The Race to 100 Losses…

Well it is that time again, perhaps a little early, but close enough for me to revisit one of my favorite subjects. Yes, it is around this time that MLB teams realize that there is probably no hope and they can start saying the iconic words ‘Wait ‘till next year…’ Every baseball fan has either heard or expressed this lament, some much more than others. Last year there were several candidates for the exclusively dubious 100-loss club. The ‘winners’ were the Houston Astros (111 losses), and the Miami Marlins (100 losses). The Chicago White Sox lost 99 games and their cross-town rival Cubs lost 96 games, making Illinois the capital of the Most-Combined-Losses-Per-Teams-That -Play-In-The-Same-State universe. Congratulations…
This got me thinking. There are several States with more than one team. In fact, there are 9 States with multiple teams. So I thought ‘what if we could somehow rate the loserocity factor of these States?’ It would certainly be easy enough to do. It is just a matter of simple averaging. So I went for it with the hopes of crowning the worst State in Major League Baseball. It broke down like this… the Illinois teams combined lost an average of 97.5 games, Texas was 91.5, Florida was next with 85.5, and that was followed by New York with 82.5. Pennsylvania was next with 78.5 and they were followed ever-so-closely by California at 78.4. Rounding things out were Baltimore/Washington with 76.5, Ohio with 71, and finally Missouri with 70.5. It must have been miserable to be a Chicago baseball fan last year…
Let’s come back to 2014. While it is still a little early, we can loosely project where teams stand as far as gaining membership to the 2014 100-loss class. At this point in the season, August 19th, most teams have played between 120 and 125 games, meaning that there are only 37 to 42 games left. Now I am only going to address the teams that I think have a realistic shot at 100 losses. The Texas Rangers currently boast a 48-76 record over their 124 games played so far, meaning that they are 24 losses away from club membership. They would have to go 14-24 over the 38 games that they have left to make the show. Hot on their heels are Colorado Rockies with a current record of 49-75, meaning that they are 25 losses from the nirvana of 100 losses. There are currently 6 teams that have lost 70 games or more at this point of the season, so they are ALL potentially 100 loss teams. Another way to look at this is from the plus side of the win-loss column. Any team that has won 63 or more games mathematically cannot lose 100 games in the 162-game MLB schedule, so there are 15 teams that are no longer eligible for club membership. There are 9 teams that are in limbo that can go either way. I guess we can call it baseball purgatory. I will revisit this in a few weeks as it gets closer to the end of the season.
Now for a little this-and-that… These last 3 seasons have been a wild ride if you are a Boston Red Sox fan. In 2012 Boston under the leadership of Bobby Valentine posted a dismal 69-93 record. They finished last in the A.L. East, 26 games back. 2013 saw them finish with a 97-55 record, which was good for the A.L. East title. As we all know, they went on to win the World Series, their third in the last 10 years. This year? Well let’s just say that what goes up must come down. The Red Sox are currently 56-68, 15.5 GB. They did a serious housecleaning, and now the youngsters are getting to play and learn at the Major League level. This means that here will be flashes of brilliance and visions of future glory, but more likely you will young players learning, and that generally equates to losses mounting up. Boston fans (myself included) are smart and loyal. They understand that these things happen. We may not like it, but there is a future of better days.
What about the Kansas City Royals? This team that plays in the beautiful Kauffman Stadium is currently in first place in the A.L. Central. I had said last year (and the year before that) that the Royals were only a few pieces away from being a contender and a playoff team. They were up and down before the All-Star break. They have caught fire in the second half, and currently lead their division by 2 full games. This is in a division that includes the powerful Detroit Tigers. The Tigers have a pitching rotation that includes Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, Rick Porcello, and now David Price. They also have Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler, JD Martinez, and Alex Avila. This team should be running away with this division, but somehow they trail the red-hot Royals. The 2014 version of the Royals is a fun team to watch, and if they can keep it together, they will make the playoffs for the first time since 1985. That year, the beat the St. Louis Cardinals in an epic World Series.

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