The Tigers, unfortunately, won today, 4-3 against the White Sox, breaking their nine-game losing streak to start the year. Detroit will clearly be a poor team again this season, however, not an historically poor one. Oh well, at least their fans had some reason to watch their games.
They do join the worst starts of all-time though (four of whom are from Detroit):
Start Final Team
0-21 54-107 1988 Baltimore Orioles
0-14 68-94 1997 Chicago Cubs
0-13* 38-113 1904 Washington Senators
0-13 61-93 1920 Detroit Tigers
0-11 28-84 1884 Detroit Wolverines(NL)
0-11 55-106 2002 Detroit Tigers
0-10 54-106 1988 Atlanta Braves
0-10 67-95 1968 Chicago White Sox
0-9 57-69 1918 Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers)
0-9 57-82 1919 Boston Braves
0-9 40-120 1962 New York Mets
0-9 85-77 1983 Houston Astros
0-9 ??-?? 2003 Detroit Tigers
* plus one tie
The other AL Central team that was supposed challenge Detroit for the cellar, the Royals, won again today, 5-2 vs. the Indians, to improve their record to 9-0. They are the first team since the 1990 Reds to start the season with nine straight wins. They cannot be considered historic as yet; one more victory will place them among the all-time great starts:
Start Final PCT Team
20-0 94-19 .832 1884 St. Louis Maroons (UA)
13-0 89-73 .549 1982 Atlanta Braves
13-0 91-71 .562 1987 Milwaukee Brewers
12-0 62-50 .554 1884 New York Gothams
10-0 98-55 .641 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers
10-0 93-68 .578 1962 Pittsburgh Pirates
10-0 81-81 .500 1966 Cleveland Indians
98-64 .602 Average per 162 games
Amazingly the average for these teams is not all that impressive. It gets a real boost from the Maroons. Without them, the average is 91-71, .564, not too impressive when one considers that these teams were "spotted" at least ten games at the start of the season.
Only two of them won more than 55% of their remaining games, and one was below .500 over the rest of the year. There is very little evidence that starting the season with ten wins guarantees a team will have a great season.
It does seem though that it's hard to be bad after such a great start. So those critics (like me) who were predicting 100+ losses for the Royals will probably have to eat their words.
And who knows, it is the weakest division in the AL, and the Royals already lead it by 4 games. Whatever happens, it's a great story. It's especially sweet for a number of KC fans, who have had to endure Tony Muser, Bob Boone, and their franchise's all-time record falling below .500.