Friday, June 12, 2009

Loved the Sox sweep of the Yankees this week. Last night's 8th inning comeback win against C.C. Sabathia and the Yanks hideous other-than-Mo bullpen was a thing of beauty.

I have a different topic for tonight, though. Does anyone else find really bad teams fascinating? I don't mean your typical 90-95 loss 5th place finishers. I'm talking about epically bad teams: the 1962 Mets, the 2003 Detroit Tigers. Looking over longer periods of time you can talk about the Red Sox for most of the post-Babe Ruth period until Tom Yawkey bought the team; the Washington Senators and St. Louis Browns over most of their pathetic existences. The Philadelphia Phillies over much of their first century. In fact, of the 23 major league teams that played less than .300 ball for a full season, nine belong to either the Phillies or the Philadelphia A's.

This year's example is, of course, the Washington Nationals. Entering tonight, the Nats are 16-42 (.276), 19 games behind the first place Phillies. Their pitching is the worst in baseball with a 5.33 ERA. Their bullpen has managed to blow 12 of their rare save opportunities. They're also last in the league in fielding, which doesn't help the pitching much. All this can't make up for a mediocre offense.

These bad teams are a bit like a car accident: terrible, but I can't turn my head away. I'll be keeping an eye on the Nationals for the rest of the year.


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