Are the 2006 Kansas City Royals the worst baseball team ever?

Okay, it’s early in the season, but the Royals have a chance at immortality; they are a historically awful bunch of bums. Consider:

1. They stink.

At their current pace the Royals would finish the season 36-126, which would be the most losses by any team ever and would be the worst winning percentage in modern baseball history:

2006 Royals extrapolated: 36-126 .222
1916 Athletics 36-117 .235
1935 Braves 38-115 .248
1962 Mets 40-120 .250
1904 Senators 38-113 .252
1919 Athletics 36-104 .257
203 Tigers 43-119 .265
1952 Pirates 42-112 .273

2. No, they REALLY stink.

Weird W-L records are often just really, really flukey, but the Royals really are pretty awful. So far this year they have 170 runs scored against 286 allowed. The Pythagorean method suggests that a team with that ratio of runs scored to allowed would have a winning percentage of just .260. So they might be unlucky so far by just one or two games.

The Royals’ offense, with those 170 runs scored, is not just the worst in the American League, but is the worst by a really wide margin - they’re 10% worse than the SECOND-worst team, and are at the bottom is any offensive category you care to name. The pitching is just as bad.

3. And they’ve stunk for awhile now.

For a team to be truly abysmal, they can’t just have one catastrophic season. They must have a catastrophic season amidst a series of merely disastrous seasons. The Royals definitely meet this requirement of suckosity. In 2004, they had the worst season in team history, going 58-104. And then in 2005 they actually got a little worse, going 56-106. They’ve lost 100 games or more in three of the last four seasons, whereas in the previous 33 seasons of the team’s history they never lost 100 games. *All the rest of the teams in the major leagues * accounted for only 5 100-loss seasons in the four years that the Royals, by themselves, did it three times.

4. And they’re individually really terrible.

Even awful teams usually have at least one or two good players, maybe even All-Star calibre guys. The 1916 A’s got good years from Joe Bush and Amos Strunk. The 2003 Tigers had Dmitri Young hitting .297 with 29 homers. The 1935 Braves had Wally Berger lead the league in homers and RBI.

But the Royals have nobody good. The team’s “best” starter is - I guess - Scott Elarton, who’s 0-5 with a 4.71 ERA and has walked more men than he’s struck out. The only pitcher to pitch a significant number of innings and not stink is someone named Mike Wood, who, frighteningly, has also walked more men than he’s struck out, a sure sign that his luck will soon run out and he’ll start getting hammered. Elmer Dessens was pitching well for awhile but a few recent disasters have ballooned his ERA to 5.25.

The big off season acquisition was Joe Mays, who the Royals got based on a fluke season he had five years ago despite the fact that his arm is obviously blown out. Mays is 0-4, 10.27.

The lineup is no better. The team’s only really good hitter has been a rather flukey start by Esteban German in roughly half-time play. Mark Grudzeilanek has been okay. Must of the rest of the team has been excruciating. There are no potential All-Stars. The team’s leader in homers and RBI is Reggie Sanders, whose career as a good luck charm is, apparently, over.

So do you think this is the worst team ever?

They are really good contenders. I have been calling them a AAA all year. I was wondering if they could finally pull it off and beat the Mets for most losses.
I’m honestly rooting for it. If they lose 125 games, maybe the Commissioner will finally step in and do something about the jerk of an owner who has destroyed that once proud franchise. I’m surprised Brett hasn’t put him in the hospital.


Insider: Woeful Royals in disarray from top down
You might enjoy this article on CBS sportsline RickJay.

Depending on the definition of ‘ever’, not even close.

Worst in the modern era? They’re up there with the 1962 Mets and the 2003 Tigers.

Worst of all time? I’m not sure they’re Cleveland Spiders bad just yet.

I’m not even sure how you fix the Royals. The farm system is pretty barren, thanks to 10 years of bad draft picks and lowball offers, and they couldn’t sign an impact free agent if they gave him ownership of Kauffman Stadium in the deal.

Generally speaking, the Spiders are pre-history. They also folded after that year. Usually for records like worst team or most wins by a pitcher, 1901 is the cut-off.
(says the guys who has owned 3 baseball encyclopedias)


Today, they lost their 13th game in a row. They really are a wretched excuse for a team. The things is that if they keep losing at this pace, as RickJay notes, they would just barely squeak by the '62 Mets. So it’s a little hard to believe they won’t get hot, almost in spite of themselves, and win more than 40 games. The prospect of setting the record really seemed to motivate the '03 Tigers. And let’s not forget that at the end of the season, the best teams reduce their effort, making it easier for determined bad teams to win. With those caveats in mind, though, the Royals definitely look like contenders.

