Now that we’re past the midway point of the 2009 MLB season, it’s safe to look at the standings and definitively declare the Kansas City Royals out of contention. Sure, you might think that being 20 games under .500 would have put them out of contention long ago. But the Royals’ season doesn’t end until we say it does (it’s in the rulebook, look it up), and since we really haven’t paid attention to them since May, we’re just now getting around to saying it.
It’s hard to believe that the Royals used to be one of the most well-run franchises in sports. Now they’re just a punchline, one of many perenially bad baseball teams for the rest of us to mock. But even amongst the other laughable franchises in baseball (Nationals, Pirates, Orioles come to mind), the Royals incredibly have a chance to stand alone as the worst team ever in the history of baseball.
It’s true. The KANSAS CITY STAR put together a list of dubious historical achievements within the 2009 Royals’ reach, and one of them really stands out like the sorest of thumbs:
Most losses in a decade: By this, we’re talking about 1920-29, 1970-79, etc., not just any 10-year stretch. The Royals have an outside shot at this one, but it would take a complete and utter surrender. To set this mark, KC would have to finish 13-56. If that happens, no one would survive the purge.
LOSSES IN A DECADE Phillies1929 962 Orioles1939 951 Phillies1949 951 Phillies1939 943 Padres1979 942 Red Sox1929 938 Braves1929 928 Mariners1989 923 Pirates1959 923 Athletics1969 922 Athletics1959 915 Royals2009 907
As noted, it would take a miserable finish for the Royals to reach the top of that list. But on a larger scale, it is truly incredible that a modern 21st century team is even on that list. With the amount of revenue even a small-market team like the Royals brings in, with one of the best stadiums in baseball, with a billionaire owner…it is unthinkable that such a successful business could have such an atrocious product. The tools to evaluate player performance are at a level never before seen. Congratulations, Kansas City. You’re (potentially) the worst franchise in history!