The Baltimore Orioles have been horrible this year, but could they potentially hit the historic mark of 120 losses this season? It’s definitely possible.
The Baltimore Orioles have been horrible this year, but could they potentially hit the historic mark of 120 losses this season? It doesn’t seem all that far-fetched.
For the record, 120 losses in a season isn’t the worst in major league history. That designation belongs to the 1899 Cleveland Spiders who finished the season 20-134, but the Spiders hit that record by design, as their owner sent most of their good players over to his brother’s team, the St. Louis Perfectos.
So why 120 games? Well first, it’s a nice round number and everyone likes round numbers. And second, because the 1962 New York Mets had a historically terrible season, finishing the year 40-120—the worst win-loss record of the modern era.
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The 2003 Detroit Tigers came extremely close to the Mets’ record, finishing the year 43-119 and becoming the only team since those 1962 Mets to lose more than 105 games.
But the Baltimore Orioles might just give them a run for their money. Currently sitting at a miserable 25-66, if things all fall the right way, it’s entirely possible the Orioles could come close to, or even match the 1962 Mets, or even the 2003 Tigers.
This could especially happen if the Orioles do what they should do, and trade away just about everything they have of value to begin the rebuilding process. It’s already a foregone conclusion that Manny Machado will be traded, and both Zach Britton and Brad Brach are likely to be traded as well, as could Adam Jones.
The great Dan Szymborski over at Fangraphs ran his ZiPS projection system to see where the Orioles might end up, and it put them at a mean record of 54-108.
If you take away Machado, Jones, Britton, and one more reliever, that projection becomes 49-113, putting the Orioles within spitting distance of historic terribleness.
I don’t think the Orioles are going to end up losing 120 games, but I do think they’re going to come close, and I think this could easily go down as the worst season in Baltimore Orioles history—worse than their 54-107 year in 1988 (the team’s current worst year on record).
Either way, it’s been a historically terrible season.