Sunday, March 23, 2008
Where true greatness lies in complete ineptitude.
716+* homeruns. 56 consecutive games. .409 batting average. Any baseball fan knows of the historical significance behind these numbers. The sexiest record in all of sports fell when Barry Bonds slugged homerun number 716 on a summer night in San Francisco. Every spring we learn the name of that middle infielder who carries a hitting streak to 15 games, in pursuit of the great Joe DiMaggio's record of 56 straight. And every year will be the year that a slap-hitting, quick-out-of-the-box Ichiro will fight for the highest single season batting average since Ted Williams.
Baseball fans love records and the legends who chase and break them, summer after summer after summer. We eagerly crown dynasties, be it the Yankees of the late 90's or the 21st century Red Sox. But what about the players and organizations on the other side of these all-time greats? Like a pitcher who loses 21 games in a single season (Mike Maroth, 2003 Detroit Tigers). Most regular season wins? The 2001 Mariners, 116. But isn't it more amusing to see those previously mentioned '03 Tigers lose 119?
If you're like me, the Baltimore Orioles are the most entertaining show on television. Not for the days of Cal Ripken, Jr, Boog's BBQ, Jim Palmer, or Earl Weaver, but because they are a complete mess. Or a team - oh, say, the Houston Astros - who guts their farm system to acquire Jason Jennings and Miguel Tejada. Bad Baseball recognizes that true greatness lies in complete ineptitude. This blog will dive into bad contracts, poor trades, and statistics that defy logic - but not in a good way. Perhaps I'll even thrown in a bad baseball card or two along the way. It's all things bad baseball! Because Mike Maroth must have done something right to be given the ball in 21 losing efforts.