7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

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7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by HoosierVic » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:54 pm

Yeah, yeah. Seventy seasons. Let’s celebrate with lists of the best of this and the greatest of that and the winningest teams and the drollest of TNs.

But there’s another side of Seven-For-Seventy. The dreary, ineffectual, losing side.

Join us, if your stomach lining can take it, for a look at the seven worst teams in BBA history – a list filled with ERAs that could double as phone numbers, batting averages best measured in microns, and even an asterisk (or two).

Asterisks, you say?

Indeed, yes, because two of the worst teams in BBA history made the list through skullduggery, a tanking scandal that resulted in the expulsion of the guilty party. We include them here, though, because, well, the numbers are the numbers, not unlike the home run totals in that mythical “other” league, the MLB.

Also, it gives us a chance to heap score upon them, and that’s always fun …

Before we begin, though, a word about the format.

Most of it is self-explanatory, except the players I chose to spotlight. Here’s the key: Mope on the Mound is my choice for the team’s worst pitcher; Palooka at the Plate is the worst hitter; Fumbler in the Field, the worst glove; and Diamond in Distress is an actual good player on a nightmare of a team.

You may disagree with my choices, which is fine. Lists are always that way. Feel free to make your own list of mopes, palookas and fumblers. For that matter, choose seven different worst teams - make them all Black Sox incarnations, if the spirit moves. Who would argue?

As for me, I'm going by the numbers: the fewest wins and most losses.

Now, with that out of the way, I give you the worst seven teams in the history of the BBA:

1. Yellow Springs Nine
Year: 2022
Record: 39-123
Games Behind: 40.5

Image
Is this the worst team in BBA history? The record screams yes, but that record comes with an asterisk: the GM at the time (pre-Ron, of course) had purposefully tanked. So, although it’s an undeniably bad team, its place in the record books is suspect. Think of them as the Barry Bonds of awful. The numbers are there, they can’t be ignored, but they’re also problematic. So, we stop short of proclaiming them the Kings of Catastrophe. More like a Clown Prince of Putrescence.

Tale of the Tape
Team B.A.: .232
League Average B.A.: .258
Runs Per Game: 3.1
League Avg. Runs Per Game: 4.1
Runs Allowed Per Game: 5.8
League Avg. Runs Allowed Per Game: 4.3
Runs: 506
Runs Allowed: 938
Run Differential: -432

Mope on the Mound
PlayerW-L-SVIPERAFIPWAR
SP Juan Urdiano2-21-0167.25.264.411.5
Palooka at the Plate
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
CF Stan Rankin.191/.212/.287102387.2151.5
Fumbler in the Field
PlayerField Pct.ZR
RF Jeff MacNamara.957-10.1
Diamond in Distress
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
DH Newman Watson.339/.378/.48380327.3682.3

2. California Crusaders
Year: 2007
Record: 40-122
Games Behind: 67

Image
This, I submit, is the real Champion of Chumps – the BBA’s worst team, unaided by tanking, purely putrid all on its own. The pitching staff featured two 19-game losers, which is a remarkable sign of futility – especially once you realize they didn’t lead the team in losses. No, that honor went to 30-year-old right-hander Arthur Gleeson, who went 5-24 on the season. Bad as the pitching was (and, trust us, it was bad), the offense was even worse. The team’s best player that year, arguably, was 3B Jason Sherman, who led the team in WAR with 2.8 and OPS with .740. His slash line: .240/.331/.409 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs. He was offset, though, by the likes of CF Dae-ik Chong who started 157 games, had 660 at-bats, even hit a respectable .280 … and still wound up with -0.4 WAR. That, of course, may be due to his paltry 23 walks and robust 123 strikeouts. The thing about this club is that no one necessarily screams horrible, but no one screams good, either. The best players are deeply mediocre and the worst are, well, just bad. One consolation, though: the roster did feature the aptly-named Joe Sixpack, a 33-year-old backup shortstop appearing in his final big-league season. What red-blooded American couldn’t root for Joe Sixpack? Apparently Crusaders fans were able to resist the temptation, though: attendance plunged from 3.3 million in 2006 to 1.8 million in this fraught season.

Tale of the Tape
Team: B.A.: .230
League Avg. B.A.: .268
Runs Per Game: 3.2
League Avg. Runs Per Game: 4.9
Runs Allowed Per Game: 5.5
League Avg. Runs Allowed Per Game: 4.9
Runs: 518
Runs Allowed: 895
Run Differential: -377

Mope on the Mound
PlayerW-L-SVIPERAFIPWAR
SP Arthur Gleeson5-24-0214.15.845.91-0.6
Palooka at the Plate
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
1B Joe Sullivan.216/.307/.363146482.300-0.4
Fumbler in the Field
PlayerField Pct.ZR
LF Dae-ik Chong.992-5.4
Diamond in Distress
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
3B Jason Sherman.240/.331/.409124445.3292.8

3. Calgary Marauders
Year: 1976
Record: 42-120
Games Behind: 54

Image
You are what your record says you are, of course. But the stats of the ’76 Marauders don’t scream “All-time Suck” the way some of the other teams here do. Calgary, for instance, hit right around the league average, and some of their individual players seem more the victims of bad luck than individual ineptitude. Eldridge Heim, for example, had a terrible ERA of 5.30 and lost 18 games – but his FIP was an eminently respectable 3.24. So, what to make of that? I couldn’t pull up Calgary’s complete fielding stats on CATO, but you wonder if maybe there were some epic fielding lapses that led to his (and his team’s) demise. Finally, the Marauders’ Diamond in Distress this season was no cubic zirconia: Bombo Vadabonceour, here in his rookie season, went on to have a long and distinguished BBA career. His career slash was .318/.381/.499 with 319 homers, 1,420 RBIs and 10 All-Star game selections. So, yeah. Bad team, of course - but not a total cesspool of suck.

