From: Pete McEntegart "The 10 Spot"...si.com
The Royals' losing streak reached 19 games Friday night. Though Kansas City is playing .317 baseball and is on pace to lose 111 games, the Royals still have much work to do to crack the 10 Spot's list of the worst baseball teams ever.
1. 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20-134, .130)
The Spiders went 81-68 in 1898 but owner Frank Robison decided the other team he had just purchased, the St. Louis Browns, had the potential to be more profitable, in part because Cleveland city fathers wouldn't allow Sunday baseball. So Robison essentially shipped the nine best players from the Spiders to the Browns, led by a trio of future Hall of Famers including Cy Young. Only once did the Spiders compile a two-game winning streak. They lost 40 of their last 41 games. Ace pitcher Jim Hughey went 4-30. Attendance was so poor (a total of 6,088 fans for the season) that the team played only on the road after July 1 and folded after the season. The Spiders would have won 21 games, but blew a 10-1 ninth-inning lead in June. On the bright side, though, the Browns improved by 45 wins, from 39-111 to 84-67.
2. 1962 New York Mets (40-120, .250)
At least the expansion Amazin's were lovable. That affection certainly wasn't due to their play on the field. The Mets were 9½ games out after playing their first nine games and ended the season by hitting into a triple play. The likes of catcher Choo-Choo Coleman and first baseman Marvelous Marv Throneberry inspired manager Casey Stengel to wonder, "Can't anybody here play this game?" No. 1 pitcher Roger Craig finished 10-24 as the Mets were mathematically eliminated from the pennant race on Aug. 7. Sadly, there was no wild card to shoot for.
3. 1916 Philadelphia A's (36-117, .235)
Connie Mack's Athletics were a powerhouse from 1910-14, reaching five consecutive World Series and winning three. But a financially strapped Mack (who also owned the team) sold most of his stars to other AL teams, in part to keep them from the upstart Federal League. That included three members of the famed "$100,000 infield" -- second baseman Eddie Collins, third baseman Frank "Home Run" Baker and shortstop Jack Barry. The A's who remained could only hope to place first in an alphabetical listing, recording the worst winning percentage in the modern (post-1900) era.
4. 1889 Louisville Colonels (27-111, .196)
The American Association club boasts the proud distinction of recording the longest-ever losing streak, 26 games, while chewing through four managers. Pitcher Red Ehret paced the Colonels with 10 wins but lost 29. That didn't even lead the team in losses, as John Ewing finished 6-30. Here's some good news for this year's Royals: The Colonels rebounded to win the AA pennant the next year with an 88-44 record, the greatest percentage improvement in history. Alas, there is an historical caveat, as the new Players League raided many of the Colonels' rivals that season.
5. 1935 Boston Braves (38-115, .248)
Outfielder Wally Berger must have had a lousy agent. Berger hit .295 and led the National League in homers (34) and RBIs (130) while having to play for a team that finished 13-65 (.167) on the road. Still, at least the home fans could cheer the occasional appearances by a creaky Babe Ruth, who hit .181 with six homers in the final 72 at-bats of his career.
6. 1904 Washington Senators (38-113, .252)
The Senators went 0-10 in April and might well have considered delaying the rest of the season with a filibuster. Manager Mal Kittridge was canned after a 1-16 start, allowing Patsy Donovan to take the team home with a more respectable 37-97 mark. Three pitchers lost at least 23 games, including Happy Townshend (5-26), whose presumably boundless optimism was surely tested.
7. 2003 Detroit Tigers (43-119, .265)
The Tigers likely would rank higher on this list if they hadn't gotten uppity and won five of their last six games. That kept them from breaking the modern record for losses held by the '62 Mets. The mood was so jubilant in the locker room after the 9-4 win over the Twins in the season finale that reliever Matt Anderson crowed, "We're the happiest worst team ever!" Maybe we should call him Happy Anderson.
8. 1952 Pirates (42-112, .273)
The team boasted some familiar names -- Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner in left, future MVP Dick Groat at shortstop and chatty Joe Garagiola behind the plate -- but the Bucs couldn't put together a win streak longer than two games. Perhaps backup infielder Johnny Berardino was best suited to diagnose the team's malaise; he later played Dr. Steve Hardy on General Hospital for more than 25 years.
9. 1942 Philadelphia Phillies (42-109, .278)
Most of baseball's stars hadn't yet headed off to World War II, so the Phils couldn't blame their performance on a mass exodus. In fact, in the prior four seasons Philadelphia had won 45, 45, 50 and 43 games. They went that one better (or worse) in 1942 by admirably sharing the losing load. The team's five regular starters lost 20, 19, 18, 16 and 14 games apiece. The team's shortstop was Bobby Bragan, who made history earlier this week by becoming the oldest manager in pro baseball history (at 87), as well as the oldest manager to get ejected.
10. 1988 Baltimore Orioles (54-107, .335)
Yes, there have been teams with poorer records, so to all those fans of the 1939 St. Louis Browns (43-111, .279), please save the angry e-mails. The Orioles make the list for opening the season with a 21-game losing streak, the worst start ever. Not even the presence of Hall of Famer Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. (who will certainly join Murray next year) could stop the losing. Baltimore won just one game in April. Another silver lining for Kansas City: The Orioles finished second in 1989 with an 87-75 record, just two games behind the Blue Jays.