History Lesson

April 28, 2010 | John West

As the Orioles sit here in last place, some people are starting to look at the potential historic impact of the horribleness that is the 2010 Baltimore Orioles.  A quick search on the worst records in MLB history shows we are off to the kind of start that could place this year’s team into this conversation.  Ahhh.. “The PLAN.”

There are 4 stories that jump out at me when I look at the list of all time worst records.

The Philadelphia Phillies had one heck of a bad baseball team for several years.

  • 1938 – 45 wins
  • 1939 – 45 wins
  • 1941 –  43 wins
  • 1942  – 42 wins
  • 1943  – 46 wins

Wow, this is really bad baseball for a good stretch of time.

The St. Louis Browns have 3 of the worst records of all time. This is noteworthy in so far as the St. Louis Browns left St. Louis to become your Baltimore Orioles.  I guess being really bad is still in our DNA.

  • 1911 –  45 wins
  • 1937 – 43 wins
  • 1939 –  43 wins

The historic and legendarily bad 1962 N.Y. Mets had a record of 40 wins and 120 loses.  I have heard Vin Scully tell a story about this team.  It was the second season for the Mets.  It was opening day at Shea.  The Mets gave up a home run in the first inning.  As the ball was flying into the outfield bleachers, the ball flew over a sign that read “Wait till next year.” I know how they felt.

The record I think what (or who) this year’s team and its fans should be looking at is the 2003 Detroit Tigers.  That team had a record of 43 wins and 119 losses.  The thing about that team is they didn’t have the misfortune of playing in a division where getting good is “Insurmountable” (This is the word GM Andy McPhail used to describe the journey the Orioles must travel to be competitive.  i.e. they can’t win, according to our GM, at least not with THAT attitude.)

And if you think this year’s team isn’t going to be historically bad, just wait.  They are about to enter a real tough part of the schedule.  And let’s not forget, the defining characteristic of the recent Orioles is the last 6 weeks of the season.  They play really awful baseball then when the season is winding down.

Obviously we will be monitoring this, and what I like to call it the “Julio Lugo run to first base, and dive into last place” plan.