Monday, March 25, 2013

Worst Back-to-Back Seasons in MLB History

In 2011, the Houston Astros finished with their worst record ever, going just 56-106. In 2012 they broke that record by going 55-107. Few teams have had their two worst seasons consecutively, and the combined record of 111-213 is awfully ugly. Obviously it's the worst back-to-back stretch in their franchise history*, but how does it stack up with the worst back-to-back campaigns by other teams? Here's a look at each franchise's very worst consecutive seasons, along with other info on bad back-to-back records in baseball history.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

World Baseball Classic and Patriotism

The World Baseball Classic (WBC) has reached its championship game, which will pit the Dominican Republic against Puerto Rico tonight from San Francisco's AT&T Park. That means that for the third straight time (the WBC was also played in 2006 and 2009), the United States will not be a part of the title game, despite hosting most of the games and being home to the strongest professional league in the world. I'm not among those who are particularly disappointed that the U.S. was eliminated early. It's not that I don't care about the WBC (I think it's great), and it's not because I won't root for a favorite (I'm not sure the U.S. really was the favorite), it's because my strongest baseball loyalties are not to country.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Worst Seasons in Baseball History

The 1916 Athletics, one of baseball's worst teams ever
The Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros each had their worst season in franchise history in 2012. For the Rockies, it was a 64-98 record (.395 winning percentage). For the Astros, it was a 55-107 record (.340). It's sort impressive that two teams playing in the same league were both able to have their worst record. How do their marks stack up with other teams' worst ever records? What are the very worst records in modern history? What are the worst seasons in more recent history? Let's take a look.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Best Hitters You've Never Heard Of

Les Fleming
At Let's Go Tribe I've been doing a series on the best hitters in Indians history out of each spot in the batting order. In a recent installment I was looking at #5 hitters (a list topped by Jim Thome) and in 7th place I chose a player named Les Fleming, whom I'd never heard of before researching that post. Fleming batted fifth for most of the 1942 season, which was his only full season in the Majors. He was one of the ten or so best hitters in baseball that year, on par with Joe DiMaggio.

Despite being such a potent hitter, Fleming played in only 434 career games, getting to the plate for 1,572 plate appearances. His career OPS+ was 130 (meaning he was 30% better than average for his career). That's the level All-Star Carlos Gonzalez has been at over the last three years, right around the level of Joe Mauer and Troy Tulowitzki. I found myself wondering two things: Why didn't Fleming play longer and how many other hitters have been that good but had such short careers?