Fergie Jenkins
Bert Blyleven
Aaron Sele

Eric Gagne
Tom Henke
Kenny Rogers
John Wetteland

Francisco Cordero

On the Farm: Gerald Laird, Will Clark, Chris Davis, Ian Kinsler, Bobby Bonds, Marlon Byrd, Carl Everett, Darryl Hamilton, Kevin Brown, Rick Helling, Jeff Zimmerman, Jeff Russell, Jim Kern, Jose Guzman, Akinori Otsuka

Five Questions…

  • Are the Rangers the best offensive team in the division?
  • Are the Rangers the worst defensive team in the division?
  • Do you sacrifice even more defense by using Michael Young or Ian Kinsler at third?
  • One left-handed pitcher?
  • And Marlon Byrd… on an All-Time Great team?

With all of the teams previewed, here are the predictions:

1. Astros
2. Angels
3. Mets
4. Rangers

Expansion One MVP: Alex Rodriguez, Rangers
Expansion One Cy Young: Tom Seaver, Mets

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