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Best At Worst
2006-04-12 22:16
by Mike Carminati

The Phils jumped out to a four-run lead tonight and were actually able to hold onto it for their second victory of the season. In the process they went from the cellar of the NL East to third place, a position they seem destined to hold for the remainder of the season.

Before the win the Phils had the worst record in baseball (1-6), which made me wonder how many times they had occupied that position in their history. (And unfortunately, they went out and improbably won a game—with Lidle pitching yet—to ruin my research, but I decided to post it anyway.)

Here are the teams that recorded the worst record in the majors at least four times:

Philadelphia PhilliesNLY14
Minnesota TwinsALY12
Oakland AthleticsALY12
Baltimore OriolesALY8
Pittsburgh PiratesNLY7
New York MetsNLY6
Atlanta BravesNLY6
Detroit TigersALY5
St. Louis CardinalsNLY5
Louisville ColonelsAA-NLN4
Toronto Blue JaysALY4
Boston Red SoxALY4
Cleveland IndiansALY4

The Phils, of course, top the list. The Louisville Colonels are the only inactive team to make the list.

Of the current teams, here are the ones to finish last overall the fewest times:

Colorado RockiesNLY0
Houston AstrosNLY0
Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimALY0
Milwaukee BrewersAL-NLY0
Arizona DiamondbacksNLY1
Florida MarlinsNLY1
Kansas City RoyalsALY1
New York YankeesALY1
Cincinnati RedsNLY1

Then again, the Phils have been around for 123 years. To put it in perspective, I looked at the teams that finished last the most often (just active teams—for the record Louisville finished last 4 out of 18 times to tie the D Rays for worst):

FranchiseLGActive?#YrsTot Yrs%
Tampa Bay Devil RaysALY2825.00%
Toronto Blue JaysALY42913.79%
New York MetsNLY64413.64%
Arizona DiamondbacksNLY1812.50%
Minnesota TwinsALY1210511.43%
Oakland AthleticsALY1210511.43%
Philadelphia PhilliesNLY1412311.38%
Seattle MarinersALY32910.34%
San Diego PadresNLY3378.11%
Florida MarlinsNLY1137.69%

OK, so the Phils may not the most frequent last-place team. Of the franchises that have been in existence for at least a hundred years, the Phils trail the Senators/Twins and A's. Then again, if the Phils succeed in failing worse than any other team this year, they will leapfrog those two franchises (as well as the D-Backs.

Unfortunately, if the Phils offense can come alive enough to win games for Lidle, they might be able to win a game or three. And Charlie "I Need A" Manuel finally figured out that Burrell is a better option at cleanup than Utley. Unfortunately, he hasn't figured out that Utley and Howard at the numbers five and six spots with the on-base-impaired Rowand batting second makes no sense at all.

Don't worry: his successor will figure it out pronto.

2006-04-12 22:55:04
1.   das411
MIKE!! There is some breaking Phillies news over on!
2006-04-13 05:28:09
2.   markh
Typo: the Devil Rays have finished last 7 time, not twice, or 87.5% of the time. This could be the next unbreakable record.
2006-04-13 06:08:56
3.   Mike Carminati

No, finished last in all of baseball, not last in their division.

2006-04-13 06:12:32
4.   Mike Carminati

Do you mean this Hey, I know it's satire but it's not far from the truth.

2006-04-13 10:07:23
5.   markh
Ahhhh, I get it. Duh.

Yeah, never mind; the Phils are looking pretty bad here. :-\

2006-04-13 13:32:31
6.   Voxter
I think the Royals are about to fall off that list of teams who have done it once or fewer times. I'm shocked that they're still on it, to be frank.
2006-04-13 22:01:09
7.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Well they pulled a winning series off against the Braves.. thank god, and if there's one series to win from that would make a Phillies fan feel good... it's always the Braves.

Anyway, they are now off to face several weak teams in a roll for the rest of the month before facing the Braves again in early May.. if they come off this trip with a bad record it's time to start firing people... but I can't really see them losing much against the likes of Rockies / Nationals / Marlins.

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