Bock’s Score: And If You Think Your Team Is Bad…

If you have a bad day, a rainy commute, a late train, a grouchy boss, relax. It could be worse. You could be the Baltimore Orioles or Kansas City Royals.

Both franchises accumulated over 100 losses in a dismal season they can’t wait to forget.  And they weren’t the only teams to suffer through a sorry summer.

Consider the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers, all with over 90 losses, well within hailing distance of the century mark shared by the Orioles and the Royals. That’s seven teams who have struggled through a miserable season, and now face daunting overhauls this winter.

The leaders of this sad sack contingent are the Orioles with a sub .300 winning percentage, third worst in recorded baseball history. Only the 2003 Detroit Tigers and expansion 1962 New York Mets (bless their 40-120 hearts) were lower. The good news for Baltimore is that the Tigers were in the World Series three years later and the Mets were world champions seven years later.

No matter how bad things seem, there is always reason for hope. Consider the Atlanta Braves, who finished last year a woeful 72-90 and recovered immediately to win the National League East title this season.

There is a baseball axiom says that in a 162-game season, every team will win 60 games and lose 60 games. It is what you do in the other 42 games that will determine your fate. The problem for the Orioles is they never won those 60 games.

The Birds got out of March with a .500 record of 1-1 and it all went downhill after that. There were losing streaks of nine games and eight games and seven games three times. Along the way, they shed players. Third baseman Manny Machado, a free agent this winter, was shipped to the Dodgers for five prospects. Reliever Zack Britton went to the Yankees for three prospects. Pitchers Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day headed for Atlanta for four prospects and second baseman Joathan Schoop went to Milwaukee for three prospects.

Familiar faces were exchanged for unfamiliar ones in a wholesale roster shuffle. Prospects are an unknown quality. They could just as easily be suspects. The question is which category the newcomers will fall into. Orioles fans can’t wait to find out.

The statistics are loud testimony to just how bad the Birds have been this season. Baltimore played out the season ranked last in the American League in runs, hits, doubles and triples. They were last in the majors in walks and on-base percentage. Their pitching staff went into the season’s final week with a 5.16 earned run average, dreadful at best. That all adds up to well over 100 losses.

So if it is raining and if the train is late and if the boss is out of sorts, relax and be secure in the knowledge that others are worse off than year.

At least the Orioles have a cute logo.

About the Author

Hal Bock

Hal Bock is a contributor with NY Sports Day. He has covered sports for 40 years at The Associated Press including 30 World Series, 30 Super Bowls and 11 Olympics. He is the author of 14 books including most recently The Last Chicago Cubs Dynasty and Banned Baseball's Blacklist of All-Stars and Also-Rans. He has written scores of magazine articles and served as Journalist In Residence at Long Island University's Brooklyn campus where he also served on the selection committee for the George Polk Awards.

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