I think this team can challenge the conventional wisdom that every team wins 40 games and every team loses 40 games.

I can see this team being a 35-win club without batting an eye. Or a base hit.

That may very well be true. I’ve only seen highlights of their games; I suspect ESPN is barred from nationally telecasting the Royals due to anti-pollution laws. There’s a lot of season left. Look at it this way: if the Royals lose 126 games, that means they still have 91 future games to lose.

That was a pretty clutch way to grasp defeat from victory today. They were up 6-0 at one point and gave up 8 runs in the last two innings to lose 13-8.

Oh, they’re pathetic all right. Somehow, they always manage to find something wrong to do. For a while this season, they were getting quality starts but no run support. Then the batters start hitting a little, and the starters get knocked out in less than 5. If the hitters and starters keep their acts together, the bullpen can’t hold an eighth-inning lead for its life.

Nonetheless, I doubt they’ll out-lose the 1962 Mets or 2003 Tigers. Yes, they only have 10 wins at the moment, but they’re mired in a losing streak…they got those 10 wins much less than 1/4 way into the season. They’ll break 40 wins, and I’d even be willing to bet on 50.

I guess when you’ve been deluding yourself into thinking you won a World Series, it’s not that hard to delude yourself into thinking 50 wins is possible. :smiley:

/Orta was out by a STEP
//Denkinger: Worst. Ump. Ever.

Do we have to keep bringing up the '03 Tigers? Do we? Can we just not talk about them?

Can’t we all agree and just pick on the Mets?

Tiger fan and guy who would LOVE to forget about that year (except the end when they played like they found out what way the bat was to be held)

I was thinking about the Royals today. No longer being an avid baseball fan – starting a family and Fox f***ing up the Dodgers are the prime culprits – it surprises me that Kansas City would be caught up in such sucktitude for an extended period. This was once a terrific baseball city that owned the AL West for as long as George Brett played 3rd base. Yes, in today’s market Brett would have long since bolted for the Yankees, but Cincinatti and Minesota and other small market teams have found ways to win. When I think of K.C. I think of a winning organization, those powder blue jerseys and the waterfall.

The Tigers turned it around (remarkably fast); so can this team. But building a solid farm system and smart personnel is its only way. I gather that’s not the case right now.

Can they realistically by fixed? After all, their payroll is among the lowest; about 25% of the Yankees. A-Rod and Jeter alone make more than KC’s entire roster.

Is it fair to ask them to compete with that? Maybe they need to lose this many to stop the Yankees payroll dominance.

They have a chance. The team has given up on themselves and there doesn’t seem to be anything to build on there. What I object to is this silly unbalanced schedule. The Tigers and White Sox are happily feasting on Royal ineptitude and my bet is that one of these two teams snags the wild card. But they get to play KC about 18 times each while the other divisions only get about 6-7 cracks at them. The few games difference that this would make in the standings just might be enough to throw the wild card to the central. They should rebalance the schedule and cut back interleague play drastically.

Yeah, they might not be the worst ever but you can’t see that spot from where they are. Truly an awful team.

And more’s the pity, too, as owner David Glass has, in recent years, shown flashes of getting the whole sabrmetric thing. But he needs to step back and apply it everywhere. A lack of consistent organizational management is what’s killing them.

Oh well and ay de mi. Maybe they’ll get lucky and be contracted during the labor contract negotiations.

Not only are they BAD; they’re OLD and BAD. That’s a bad combination and doesn’t really bode well over a long season. It’s also indicative that they’ve got NOTHING in their farm system so it’s hard to imagine the september call ups making much of a difference.

Here are the ages from the active roster (It gave DOBs, and these ages represent their ages at the end of this year). The last 5 numbers are their outfielders. Yikes.

I hope they go into the last game needing a win to avoid being the worst team ever, and lose that game, with Royals first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz keeping the historic last ball put into play in that game.

You can’t blame the Yanks for this one. If a Pittsburg fan or Devil Ray fan or even a Blue Jay fan wants to bitch that is a fair complaint. But KC is ill conceived in every fashion. The Owner (who also has a huge stake in WalMarts) is pocketing money from the league and not investing it in scout and the farm system. He is bad for baseball and the League should step in and push him out.