Archive for September, 2006

The Stink of Losing – Four Star Stink

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

Level Four of the Stink Matrix is the 11-13 seasons in a row stink, the air becomes more rarified here as children could have grown up never witnessing a winning year by their home baseball team, and that is just plain sad.

**** FOUR STAR STINK

Boston Doves/Rustlers/Braves/
---------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1903  6th     58   80  .420   32
1904  7th     55   98  .359   51
1905  7th     51  103  .331   54.5
1906  8th     49  102  .325   66.5
1907  7th     58   90  .392   47
1908  6th     63   91  .409   36
1909  8th     45  108  .294   65.5
1910  8th     53  100  .346   50.5
1911  8th     44  107  .291   54
1912  8th     52  101  .340   52
1913  5th     69   82  .457   31.5

1914  1st     94   59  .614  +10.5

How would you like your team to give you eleven straight losing seasons with a stunning six 100-loss campaigns? Would you scream, cry or just give up? Look at 1909 and 1910, they are particularly painful to stomach. In the span the Boston NL team went through 8 different managers, instability to the core. This is perhaps where we can trace back the Red Sox to stealing the town from the National League, and no wonder the Braves winning the World Series in 1914 was termed a “Miracle” by the press, they had spent this era being beat up by the Giants, Pirates and Cubs on a year in and year out. You know the crew, McGraw and Matty, Tinkers and Chance, and Wagner.

Now name one Brave from that era.

RC/G vs. the league
AT BATS                     AB      RC/G
Bill Sweeney               3219     0.51
Fred Tenney                2996     0.71
Ed Abbaticchio             1856     -.44
Johnny Bates               1632     0.43
Ginger Beaumont            1463     1.10
Doc Miller                 1260     0.52
Al Bridwell                1256    -1.15
Tom Needham                1085    -1.50
Pat Moran                  1054     -.75
Dave Brain                 1034     0.33

I thought so.

Brooklyn Superbas/Dodgers
----------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1904  6th     56   97  .366   50
1905  8th     48  104  .316   56.5
1906  5th     66   86  .434   50
1907  5th     65   83  .439   40
1908  7th     53  101  .344   46
1909  6th     55   98  .359   55.5
1910  6th     64   90  .416   40
1911  7th     64   86  .427   33.5
1912  7th     58   95  .379   46
1913  6th     65   84  .436   34.5
1914  5th     75   79  .487   19.5

1915  3rd     80   72  .526   10

In 1899 and 1900 the Dodgers were the best team in the National League, four years later they had a new majority stockholder (Charles Ebbets), he upped his salary from $7000 to $10,000 and dumped the managers (Ned Hanlon) from $10,000 to $7500. This could be because Hanlon was lobbying to have the Dodgers move to Baltimore and replace Hanlons departed Orioles. Whatever was going on behind closed doors one things for sure, the stink was settling in.

During the run of bad teams the Dodgers had the worst offense in the National League, across town the Giants had the best one.

1904-1914
RC/G vs. the league
OPS                          OPS     RC/G
Giants                     .695     0.48
Pirates                    .669     -.02
Cubs                       .665     -.07
Phillies                   .652     -.25
Reds                       .644     -.36
Cardinals                  .629     -.58
Braves                     .622     -.69
Dodgers                    .617     -.73

1904 began an eleven-year dip that included seven straight season 40 games or more out of first. Perhaps the Dodgers biggest claim to fame at this time was introducing Elmer Stricklett to the National League, They were later saved by Wilbert Robinson, who at the time was less of a caricature and more of an old time Oriole with some know-how.

Washington Senators
----------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1901  6th     61   72  .459   20.5
1902  6th     61   75  .449   22
1903  8th     43   94  .314   47.5
1904  8th     38  113  .252   55.5
1905  7th     64   87  .424   29.5
1906  7th     55   95  .367   37.5
1907  8th     49  102  .325   43.5
1908  7th     67   85  .441   22.5
1909  8th     42  110  .276   56
1910  7th     66   85  .437   36.5
1911  7th     64   90  .416   38.5

1912  2nd     91   61  .599   14

Washington, first in war, first in peace and last in the American League.

