2003 Detroit Tigers Baseball Graphs Review

Following are graphs and commentary regarding the 2003 season of the Detroit Tigers. Questions or comments can be sent to me at dave@baseballgraphs.com.



AL Central Standings The American League Central Race

Straight down, pretty much all season long.

A lot has been said and written about the Tigers. In particular, they've been constantly compared to the 1962 New York Mets, the team with the most losses in major league history. But the Mets certainly weren't the worst team in major league history. That honor could well go to the 1899 Cleveland Spiders.





Comments How to Read this Graph

The 1899 Spiders were last in the National League, with a record of 20-134 (a .129 winning percentage, compared to the Tigers' .265). They scored 3.4 runs/game (Tigers=3.76) and allowed 8.1 runs/game (Tigers=5.9).

See, the Spiders' owner also owned the St. Louis Browns, and he decided that the Browns had a better chance of making money. So he moved all his best players to the Browns. You can read more about the Spiders here.

The Tigers screwed up my graphs all year long. Here, they're so bad that they fall off the chart altogether. Hold your mouse over the chart for a look at the midyear Tigers. Their pitching really went downhill the second half.

Move your mouse over this graph to view the status of each team at the season's midpoint (July 1st).


Pitching and Fielding

Fielding Independent Pitching is based on the following formula: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP. Defense Efficiency Ratio is (Non-catcher putouts/Batted Balls in Play), adjusted for ballpark. Circle sizes in this graph are proportional to the percent of fieldable balls successfully converted into outs by the fielders.
The Tigers' Pitching and Fielding

The good news is that the Tigers' did not have the worst fielding in the league.

A friend of my brother's (Donald Adams) read the book "On a Clear Day They Could See Seventh Place" and was inspired to play an entire 162-game APBA season between the ten worst teams in baseball. The 1962 Mets came in first, and the Spiders were last.

He might want to think about re-playing the season, replacing the Mets with the 2003 Tigers.

How to Read this Graph


Detroit Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .258 .309 .299 .309 .314 .306
SLG .262 .379 .379 .409 .436 .368
FIP 1.47 1.58 1.76 2.38 1.93 2.04
DER .705 .761 .708 .723 .699 .686
The DER stats in this table are based on limited data; the trend between months per team is more valid than the absolute number.
The Tigers Day-by-Day

The Tigers' offense actually got better during the year (except for that slump in September), while the pitching got worse.

At one point, the Spiders lost 24 games in a row. You can view their complete game log here.



Detroit Tigers' Win Shares

Player          Team    Pos     Hit     Field   Pitch   Sum     WS 	
--------	-----	----	----	----	-----	-----	---	
D Young         DET     DH      17.76   0.87    0.00    18.63   19	
C Monroe        DET     OF      8.66    1.08    0.00    9.74    10	
C Pena          DET     1B      7.98    0.66    0.00    8.64    9	
N Cornejo       DET     P       0.00    0.00    8.00    8.00    8	
E Munson        DET     3B      6.26    1.06    0.00    7.32    7	
W Morris        DET     2B      4.78    2.46    0.00    7.24    7	
J Walker        DET     P       0.00    0.00    6.70    6.70    7	
B Higginson     DET     OF      5.11    1.19    0.00    6.30    6	
A Sanchez       DET     OF      3.96    1.81    0.00    5.77    6	
R Santiago      DET     SS      1.05    4.16    0.00    5.21    5	
B Inge          DET     C       0.00    4.77    0.00    4.77    5	
C Spurling      DET     P       0.00    0.00    4.25    4.25    4	
M Maroth        DET     P       0.00    0.00    3.59    3.59    4	
S Sparks        DET     P       0.00    0.00    2.91    2.91    3	
O Infante       DET     SS      0.00    2.67    0.00    2.67    3	
S Halter        DET     3B      0.00    2.30    0.00    2.30    2	
D Patterson     DET     P       0.00    0.00    2.16    2.16    2	
J Bonderman     DET     P       0.00    0.00    1.99    1.99    2	
M Roney         DET     P       0.00    0.00    1.81    1.81    2	
W Ledezma       DET     P       0.00    0.00    1.69    1.69    2	
K Witt          DET     DH      1.39    0.27    0.00    1.66    2	
E Eckenstahler  DET     P       0.00    0.00    1.57    1.57    1	
D Klassen       DET     3B      1.01    0.53    0.00    1.54    1	
C Mears         DET     P       0.00    0.00    1.44    1.44    1	
N Robertson     DET     P       0.00    0.00    1.32    1.32    1	
B Schmack       DET     P       0.00    0.00    1.18    1.18    1	
B Petrick       DET     OF      0.60    0.46    0.00    1.06    1	
S Avery         DET     P       0.27    0.00    0.68    0.95    1	
A Hinch         DET     C       0.30    0.56    0.00    0.86    1	
F Rodney        DET     P       0.00    0.00    0.76    0.76    1	
M Anderson      DET     P       0.00    0.00    0.74    0.74    1	
C Ross          DET     OF      0.68    0.04    0.00    0.72    1	
G Knotts        DET     P       0.00    0.00    0.66    0.66    1	
A Torres        DET     OF      0.00    0.59    0.00    0.59    1	
G Kingsale      DET     OF      0.28    0.30    0.00    0.59    1	
M Walbeck       DET     C       0.00    0.56    0.00    0.56    0	
A Bernero       DET     P       0.00    0.00    0.51    0.51    0	
F German        DET     P       0.00    0.00    0.40    0.40    0	
H Bocachica     DET     OF      0.00    0.07    0.00    0.07    0	
C Paquette      DET     OF      0.00    0.07    0.00    0.07    0	
D Palmer        DET     DH      0.00    0.05    0.00    0.05    0	
S Loux          DET     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
E Young         DET     DH      0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	

The Tigers' Individual Players

Dmitri Young had a fine year, with an OPS of .907 and 104 runs created. According to Win Shares, the Tigers would have had about six less wins without him.

Louis Sockalexis was a member of the 1899 Spiders. Another player, Howard "Highball" Wilson, pitched in one game for the Spiders and three games for another of the worst teams of all time, the 1904 Washington Nationals.

The Tigers did not have an owner who purposely sold away his best players, nor were they a first-year expansion team. They may have been the worst team of all time without a good excuse.

You can view all American League Win Shares data via the following links:
All Players, Top to Bottom
Players Ranked by Position
Players Fielding WS by Position