The Race To 100 Losses

As the MLB Trade Deadline inches closer, another inevitable deadline awaits the Rockies, one farther down this season’s road, something no Rockies fan wants to see but has been threatened by throughout our entire existence. Only two teams in all of baseball—Kansas City and Oakland, respectively—are worse than us as the standings currently sit, and with the Rockies set to take on the Athletics this weekend, in a series I’m trademarking as the Toilet Bowl, it’s only fair to bring up the feat that shall not be named. 

The race to 100 losses. 

One hundred losses isn’t just a sign of an abysmal season, it’s a systematic failure at multiple levels of operation within an organization. One hundred losses tarnishes a team’s legacy, even for the teams that don’t have much of a legacy to begin with, let alone one worth worrying over. Losing this much in a single season makes any team even more of a joke than they already may be. In a 162-game season, 100 losses may seem like a rare occurrence, a feat that teams are seldom to reach. But in recent years of baseball, a growing number of teams are reaching this saddening mark and whether it be rule changes or something else completely, the rampant increase of 100-loss seasons doesn’t seem to be slowing down. 

So, is a 100-loss season something out of the Rockies control? Is this achievement inevitable?

Even though it may seem like the topic I gravitate towards most in regards to the Rockies is the art of losing, it’s hard not to when the highest probability of not having a 100 loss season sits at 38%. Yet, contrary to what many Coloradans and those fair weather Rockies fans may believe, in all thirty years of the Rockies existence, there has never been a season with 100 losses. We’ve danced dangerously close to the dreaded number at the end of numerous seasons:

Last season we finished with 94 losses. 

In 2014 we eclipsed 96. 

And in 2012, the Rockies ended their season with 98 losses. (Maybe it would’ve been for the best if the world really did end this year.)

So as far as history goes, it certainly seems like we often find ourselves near the edge of 100 losses, and based on our current tumultuous play and the fire sale we will have available for teams until the August 1st deadline passes, the Rockies find themselves heading right down the road they know all too well, driving straight for the cliff where the hundred-loss teams reside. 

As I stated above, the recent trends in baseball aren’t helping the Rockies case to steer clear of this mark. 

Some quick statistics for those who have much more important things to do than research really bad baseball teams: 

In the past 20 seasons—excluding the shortened 2020 year—there have been a grand total of 32 teams to reach or surpass 100 losses. 

From 2003 to 2017, there was never a season where more than 2 teams reached the mark. But from 2018 until the present, there hasn’t been a season where no less than 3 teams lose 100 games or more. 

In each of the past two seasons, 4 teams have reached the mark.

Over this 20-year span, 16 different teams have lost 100 games.

Of those 16 different teams, 6 of them have won a World Series in the same 20-year span (Astros, Cubs, Marlins, Nationals, Royals, White Sox).

These statistics seem sad on the outside, and they rightfully are when we are reminded of how much both players and fans endure when a team is in the midst of a horrible season that only seems to worsen down the final grueling stretch through the August and September months. Yet, some of these statistics aren’t as disparaging as one may think.

According to a very depressing active list of every franchise’s worst seasons, only 6 of all 30 franchises have not had a 100-loss season before, so it may come as a surprise that the Rockies of all the teams are on a list that includes the Angels, Cardinals, Dodgers, Phillies, and Yankees. As the third youngest team in the MLB behind the Diamondbacks and Rays, both of which are teams who have reached the 100-loss mark, we have to consider ourselves extremely fortunate that in all 30 years of existence we’ve managed to avoid what ultimately seems to be the inevitable. 

I’m trying to be more optimistic. Maybe the Rockies finally losing 100 or more games isn’t as bad of an accomplishment as it’s been laid out to be. Perhaps to fully reach the potential this franchise has, we must first reach rock bottom, or some place further than the depths of despair that we’ve been subjected to over the past couple of seasons.

With 60 games left as of today, at a record of 40-62, 38 more games that don’t go our way put us in the 100-loss club, forever anointing us as the losers we may truly be. But say we do reach the terrible mark, could this be the reality check the Rockies organization needs? We might need this. Before we can finally go up, we must first go further down.  

This picture doesn’t serve much of a purpose other than I usually aim for three per article, and it’s kinda cool, and surprisingly enough this is from when the Rockies beat the Cardinals 7-4 on April 10th. 

Image Sources: 


Upper Deck Golf

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