OPS                         OPS      OBA      SLG      AVG
Senators                   .612    -.019    -.027    -.018

That phrase was introduced in the middle of the 12-year run of losers they had in DC during the turn of the last century. It took the Reds ex-manager Clark Griffith and maybe the best pitching year in the history of the game to pull them out of it, but for the majority of the AL’s opening decade they were beat up by the A’s and the Tigers. During the span the Washington team couldn’t hit a lick, falling far below the leagues average in OB%, Slg% and Batting Average.

Philadelphia A's
---------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1915  8th     43  109  .283   58.5
1916  8th     36  117  .235   54.5
1917  8th     55   98  .359   44.5
1918  8th     52   76  .406   24
1919  8th     36  104  .257   52
1920  8th     48  106  .312   50
1921  8th     53  100  .346   45
1922  7th     65   89  .422   29
1923  6th     69   83  .454   29
1924  5th     71   81  .467   20

1925  2nd     88   64  .579    8.5

In 1916 the A’s posted the worst winning percentage for a team in the modern era.

WINNING PERCENTAGE       YEAR     PCT
A's                      1916     .235
Braves                   1935     .248
Mets                     1962     .250
Senators                 1904     .252
A's                      1919     .257
Tigers                   2003     .265
Pirates                  1952     .273
Senators                 1909     .276
Phillies                 1942     .278
Phillies                 1941     .279
Red Sox                  1932     .279
Browns                   1939     .279

They finished FORTY games behind the seventh place Senators. Connie Mack recognized the changing landscape of baseball in the teens, the Federal League and the unionization attempts by players coupled with a lagging economy in a two team town led him to strip his team of its once deep riches. Seven straight last place finishes followed the A’s loss in the 1914 World Series.

The A’s are a strange case, they succeeded from 1903-1914 and 1924-1933, both times with loaded lineups.

Compare the top ten players by at bats for the three eras

1903-1914
AT BATS                     AB       OPS
Danny Murphy               4843     .094
Harry Davis                4306     .095
Rube Oldring               3815     .020
Eddie Collins              3616     .192
Topsy Hartsel              3530     .094
Home Run Baker             3437     .172
Jack Barry                 2878    -.023
Socks Seybold              2625     .102
Stuffy McInnis             2274     .087
Bris Lord                  2082    -.008
=================================================
1915-1924
AT BATS                     AB       OPS
Cy Perkins                 2988    -.082
Jimmy Dykes                2721    -.033
Tilly Walker               2685     .076
Chick Galloway             2365    -.096
Whitey Witt                2322    -.005
Amos Strunk                2007     .066
Frank Welch                1906    -.024
Joe Dugan                  1884    -.058
Stuffy McInnis             1535     .032
Joe Hauser                 1467     .101
=================================================
1925-1933
AT BATS                     AB       OPS
Al Simmons                 4427     .241
Mickey Cochrane            4097     .129
Max Bishop                 3825     .025
Jimmie Foxx                3323     .300
Jimmy Dykes                3302     .037
Bing Miller                3194     .038
Mule Haas                  2440     .022
Sammy Hale                 1912     .004
Joe Boley                  1776    -.098
Eric McNair                1389    -.045

Pretty stunning gap of mediocrity in the middle, hence the long run of 8th place finishes.