Tale of the Tape
Team B.A.: .244
League Avg. B.A.: .243
Runs Per Game: 3.6
League Avg. Runs Per Game: 4.1
Runs Allowed Per Game: 5.4
League Avg. Runs Allowed Per Game: 4.1
Runs: 584
Runs Allowed: 871
Run Differential: -287

Mope on the Mound
PlayerW-L-SVIPERAFIPWAR
SP Eldridge Heim5-18-0200.15.303.24WAR 4.9
Palooka at the Plate
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
CF Dan Gridstone.200/.253/.384150526.280-0.4
Fumbler in the Field
PlayerField Pct.ZR
N/AN/AN/A
Diamond in Distress
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
1B Bombo Vadabonceour.281/.349/.456158.3542.6

4. Yellow Springs Nine
Year: 2021
Record: 44-118
Games Behind: 53

Image
One epic losing season was interesting. Two in a row was … suspicious. And so, this incarnation of the YS9 carries an asterisk, too. Like its successor club in 2022 (the first team on this list), you can’t pretend it doesn’t exist because, clearly, it does. But its ball diamond futility was wind-aided, so to speak, and was part of the pattern that caused the governing board to call B.S. and eject the GM for tanking. One interesting phenomenon you can see here is that several of the better-performing players in this season (RF Clarence Diamond - .316/.349/.401 – for instance) aren’t with the club in 2022. One who did stay, though, was pitcher Juan Urdiano who posted a 7-5 record and 3.15 ERA, but went on to lose 21 games the next season. If only we could warn him of the career-ruining humiliation that lies ahead …

Tale of the Tape
Team B.A.: .230
League Avg. B.A.: .258
Runs Per Game: 3.3
League Avg. Runs Per Game: 4.1
Runs Allowed Per Game: 5.5
League Avg. Runs Allowed Per Game: 4.2
Runs: 527
Runs Allowed: 893
Run Differential: -366

Mope on the Mound
PlayerW-L-SVIPERAFIPWAR
SP Leonardo Santos2-20-0173.25.444.511.1
Palooka at the Plate
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
LF Ron Wooten.212/.242/.387154538.265-1.3
Fumbler in the Field
PlayerField Pct.ZR
CF Manuel Gomez.986-18.3
Diamond in Distress (Literally)
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
RF Clarence Diamond.316/.349/.401102414.322-0.2

5. Montreal Blazers
Year: 1997
Record: 45-117
Games Behind: 62

Image
Here’s the thing: if, on average, you’re allowing your opponent to score two runs per game more than you score. Then, on average, your team will blow chunks. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Exhibit A to this theory, your ’97 Montreal Blazers. The position players here are not an untalented bunch. Led by future Hall of Famer Bolt Vanderhugen (who had a fine season), there was a smattering of other decent players, including 3B Richard Deschenes and 2B Timothy Domino. But when your top starter, your ace, the cream of your rotation is allowing earned runs at a 5.29 clip (take a bow, Ben Rivera), you need more than a smattering of talent. You need an offensive juggernaut, which the Blazers decidedly were not.

Tale of the Tape
Team B.A.: .240
League Avg. B.A.: .273
Runs Per Game: 4.0
League Avg. Runs Per Game: 4.9
Runs Allowed Per Game: 6.1
League Avg. Runs Allowed Per Game: 4.9
Runs: 648
Runs Allowed: 995
Run Differential: -347

Mope on the Mound
PlayerW-L-SVIPERAFIPWAR
CL Charlie Maccuaig2-10-1870.04.245.84-0.9
Palooka at the Plate
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
C Zack Bowers.193/.266/.356144491.2680.4
Fumbler in the Field
PlayerField Pct.ZR
LF Jesus Losada.989-19.9
Diamond in Distress
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
CF Bolt Vanderhugen.302/.356/.554140569.3635.6
6. Chicago Black Sox
Year: 1979
Record: 47-115
Games Behind: 40

Image
Ok. You don’t need a MacArthur Genius Grant to figure out what went wrong here. The Sox weren’t an especially good offensive team. In fact, they were below average in pretty much every respect (although they were not last in the league in runs scored, as the other teams on this list were). But. They were an atrocious pitching team: they allowed 165 more runs than the next worst team in the league – 459 more than the best pitching staff in the league. Um. Yikes. But the funny thing is, the top of rotation wasn’t too bad. In fact, one of those guys - Braggo Franco – is in the Black Sox Hall of Honor, made six All-Star teams, and had at least a respectable year in ’79. The bullpen? That’s a different kettle of fish, and it smelled like one. The most-used reliever, Denny McLain (where have I heard that name???), pitched 101.3 innings with an ERA of 5.51. One guy, who threw more than 80 innings splitting time between the pen and the rotation, had an ERA of 8.53. What’s it all mean? On the off chance that Chicago’s mediocre offense staked one of the starters to a lead, they didn’t have a prayer in hell of holding on for the win unless the guy pitched a complete game. Clearly, the Sox didn’t get enough of those in ’79.

