FanPost

2013 Marlins: Worst. Team. Ever?

After 50 games, and now that we're almost a third of the way through the season, I think it's fair to start seriously considering whether the 2013 Marlins are the worst team ever to step on an MLB field, at least on offense. Since you can't win without scoring runs, I think it's fair to focus on offense only for the purposes of this discussion.

For starters, consider the following team statistics (courtesy of www.baseball-almanac.com):

Lowest batting average: 1888 Washington: .207 (2013 Marlins: .221). The Marlins' leading hitter with a qualifying number of plate appearances is Placido Polanco, batting .233. Not to be a pessimist, but I doubt that Ozuna will continue hitting above .300 for the rest of the year, and it is certainly within the realm of possibility that the Marlins could break this record.

Lowest slugging percentage: 1910 Chicago White Sox: .261 (2013 Marlins: .317). The Marlins seem safely above the worst level in history here, but I wouldn't be too comfortable that it will remain that way.

Lowest runs scored in a season: 1908 St. Louis: 372, or approximately 2.3 runs/game (2013 Marlins:132 runs in 50 games, or 2.64 runs/game). The Marlins have a good shot at this record. Mike Stanton is not coming back any time soon, and I wouldn't blame him for taking his time recovering, a la Derrick Rose, given the state of the team and the money he will command once he's a free agent. Even after he returns, with less than no protection in the lineup, and hardly anyone on base in front of him, the damage he will be able to do will be severely limited, so I wouldn't expect a repeat of last season's RBI numbers for him.

Losses per season: 2003 Detroit: 119 (2013 Marlins: currently 13-37, on pace to lose 119.88 games. Let's round up to 120). Certainly the Marlins' pitching has been keeping them in games. But if Nolasco gets traded mid-season for more "prospects", then the Marlins' chances of breaking this record should improve even further. Apparently, the 1899 Cleveland Spiders lost 134 games in a 152 game season, so unless the Marlins lose more than 134 games, maybe this achievement would deserve an asterisk.

Now if the Marlins set any one of the four records for futility above, they would have a place in the discussion among the worst teams of all time. But I think it's entirely possible they could set at least three of those four records, which would give them an unarguable lock on the position. This would be fitting, since they also have the worst owner in history.

I have been a Marlins fan since 1993, and remember counting down the days to the first franchise game. For years I subscribed to the mlb.com video package so I could wake up early in the morning and watch Marlins games from Asia, since I couldn't see the games on TV. But this season, I find myself hoping that the Marlins will set one or all of the records above. At least that would mean a historic season (rather than just a routinely and miserably poor season), and a repudiation of Jeffrey Loria. Maybe MLB would even be shamed into imposing another round of payroll supervision on the team, to ensure that at least the revenue sharing money goes back into player salary, rather than towards "consulting fees" paid to a Loria shell company, as has been the previous practice of the team.

I still consider myself a Marlins fan, but I can't cheer for a Marlins win knowing it makes Loria happy, and I'm not so much of a sucker to continue spending money on a Jeffrey Loria enterprise. Let's just hope Loria doesn't live as long as Fidel, and that one day in the not too distant future real baseball will be played by two teams simultaneously in that nice new taxpayer funded stadium.

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