The second round of the Worst of the Worst tournament brought a number of surprises and firsts for the tournament. The premise is to determine the worst team in modern baseball history by setting up a 16-team tournament which each team plays 50 seasons against their opponent. The winner that advances in the tournament is the team that loses the most of the fifty seasons.
- No. 1 seed 1962 New York Mets vs. No. 8 1979 Oakland A’s
- No. 4 1932 Boston Red Sox vs. No. 12 1954 Philadelphia Athletics
- No. 3 1916 Philadelphia Athletics vs. No. 11 1942 Philadelphia Phils
- No. 2 2003 Detroit Tigers vs. No. 7 1939 St. Louis Browns
During the first round, I provided a brief history of each of these teams so we will jump right into the results, and naturally in a loser’s tournament, upsets abound. The favorite lovable losers, the Mets, were eliminated by Oakland, 16-34. The margin was a little closer than the scoreboard shows as the Mets averaged 84 wins against 78 losses. The No. 2 seed Tigers were edged out by the slimmest of margins, 23-24-3. The Browns and Tigers were separated by a mere 86 runs (4,007 – 4,093 or 1.72 runs/season) in 50 seasons of play. Another tournament first took place in the ’32 Red Sox and ’54 A’s match-up. The Athletics lost all 50 seasons by an average of 60 games to 93 (I run a 154-game season for the pre-1961 teams; 162 games if a post-1961 team is involved). Here the margin was maybe even worse than the scoreboard as the 1954 A’s won an average of 61 games against an average of 93 losses. In short, the 1954 Philadelphia Athletics put up the worst performance to date in this tournament In the finale, I fully expected the Athletics’ franchise to place three teams in the Final Four, but their National League brethren from Philadelphia, the Phillies of 1942, beat the 1916 vintage of the Athletics by losing 35 of the 50 seasons. The Phils averaged only 74 wins vs. 80 losses.
All of the top seeds fail to advance as the 1979 Oakland A’s will face their 1954 counterparts and the 1939 Browns will face the 1942 Phils. With their most recent performance, the 1954 Athletics are the current favorites to take the title of the Worst of the Worst, but as this round showed, these clubs can’t do anything right!