Boston Bees/Braves
---------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB    TITLE
1922  8th     53  100  .346   39.5
1923  7th     54  100  .351   41.5
1924  8th     53  100  .346   40
1925  5th     70   83  .458   25
1926  7th     66   86  .434   22
1927  7th     60   94  .390   34
1928  7th     50  103  .327   44.5
1929  8th     56   98  .364   43
1930  6th     70   84  .455   22
1931  7th     64   90  .416   37
1932  5th     77   77  .500   13

1933  4th     83   71  .539    9

Boston Bees/Braves
---------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1939  7th     63   88  .417   32.5
1940  7th     65   87  .428   34.5
1941  7th     62   92  .403   38
1942  7th     59   89  .399   44
1943  6th     68   85  .444   36.5
1944  6th     65   89  .422   40
1945  6th     67   85  .441   30

1946  4th     81   72  .529   15.5

The Braves had two losing streaks of stink in-between 1922 and 1945, the first was eleven years long and the second just a brief seven. The war hurt the weak teams, the Braves had long been one and thus they were just a few of the teams that held the bottom down in the early 40’s.

1922-1932
AT BATS                     AB       OPS
Lance Richbourg            2434    -.025
Rabbit Maranville          2251    -.124
Jimmy Welsh                2079    -.032
Wally Berger               1774     .121
Eddie Brown                1693    -.032
Dave Bancroft              1626    -.016
George Sisler              1551    -.021
Al Spohrer                 1507    -.112
Freddie Maguire            1504    -.204
Dick Burrus                1431    -.006

A team with no hitting in one of the biggest hitting eras, the 1920’s were great for New York fans, but up the coast in Boston stink was coming from both corners of town as far as the baseball was concerned. Of all the players that saw the most at bats in the streak only one could muster an OPS above league average.

Poor Tommy Holmes.

1939-1945
AT BATS                         AB       OPS
1    Tommy Holmes               2454     .113
2    Eddie Miller               1984    -.051
3    Max West                   1909     .065
4    Sibby Sisti                1622    -.096
5    Whitey Wietelmann          1556    -.129
6    Chuck Workman              1547    -.014
7    Buddy Hassett              1453    -.074
8    Phil Masi                  1379    -.021
9    Johnny Cooney              1373    -.040
10   Chet Ross                  1309    -.008

If you ever wonder why the Braves who were in Boston before the Red Sox and can trace their roots back to the 1869 Red Stockings ended up being the team that split Boston, take a look above at the tables.

St. Louis Browns
----------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB    TITLE
1930  6th     64   90  .416   38
1931  5th     63   91  .409   45
1932  6th     63   91  .409   44
1933  8th     55   96  .364   43.5
1934  6th     67   85  .441   33
1935  7th     65   87  .428   28.5
1936  7th     57   95  .375   44.5
1937  8th     46  108  .299   56
1938  7th     55   97  .362   44
1939  8th     43  111  .279   64.5
1940  6th     67   87  .435   23
1941  T6th    70   84  .455   31

1942  3rd     82   69  .543   19.5

Phil Ball got into the baseball business through the Federal League; he got the Browns in the post trial deal making that followed the FL’s demise. He later battled with Browns GM Branch Rickey and eventually Rickey went across town to the Cardinals. After a brief spurt By 1930 the Cardinals owned the town, and they could fill up the Browns park (which they rented) meanwhile Ball had a waning interest in the Browns, as did most of St. Louis. Below is the yearly attendance for the streak.

Attendance: 152,088
Attendance: 179,126
Attendance: 112,558
Attendance: 88,113
Attendance: 115,305
Attendance: 80,922
Attendance: 93,267
Attendance: 123,121
Attendance: 130,417
Attendance: 109,159
Attendance: 239,591
Attendance: 176,240

That’s 1,599,907 in 12 years, and oddly enough a number that the current sad sack of baseball (Tampa Bay) has only been able to top once in this era of increased attendance.

After the 1941 season the Browns had readied their staff to introduce to the AL during the owners meeting their plans to move the franchise to LA, armed with train schedules and ideas to make it work for all involved the Browns brass prepared for the meeting that was scheduled for Monday, December 8th 1941. A meeting that was eventually canceled.

