baseball's worst clubs

Aren’t You Embarrassed? Baseball’s Worst Clubs

When I was in middle school, American Idol was all the rage. A couple nights a week, families got together and watched as Randy, Paula, and Simon hunted down the country’s next best singing sensation. It was honestly a blast. A weekly concert of people covering some of the best songs ever written. And hey, who didn’t love them some Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood?

However, it’s not talent that I want to focus on right now. The opposite. Because as entertaining as talent is, a lack of talent is equally intriguing. And those cringe-inducing auditions were every bit as “must-watch television” as Kelly and Carrie’s were. But forget about American Idol. Instead, let’s take a look at who the William Hungs are of the MLB season so far. And believe it or not, Oakland isn’t listed  at least for now.

Aren’t You Embarrassed? Baseball’s Worst Clubs


Chicago White Sox

A glance at the recent past paints a much different picture than the one we see today regarding the Chicago White Sox. In 2021, the team from Chicago’s south side won the AL Central with an incredibly respectful 93-69 record. The record, however, was not even the most exciting piece to the 2021 White Sox. Their roster was a beautiful marriage between young and budding superstars with impressive and proven veteran talent. Yasmani Grandal caught 93 games and boasted a .420 OBP. Jose Abreu hit 30 homers and drove in 117. Tim Anderson hit .309. Yoan Moncada was continuing to develop, Luis Robert Jr. hit .338 in his 275 at-bats, and 24-year-old Eloy Jiminez was beginning to impress. From the pitching side of things, the rotation was nothing short of incredible. On paper, the starting rotation contained Lucas Giolito, Dylan CeaseDallas KeuchelLance Lynn, and Carlos Rodon. Impressive to say the least.

Fast forward to today (April 26, 2024), and oh my how much has changed, and changed for the worse. First of all, none of the 2021 rotation is still there. Neither are Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, or Yasmani Grandal. Yoan Moncada never became the superstar the franchise hoped for and Eloy Jiminez can never seem to keep himself healthy enough to be on the field. The result of all of this? A franchise that has rapidly fallen into despair. A franchise that saw themselves lose 101 games last season and has only managed three wins so far in 2024 out of the team’s first 25 games. That is good enough for an embarrassingly terrible .120 win percentage. This puts them on pace to beat MLB’s worst record of all time. A mark that was set all the way back in 1899 by the Cleveland Spiders who finished a season 20-134.

Gavin Sheets leads the White Sox in many offensive categories at this point. He is currently hitting .246 with three homers, ten RBIs, and six runs scored. So where does the White Sox offensive leader rank among the rest of the league? Well, Sheets ranks 98th in batting average, 69th in home runs, 111th in RBIs, and 222nd in runs scored. In other words, the best bat on the south-siders doesn’t crack the top 90 across the rest of baseball. That’s an issue. The pitching isn’t any better. Worse maybe. 17 pitchers have logged innings for the White Sox. Only five have ERA’s under 4.00. Nine have ERA’s above 5.00. The lack of offense and absence of solid pitching options has led the team to sport a league-worst -79 run differential.

It is hard to tell what the actual cause of the nosedive is. Is it the inconsistent leadership? Tony La Russa seemed to be public enemy number one after his time in Chicago came to an end. And since then, things don’t seem to have gotten any better. Is it management? Is it ownership? Is it the scouting department? Or is it a mixture of all of the above? Whatever it is, the White Sox faithful sure hopes the ship is righted soon. Because right now, a brown bag over the head isn’t nearly enough to shield fans from the on-field embarrassment.

Colorado Rockies

It’s interesting to me that franchises like the Athletics receive the brunt of the negative attention in the MLB these days. Yet teams like the Colorado Rockies seem to fly much more under the radar. In the 31 years that the Rockies have been an MLB franchise, they have never won the NL West and have recorded sub-.500 records in 22 campaigns. Ipso facto, they’re a tragically bad franchise overall. And 2024 is not showing signs of being any better.

On the bright side, the Rockies (as of today) have double the wins of the team we just discussed. Too bad that’s still only good enough for a 7-19 record which is an alarmingly bad .269 win percentage. And it isn’t exactly bad luck that can be blamed for the poor record. It isn’t like the Rockies have been right there in a lot of games and blown a late lead or two. Rather, they have been outscored at a high clip. They have scored 90 runs in the early season (good enough for 23rd in the league) but given up a whopping 147 which ranks dead last. In other departments, the Rockies have a team ERA of 5.61, and a team on-base percentage of .302, and among the ten players leading the team in at-bats, an astounding six of them are hitting below .230.

