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June 24, 2010

The Bottom Line: 2010 Orioles through 71 games

In addition to being the worst team in the majors right now, the Orioles are flirting with the historical distinction of being one of the most dreadful teams in the modern era.

So, here at The Baltimore Sun, we've decided to begin charting the team's record compared to other notably bad teams in team and major league history -- the 1954 and 1988 Orioles, as well as the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics, 1962 New York Mets and 2003 Detroit Tigers.

In the first year of the Orioles' existence, the team went 54-100 in 1954. The 1988 Orioles became the only other team since the franchise moved to Baltimore to lose 100 games when they finished 54-107.

The 1916 Athletics compiled the worst winning percentage in the modern era (.235) and ended with a 36-117 record. The 1962 Mets lost the most games in the modern era and finished with a 40-120 record.

I'm adding the 2003 Tigers, who finished with a 43-119 record. They weren't historically bad -- meaning they didn't set the record for most losses or worst winning percentage in the modern era -- but the Orioles Insider readers convinced me to add them to the list because they were so close.

2010 Orioles: 19-52 (.268)

Notable win-loss records through 72 games (win percentage in parentheses):

1916 Philadelphia Athletics: 18-53-1 (.250)
1954 Orioles: 28-44 (.389)
1962 New York Mets: 20-52 (.278)
1988 Orioles: 20-52 (.278)
2003 Detroit Tigers: 18-54 (.250)

How each team fared in their 72nd game:

1916 Athletics: 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Browns

The Athletics' record in July fell to 1-10 after losing to the St. Louis Browns at Shibe Park. They won only one game for the rest of the month, finishing 2-28 and being outscored 175-70 by opponents during that span.

1954 Orioles: 2-0 win over the Detroit Tigers

Orioles starting pitcher Joe Coleman tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out seven Tigers hitters in front of an announced 11,303 fans at Memorial Stadium. Shortstop Jim Brideweser was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and third baseman Vern Stephens added a sacrifice fly for the Orioles.

1962 Mets: 10-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers

The Mets snapped a four-game losing streak by scoring 10 runs on only four hits at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers pitchers combined to walk 16 New York batters, including eight free passes by relief pitcher Stan Williams in five innings. Mets right fielder Richie Ashburn was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

1988 Orioles: 6-2 win over the Boston Red Sox

Red Sox starting pitcher Roger Clemens was chased from the game after being charged with six runs (five earned) and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings at Fenway Park. Orioles right fielder Jim Traber was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while designated hitter Larry Sheets also knocked in a pair of runs.

2003 Tigers: 5-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies

Former Orioles catcher Charles Johnson was 1-for-2 with two RBIs to lead the Rockies over Detroit in the series finale between the two teams at Coors Field. Tigers starting pitcher Adam Bernero fell to 1-10 on the season after giving up five runs and six hits in six innings.

Posted by Dean Jones Jr. at 10:12 AM | | Comments (12)


This recurring post is going to be depressing.

Going to be? It already is.

It is too bad Angelos and MacPhail aren't as tired of losing as I am! This is ridiculous and it makes me mad every night to see a once great franchise become the laughing stock it has become.

Changes have got to be made. Why can't the high up see this?

18 other teams had records that were as bad or worse then the 2010 Orioles through 71 games. Eighteen, not five:

1899 Cleveland Spiders 12 59
1904 Washington Senators 14 57
1932 Boston Red Sox 14 57
1907 St. Louis Cardinals 16 55
1904 Philadelphia Phillies 17 54
1920 Philadelphia Athletics 17 54
1927 Boston Red Sox 17 54
1916 Philadelphia Athletics 18 53
1952 Pittsburgh Pirates 18 53
1996 Detroit Tigers 18 53
2003 Detroit Tigers 18 53
1911 St. Louis Browns 19 52
1912 New York Highlanders 19 52
1919 Philadelphia Athletics 19 52
1942 Philadelphia Phillies 19 52
1945 Philadelphia Phillies 19 52
1962 New York Mets 19 52
1988 Baltimore Orioles 19 52

It's a little disconcerting that you call the '54 Orioles one of the crummiest teams of the modern era -- which they clearly were -- without mentioning the team that finished behind them. Those Orioles did not finish in last place. They were three games ahead of the Philadelphia A's.

