Friday, April 15, 2016


You've probably noticed that we have two teams--the Braves and the Twins--who've started out 2016 with nine-game losing streaks. What's in store for these teams, when we look back at the other teams in baseball history who've started out the season 0-9?

First, we will toss out the pre-1900 incidences (which total eight). Five of them occurred in the National Association, two in the Union Association, and one in the American Association, so we can safely say that all the teams who stumbled into such a feat prior to the modern era were literally all out of their league. (Insert rim shot here--and, by the way, we have a new sponsor this year, what they use to call in the quaint old days the "alternate sponsor": joining is its kissin' cousin, Visit at your own risk...)

When we get to the modern age (defined as 1901 to now) we see that prior to 2016, there were 11 teams who started out 0-9. The first team to do it: the 1918 Brooklyn Dodgers. The last team to do prior to this year: the 2003 Detroit Tigers, who were apparently just following orders, as they had managed to start the 2002 season in the exact same way. The only difference was that the 2003 team lost 119 games, while the 2002 squad lost only 106.

There is one other instance of two teams starting out 0-9 in the same year: it happened in 1988, when the Orioles (54-107 at season's end) and the Braves (54-106) did it. The O's losing streak actually extended to 21 games before they finally got off the schneid.

Other teams on the list: the 1919 Boston Braves (57-82), the 1920 Detroit Tigers (61-93); the 1962 New York Mets (40-120), the 1968 Chicago White Sox (67-95); the 1983 Houston Astros (85-77, the only team to wind up the year over .500 after an 0-9 start); and last but not least, the 1997 Chicago Cubs (68-94).

Fredi has a penchant for getting tossed, but it might not be the umps
who'll be doing to tossing later in 2016...
All in all, teams that start the year 0-9 have an aggregate winning percentage of .375, which over a 162-game season works out to 61-101. It could be a long season for the fans in Minneapolis and Atlanta--and a short one for respective managers Paul Molitor and Fredi Gonzalez. (We once received a traffic ticket for what the office wrote down as "speeding egregiously" and it just might be the case that one or both of these estimable gentlemen get canned for (rim shot, remember!) "losing egregiously"...

That is all. Stay glued to your TV set!