The glass in Colorado most definitely seems to be half empty. They are still mired in a $182 million contract with Kris Bryant. A player who unfortunately cannot seem to keep himself on the field. He played 42 games for the Rockies in 2022, 80 in ’23, and is currently on the IL in 2024 with a back issue. There was some hope that guys like Nolan Jones could take a step forward in their developments after a successful 2023 campaign. This would help to dull the pain of losing a bat like Kris Bryant. However, like all things Colorado these days, that has not panned out as Nolan is ice cold to start this season hitting .148 with a .219 OBP. It’s a long season, sure. But still, no matter how you slice it, those numbers are, well …… yikes.

Perhaps this is all for the better somehow. After all, unless you live in the Denver area, who really wants to play baseball in late October in an outdoor stadium a mile up into the Rocky Mountains with no retractable roof (a decision I may never fully be able to comprehend)?

Some Slack

The other two teams listed deserve to have a bit of a disclaimer attached to their name. One team has been absolutely crippled by pitching injuries and is coming off of a playoff run last year that inspired the fan base. The other team is a perennial powerhouse who should (but obviously nothing is a guarantee) snap out of it before too long. Nonetheless, they are where they are at the current moment, and it is embarrassing, to say the least.

Miami Marlins

The Miami Marlins were a feel-good story in 2023. They won 84 games, made it to the post-season, and presented the fan base with a clear sense of hope for the future. But as Red said to Andy in The Shawshank Redemption, “Hope is a dangerous thing.” And hope has led to big disappointment down in South Beach as the season has opened up with the Marlins sitting on a 6-20 record.

Yes, a big portion of Miami’s poor start to the season has to do with the fact that two of their high-profile arms (one former Cy Young winner and one budding superstar) in the starting rotation are out for the season. Missing both Sandy Alcantara and Eury Perez has been a blow that the Marlins do not seem to be prepared to make up for. Eight players have made starts for the Marlins so far this year, half of them have ERAs north of 4.10, and three of them have ERAs above 6.50. This has all helped to land Miami in 26th place when it comes to team ERA. Unfortunately, the fish also ranked 26th in runs scored. Considering baseball is a game in which the object is to score more than your opponents, ranking in the bottom five for these categories is not a positive mixture.

Not one player on the team has been able to keep their batting average above the .300 mark in the early goings here, and off-season pickups have struggled. Tim Anderson, the former White Sox shortstop, has gotten off to a start in which he has scored only six runs, driven in only four, has 19 hits (17 of which are singles) but 27 strikeouts, and is still searching for his first long ball. Josh Bell is hitting .179, Jazz Chisholm has swagger off the charts, but the game of an average ball player at best, and Jake Burger has only ever played in more than 55 games during a season one time. It’s early, but this lineup doesn’t appear to be ready to produce at a high enough clip to make up for the hole in the pitching staff.

Houston Astros

Okay, I admit the Houston Astros aren’t an embarrassment yet. At this point, they’re more of a head-scratcher. After all, how much of an embarrassment can you really be 25 games into a season when your last seven have ended with an appearance in the ALCS at worst? But nevertheless, the Astros find themselves below the Oakland Athletics in the AL West with a highly uncharacteristic 7-19 record.

However, outside of the record (which is currently making Astro fans seasick), there is much more hope here than the other teams discussed that the ship will turn around and head for calmer waters. Guys like Jose AltuveJeremy PenaKyle Tucker, and Yordan Alvarez are off to fine starts. In fact, Altuve is off to one of the best starts in his career batting a stunning .346 with 37 hits in 26 games. And although a guy like Alex Bregman is struggling mightily, pedigree prevents one from slipping into a state of panic. After all, it is still only April and a player like Bregman is a proven perennial All-Star candidate. He should turn it around. Justin Verlander recently had his season debut, and Framber Valdez is set to return from the IL shortly. So the pitching too appears ready to turn a corner.

Although, no matter how much hope the team is able to offer, one must ask, how big of a hole is too big of a hole for a team to climb out of? Houston has some work to do to get themselves back on track. And while recent history says they will get back on track, they still have to go out and start winning games.

Glaring Omission

The obvious glaring omission from the collection of teams above is the Athletics, the franchise that has become a circus in recent years. However, considering they lost a shocking 112 games last year, beginning the season 10-16 isn’t embarrassing, it’s an improvement. Perhaps we’ll save them for the same time next season when they’re playing their games in a ballpark best suited for the Durham Bulls, not a professional team.

It’ll be interesting to click back at the end of the season and see which of these franchises was able to save face, and which fell deeper and deeper into despair as the summer drifted by.

Main Image: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

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‘Stros will be fine.

But I will never understand how cold weather places don’t have domes! Colorado without a dome is a joke!! Minnesota too!


nice article, keep it up!


Nice article.


Nice article


nice article! love it

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