Philadelphia A's
---------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB    TITLE
1934  5th     68   82  .453   31
1935  8th     58   91  .389   34
1936  8th     53  100  .346   49
1937  7th     54   97  .358   46.5
1938  8th     53   99  .349   46
1939  7th     55   97  .362   51.5
1940  8th     54  100  .351   36
1941  8th     64   90  .416   37
1942  8th     55   99  .357   48
1943  8th     49  105  .318   49
1944  T5th    72   82  .468   17
1945  8th     52   98  .347   34.5
1946  8th     49  105  .318   55

1947  5th     78   76  .506   19

The end of an era, Connie Mack proved that he had no more rabbits in his hat as the game changed (Minor League Systems, Deeper Owner Pockets) Once again the Mack man saw the economy as being the real battle to confront, not the remaining AL. Six years under 60 wins and 4 more 100 loss seasons, giving Connie 10 for his career in Philadelphia, against 10-100 win seasons. The stink by this franchise masked nice careers by Sam Chapman and Bob Johnson.

Cincinnati Reds
----------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB    TITLE
1945  7th     61   93  .396   37
1946  6th     67   87  .435   30
1947  5th     73   81  .474   21
1948  7th     64   89  .418   27
1949  7th     62   92  .403   35
1950  6th     66   87  .431   24.5
1951  6th     68   86  .442   28.5
1952  6th     69   85  .448   27.5
1953  6th     68   86  .442   37
1954  5th     74   80  .481   23
1955  5th     75   79  .487   23.5

1956  3rd     91   63  .591    2

Post War Reds history is one that is an example of not taking chances. During the war the Reds cut scouting and signings to a bare minimum, their transition from the deadball style of McKechnie didn’t go over smoothly and for the second half of the 40’s the Reds had the pitching, but not much hitting. After the 5th straight losing season (which is the crossroads where the current team stands) the Reds pitching got much worse, some must have felt it was the Goat Run to blame (sounds like the GAB Park Effect argument) and after losing 90 games in 1949 the Goat Run disappeared in June of 1950 only to reappear again in 1953 and disappear again in 1958.

Worst Slugging vs. the league

SLG                             DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE
1    Pirates                   -.034     .372     .406
2    Reds                      -.030     .376     .406
3    Phillies                  -.026     .380     .406
4    Cubs                      -.026     .381     .406
5    Braves                    -.016     .390     .406
6    Cardinals                 -.008     .398     .406
7    Giants                     .003     .410     .406
8    Dodgers                    .013     .419     .406

The game was changing again; as it so often does, the low scoring offense of the war years receded and a station-to-station offense began to take a firmer hold on the game across the board. After restarting the scouting system the Reds finally pulled out some hitters and it was then that the Reds changed their team philosophy and hoed the roe that they still till to this day.

Chicago Cubs
--------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB    TITLE
1973  5th     77   84  .478    5
1974  6th     66   96  .407   22
1975  T5th    75   87  .463   17.5
1976  4th     75   87  .463   26
1977  4th     81   81  .500   20
1978  3rd     79   83  .488   11
1979  5th     80   82  .494   18
1980  6th     64   98  .395   27
1981  6th     15   37  .288   17.5
1981  5th     23   28  .451    6
1982  5th     73   89  .451   19
1983  5th     71   91  .438   19

1984  1st     96   65  .596   +6.5   NL EAST CHAMPIONS

The colorful Cubs of the 70’s, these teams that cemented the lovable loser persona more so then the prior generations Five Star stink, perhaps it was the media, they clamored to report the negative coverage the declining Wrigley holdings and the once proud franchise seemed to emit in the 70’s.

1973-1984
ERA                             DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE
1    Dodgers                    0.47     3.17     3.64
2    Astros                     0.18     3.45     3.64
3    Pirates                    0.17     3.47     3.64
4    Nationals                  0.08     3.56     3.64
5    Mets                       0.04     3.60     3.64
6    Cardinals                  0.02     3.62     3.64
7    Phillies                   -.03     3.67     3.64
8    Giants                     -.09     3.73     3.64
9    Reds                       -.09     3.73     3.64
10   Padres                     -.14     3.78     3.64
11   Braves                     -.25     3.89     3.64
12   Cubs                       -.37     4.01     3.64

Pitching was the malady for these Cub squads and for the 11 years they finished without a winning season they had the leagues worst pitching.

