Saturday, July 14, 2007

the 10,000 club

What's in a number? The Philadelphia Phillies are going down fighting, but seem intent on becoming the first professional sports franchise to lose 10,000 games this weekend, possibly today. A conversation I was having was about how the Pirates can't be that far behind. Is that true? or just another manifestation of that famous Pittsburgh pessimism?

Turns out to be true, but not the way you may think. With an overall franchise record of 9596-9339 the pirates will most likely enter the 10,000 club in the 2011 season.... 10,000 wins that is and several years before they will follow the Phillies lead on the loss side. The Pirates are in fact the 7th winningest team in baseball:

Team W L
San Francisco Giants 10,151 8,681
Chicago Cubs 9,944 9,425
Los Angeles Dodgers 9,843 8,932
St. Louis Cardinals 9,805 9,156
Atlanta Braves 9,659 9,681
Cincinnati Reds 9,636 9,339
Pittsburgh Pirates 9,596 9,339

Source: http://www.baseball-reference.com/

What does it all mean? Not much. The Phillies have the bad luck of being one of the oldest professional baseball franchises. The sequence of teams entering either the 10K W, or 10K L column correlates pretty closely with the order of teams' creation. If there is anything really damning about the records of the Phillies, or Pirates for that matter, over the long haul is that they didn't have to play the Yankees year in and year out through the decades. But in the end, sometimes a number is just a number.

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