Lower the Jolly Roger! Pirates clinch losing season
by Bob Timmermann
With their loss to the Cardinals Friday night, the Pirates dropped their 82nd game of the year. That means Pittsburgh has now guaranteed its 14th straight losing season. The Pirates have not had a winning season since they won the NL East in 1992 with a 96-66 record. The next year Barry Bonds was a Giant. And then it got worse.
The closest the Pirates have gotten to .500 since then was in 1997 when they finished 79-83 and in second place in the NL Central. Previously the Pirates longest stretch of sub .500 seasons was nine from 1949 through 1957.
The record the Pirates are shooting for consecutive losing seasons is 16 by the Philadelphia Phillies from 1933 to 1948. During that stretch, the Phillies had four seasons where they had winning percentages below .300. Their best record during that stretch was a 69-85 record (.448) in 1946.
The AL mark for consecutive losing seasons is 15 held by the Athletics from 1953 (starting in Philadelphia) through 1967 (the last season in Kansas City).
The longest current streaks of losing seasons in the American League belong to Tampa Bay and Baltimore. They are both at eight seasons. The Devil Rays have 81 losses and will soon clinch losing season #9 and the Orioles are going to need an incredible September to avoid a losing season.