Detroit Tigers
----------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB    TITLE
1994  5th     53   62  .461   18
1995  4th     60   84  .417   26
1996  5th     53  109  .327   39
1997  3rd     79   83  .488   19
1998  5th     65   97  .401   24
1999  3rd     69   92  .429   27.5
2000  3rd     79   83  .488   16
2001  4th     66   96  .407   25
2002  5th     55  106  .342   39
2003  5th     43  119  .265   47
2004  4th     72   90  .444   20
2005  4th     71   91  .438   28

And so it ends, the long road of stink that witnessed the owners other teams interest achieving legendary status and the Tigers getting a new stadium whilst the former shrine rotted down the street like Shibe, Ebbetts and Crosley had at their end. Poor management and stupid trades helped push this team to the worst run of their long and storied history. The play off appearance this season ends the run. Below are the worst 10 winning percentages in MLB since the 1994 stoppage.

CAREER
1995-2005
Devil Rays                 .401
Tigers                     .404
Royals                     .426
Pirates                    .440
Brewers                    .445
Nationals                  .461
Rockies                    .470
Orioles                    .477
Phillies                   .480
Marlins                    .481

The Stink of Losing – Three Star Stink

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Today we jump from the two star stink to the three star stink. To get in the door your team needs to have 8 sub (or .500) seasons in a row. As we did before we’ll start back in the days of Cobb and the spitter.

*** THREE STAR STINK

St. Louis Cardinals
----------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1902  6th     56   78  .418   44.5
1903  8th     43   94  .314   46.5
1904  5th     75   79  .487   31.5
1905  6th     58   96  .377   47.5
1906  7th     52   98  .347   63
1907  8th     52  101  .340   55.5
1908  8th     49  105  .318   50
1909  7th     54   98  .355   56
1910  7th     63   90  .412   40.5

1911  5th     75   74  .503   22

A nine-year run of futility that ended oddly enough when Helene Hatheway Britton inherited the team from her father and uncle, making her the first female owner in the history f the game. Five years later Branch Rickey appeared from the team across town and well that suffices it to say; this is the Cardinals only entry in the list.

This was the end result of what happens when you have no hitting and no pitching you get only one season that you don’t finish 30 or more back from first. However they did manage to get Miller Huggins away from the Reds in the middle of that span, he helped pave the way for the Rickey era, whilst the Reds floundered for the first time, but certainly not the last.

Cincinnati Reds
---------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1929  7th     66   88  .429   33
1930  7th     59   95  .383   33
1931  8th     58   96  .377   43
1932  8th     60   94  .390   30
1933  8th     58   94  .382   33
1934  8th     52   99  .344   42
1935  6th     68   85  .444   31.5
1936  5th     74   80  .481   18
1937  8th     56   98  .364   40

1938  4th     82   68  .547    6

The plight of the Reds is at the end of the 1920’s and into the depression is one marked with a reoccurring theme in early baseball history (older owner bases not changing with the times) and a constant theme, money issues affecting the franchise. The departure of Garry Herrmann from the Reds brass was mirrored by an unstable time in the Reds history, local businessman Sidney Weil was able to wrest the club away from the men who ran the team in the post Herrmann era, but he hardly had the resources to run a major league franchise and the stock market collapse ensured that he never would in the near future. Eventually the bank owned the Reds, Larry MacPhail came to town, then Powell Crosley and Warren Giles. During this time they changed the game (Night Contests) and they stank, a putrid, stink losing 94 games or more 6 times out of 9 seasons and holding the bottom of the league down for 5 of them.