RESPONSE FROM DEAN: Fair point, Brookdalepark. I included the '54 Orioles because they were one of two teams in franchise history to lose 100 games. They're included for the "worst teams in franchise history since the team moved to Baltimore" part, but point taken. Thanks for the comment.

That's because the "high up" is what needs to change! Ripken for team owner!

I have been watching baseball for more than 60 years so I have some experience. Here is my diagnosis of the Orioles. The players they presently employ are not skillful enough at baseball to compete with the teams representing New York and Boston. (or anyone else it seems). To improve, they must obtain the services of some players whose skill level is higher than those on the current roster.

Seriously? This is going to be an on-going article? Why don't you breakdown the downfall of the Baltimore Colts while you're at it.

Hey Don...let's not take the ostrich, "head in the sand" mentally to the pathos of the Orioles. Or, take the pollyanna approach like certain local media who totally lack objectivity, fearful of King Petey's wrath. If the Woes are pitifully bad, then we need to know how they compare with the bottom of the barrel. It's my belief that if you're bad then you should be grossly bad, abhorantly bad, and the Woes are well on their way to realizing that condition. And let's not lament their losing. The vast majority of the players could care less about Baltimore. Most don't live here, and truth be known, it's my belief, they pretty much share the same attitude that Aubrey Huff expressed several years ago concerning Baltimore. So, let's have some fun with their plight. I honestly think they can break the 1962 Mets record! With us chiding them along, it can happen.

BTW... I haven't seen any groundswell of support for removing "Baltimore" from the road jerseys? Just another instance of "Be careful what you wish for":-)

1899 Cleveland Spiders 12 60
1904 Washington Senators 14 58
1932 Boston Red Sox 15 57
1907 St. Louis Cardinals 16 56
1904 Philadelphia Phillies 17 55
1920 Philadelphia Athletics 17 55
1927 Boston Red Sox 17 55
1916 Philadelphia Athletics 18 54
1996 Detroit Tigers 18 54
2003 Detroit Tigers 18 54
1919 Philadelphia Athletics 19 53
1942 Philadelphia Phillies 19 53
1945 Philadelphia Phillies 19 53
1952 Pittsburgh Pirates 19 53
1911 St. Louis Browns 20 52
1912 New York Highlanders 20 52
1912 St. Louis Browns 20 52
1941 Philadelphia Phillies 20 52
1962 New York Mets 20 52
1969 Montreal Expos 20 52
1988 Baltimore Orioles 20 52
2010 Baltimore Orioles 20 52

with last night's win the 2010 O's remain in lockstep with the '88 O's, who also won their 72nd game (beating Boston to open a 3-game series). The '88 O's lost the remaining games of that series to fall to 20-54 before their next win.

I guess the Sun sportswriters need something to write about. I am sure that this will be an exciting topic throughout the rest of the year.

Can we finally put this to bed please... the 2010 O's now have no fewer than 29 other team seasons as bad or worse through the same point in the year:

1899 Cleveland Spiders 12 61
1904 Washington Senators 14 59
1932 Boston Red Sox 15 58
1907 St. Louis Cardinals 16 57
1904 Philadelphia Phillies 17 56
1920 Philadelphia Athletics 17 56
1927 Boston Red Sox 17 56
1916 Philadelphia Athletics 18 55
2003 Detroit Tigers 18 55
1919 Philadelphia Athletics 19 54
1942 Philadelphia Phillies 19 54
1945 Philadelphia Phillies 19 54
1952 Pittsburgh Pirates 19 54
1996 Detroit Tigers 19 54
1911 St. Louis Browns 20 53
1912 St. Louis Browns 20 53
1941 Philadelphia Phillies 20 53
1962 New York Mets 20 53
1988 Baltimore Orioles 20 53
1912 Boston Braves 21 52
1912 New York Highlanders 21 52
1921 Philadelphia Phillies 21 52
1926 Boston Red Sox 21 52
1928 Philadelphia Phillies 21 52
1935 Boston Braves 21 52
1937 Philadelphia Athletics 21 52
1939 St. Louis Browns 21 52
1964 New York Mets 21 52
1969 Montreal Expos 21 52
2010 Baltimore Orioles 21 52

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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