Pittsburgh Pirates
----------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1949  6th     71   83  .461   26
1950  8th     57   96  .373   33.5
1951  7th     64   90  .416   32.5
1952  8th     42  112  .273   54.5
1953  8th     50  104  .325   55
1954  8th     53  101  .344   44
1955  8th     60   94  .390   38.5
1956  7th     66   88  .429   27
1957  T7th    62   92  .403   33

1958  2nd     84   70  .545    8

When the Pirates were sold in the late 40’s to a group including Bing Crosby it was the passing of an era. The passing of the torch from Mrs. Barney Dreyfuss (the wife of the Pirates owner since the early part of the century) marked the end of the last ownership that could reach back and touch the days of the realigned National League. The move was the end of an era when Pittsburgh was known as Smoke City and the beginning of an era that would reshape the team and the cities image in the eyes of the baseball world. It also marked the last stop as team GM for Branch Rickey, who was eventually hired to fix the mess created by the dinosaur ownership group who couldn’t move with the quickening pace of mid-century major league baseball. 317 losses in three years, it’s a wonder the team didn’t move, and to show their appreciation once the team stopped losing 100 games a season the fans started to return.

Chicago White Sox
----------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1927  5th     70   83  .458   39.5
1928  5th     72   82  .468   29
1929  7th     59   93  .388   46
1930  7th     62   92  .403   40
1931  8th     56   97  .366   51.5
1932  7th     49  102  .325   56.5
1933  6th     67   83  .447   31
1934  8th     53   99  .349   47
1935  5th     74   78  .487   19.5

1936  3rd     81   70  .536   20

When Charles Comiskey built his steel and concrete stadium in 1909 he asked pitcher Ed Walsh to help him design the field. Walsh a spitballer in an era that favored pitching helped design a park that was a nice pitchers park for most of it’s life. During hitting eras it helped the home team, except when the home team didn’t help itself. The above is one of those times. A 9 year stretch of sub par hitting and pitching, during one of the biggest hitting eras ever. Prior to 1927 the White Sox had only lost 80 games 5 times prior, it would take 8 season until they lost less then 80. The absolute bottom was hit when the White Sox lost 102 games the year after Charles Comiskey died.

AMERICAN LEAGUE
1927-1935

ERA                         DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE
Yankees                    0.36     3.99     4.35
Senators                   0.15     4.20     4.35
A's                        0.15     4.20     4.35
Indians                    0.06     4.29     4.35
Tigers                     0.04     4.31     4.35
Red Sox                    -.15     4.50     4.35
White Sox                  -.22     4.57     4.35
Browns                     -.39     4.73     4.35

=================================================

OBA                         OBA
Yankees                    .372
A's                        .360
Senators                   .352
Tigers                     .349
Indians                    .347
Browns                     .338
White Sox                  .334
Red Sox                    .328

SLG                         SLG
Yankees                    .452
A's                        .435
Tigers                     .411
Indians                    .405
Senators                   .395
Browns                     .382
Red Sox                    .367
White Sox                  .366

Fun Fact: The White Sox didn’t have a player top 29 Home Runs in a season until Bill Melton did it in 1970. In the same span the Yankees did it 44 times and the Red Sox 25, and in Detroit they did it 19 times.

Washington Senators
---------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1954  6th     66   88  .429   45
1955  8th     53  101  .344   43
1956  7th     59   95  .383   38
1957  8th     55   99  .357   43
1958  8th     61   93  .396   31
1959  8th     63   91  .409   31
1960  5th     73   81  .474   24
1961  7th     70   90  .438   38

1962  2nd     91   71  .562    5

The stink of death, as one of the original AL franchises moves out of the Capital, again. Strangely enough the Washington franchise was drawing about what the pitiful Pirates of the 50’s were drawing. But they didn’t have an owner grumbling about the racial makeup of the city and the dollars being generated by once lost franchises like the Braves. In the decade of the super team the Senators fall way short, they don’t get much press from the New York saturated coverage of the 50’s in the baseball literary world. Taking a look at their record and you might understand why. Each dynasty has its bobos; this is a prime example of one. Whitey Herzog got 504 at bats with the Senators during this time, compiling a .230/.300/.313 line. The last year of the run was spent in Minnesota and a new era was beginning.

Boston Red Sox
---------------------------------
YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1959  5th     75   79  .487   19
1960  7th     65   89  .422   32
1961  6th     76   86  .469   33
1962  8th     76   84  .475   19
1963  7th     76   85  .472   28
1964  8th     72   90  .444   27
1965  9th     62  100  .383   40
1966  9th     72   90  .444   26

1967  1st     92   70  .568   +1

It began the year Ted Williams turned 40, and the year that Pumpsie Green makes the Red Sox the last team to leave the lily white past of baseball in the rearview mirror. The 100-loss season in 1965 was the first 100-loss season since prior to the Yawkeys purchasing the team in the 1930’s. The string ends with the Impossible Dream season in 1967 and the cementing of Carl Yastrzemski a Boston legend, a moment still celebrated in Red Sox lore, a space of time that even surprised the most diehard Sox fan.

Philadelphia Phillies
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YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1954  4th     75   79  .487   22
1955  4th     77   77  .500   21.5
1956  5th     71   83  .461   22
1957  5th     77   77  .500   18
1958  8th     69   85  .448   23
1959  8th     64   90  .416   23
1960  8th     59   95  .383   36
1961  8th     47  107  .305   46

1962  7th     81   80  .503   20

What goes up must come down. The Phillies brief touch of the top was a mere memory as they found themselves in a familiar place, the bottom half of the standings, howver this time they were the only show in town, having bid the A’s farewell when they went west after the 1954 season. Two .500 seasons stretched this minor stink in Phillie history; the 90 loss season in 1959 was the teams 26th season with 90 losses or more! 12 of those seasons were 100 losses or more. Gene Mauch came in and saved their bacon, only to infuriate the fans later on in the decade.

Twins
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YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1993  T5th    71   91  .438   23
1994  4th     53   60  .469   14
1995  5th     56   88  .389   44
1996  4th     78   84  .481   21.5
1997  4th     68   94  .420   18.5
1998  4th     70   92  .432   19
1999  5th     63   97  .394   33
2000  5th     69   93  .426   26

2001  2nd     85   77  .525    6

Ahh the Twins… so often they have popped up after years of stink, vengeful and scrappy they fight their way into the scene, despite the pundits declarations. This era of the Twins was affected by the post lock out situation and the ensuing era often found them on the top of lists to be contracted… somewhere Sam Rice cried. Four straight seasons of 90 losses and 1st base manned by Scott Stahoviak, a fan can only stomach so much. Payback comes again this postseason as the once to be contracted Twins are again in the post season.

Baltimore
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YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1998  4th     79   83  .488   35
1999  4th     78   84  .481   20
2000  4th     74   88  .457   13.5
2001  4th     63   98  .391   32.5
2002  4th     67   95  .414   36.5
2003  4th     71   91  .438   30
2004  3rd     78   84  .481   23
2005  4th     80   82  .494   21

2006 will be the 9th year in this string, blame the Yankees, blame the Sox… but point a finger at the owner Peter Angelos, a man whose management style is reminiscent of a hammer. The team never transitioned from the Ripken era cleanly and they haven’t found a groove, currently they are on their 4th manager in the slide and poised to lose 90 games for the 4th time in the last 6 seasons.

Royals
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YEAR  PLACE   W    L   PCT   GB
1995  2nd     70   74  .486   30
1996  5th     75   86  .466   24
1997  5th     67   94  .416   19
1998  3rd     72   89  .447   16.5
1999  4th     64   97  .398   32.5
2000  4th     77   85  .475   18
2001  5th     65   97  .401   26
2002  4th     62  100  .383   32.5

2003  3rd     83   79  .512    7

A surprise season in 2003 pulled the once proud Royals franchise out of their post strike funk. It turned out to be a fluke however and the Royals are once again poised to lose 100 games. A feat first attained since 1970 by the 2002 club a team that was the portal out of the game for Chuck Knoblauch. Currently the Royals are in a funk that looks like a sure thing for some sort of list about bad baseball teams in the near future.

Next… Four Star Stink.