Tale of the Tape
Team B.A.: .254
League Avg. B.A.: .253
Runs Per Game: 3.9
League Avg. Runs Per Game: 4.3
Runs Allowed Per Game: 5.7
League Avg. Runs Allowed Per Game: 4.3
Runs: 632
Runs Allowed: 929
Run Differential: -297

Mope on the Mound
PlayerW-L-SVIPERAFIPWAR
RP/SP Tito Corbin0-8-082.18.535.47WAR -0.9
Palooka at the Plate
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
LF Jacob Grothe.212/.277/.369152522.284-0.2
Fumbler in the Field
PlayerField Pct.ZR
N/AN/AN/A
Diamond in Distress
PlayerW-L-SVIPERAFIPWAR
SP Braggo Franco11-13-0218.23.622.646.9
7. Hawaii Tropics
Year: 2034
Record: 47-115
Games Behind: 47


You know you’re keeping peculiar baseball company when you start thinking, “Hey, a run differential of -237 isn’t all that bad, is it? How’d they lose that many games?” In point of fact, if you score 237 fewer runs than your opposition over the course of a season, you’re gonna lose more than a few games. So, we’ll just dispose of that nonsense at the top. And a look at the roster isn’t gonna impress you much (don’t get too excited when you see Hall of Famer Emilio Rodriguez – he played all of 11 games for the Tropics). So, what you're left with is this: a pretty milquetoast offensive team and a pitching staff that gets into trouble its batters can’t bail them out of … that means losses. In great big tropical bunches.

Tale of the Tape
Team B.A.: .250
League Avg. B.A.: .266
Runs Per Game: 3.9
League Avg. Runs Per Game: 4.7
Runs Allowed Per Game: 5.4
League Avg. Runs Allowed Per Game: 4.7
Runs: 635
Runs Allowed: 872
Run Differential: -237

Mope on the Mound
PlayerW-L-SVIPERAFIPWAR
SP Viacheslav Vasilyev3-21-0197.14.835.080.9
Palooka at the Plate
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
SS Adam Johnson.203/.269/.270134434.242-0.3
Fumbler in the Field
PlayerField Pct.ZR
1B Jorge Sierra.995-11.2
Diamond in Distress
PlayerSlashlineGSABwOBAWAR
RF Rich Ayers.300/.352/.473127484.3491.6
Last edited by HoosierVic on Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by RonCo » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:00 pm

Two entries!
Yellow Springs Nine
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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by 7teen » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:16 pm

Great piece.

One of those YS teams was deliberately tanking, I believe. I think it even led to the GM being removed.

There were some big Rule 6 names coming that off-season from the EBA and he deliberately tanked to get high priority.
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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by HoosierVic » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:32 pm

7teen wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:16 pm
Great piece.

One of those YS teams was deliberately tanking, I believe. I think it even led to the GM being removed.

There were some big Rule 6 names coming that off-season from the EBA and he deliberately tanked to get high priority.
They were - that's why they both got asterisks!

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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by 7teen » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:40 pm

HoosierVic wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:32 pm
7teen wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:16 pm
Great piece.

One of those YS teams was deliberately tanking, I believe. I think it even led to the GM being removed.

There were some big Rule 6 names coming that off-season from the EBA and he deliberately tanked to get high priority.
They were - that's why they both got asterisks!
I should probably read this entire piece more thoroughly rather than scrolling it and posting first. Haha
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FL WC: 31, 33
BBA Champs: 04, 09

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FL Pacific: 50
FL WC: 49, 51
FL Champs: 49, 51

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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by HoosierVic » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:56 pm

Ha! There's actually a pretty complete record of it in the announcements if you go back far enough, which is really helpful for this kind of piece.

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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by RonCo » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:01 pm

We don't need no asterisk.
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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by jleddy » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:05 pm

Yikes.
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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by CTBrewCrew » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:23 pm

Ha! You take a look at some of those pitchers ERA for the mopes on the mound and they could be making some good money in 2042
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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by GoldenOne » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:19 pm

Yeah, I didnt make the list with either Nashville or Charlotte! I think maybe if it were a top 10 list though, that 49-win season was coming up quickly!
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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by HoosierVic » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:56 pm

GoldenOne wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:19 pm
Yeah, I didnt make the list with either Nashville or Charlotte! I think maybe if it were a top 10 list though, that 49-win season was coming up quickly!
Actually, there are four teams at 48 wins that just missed the cut.

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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by GoldenOne » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:04 pm

HoosierVic wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:56 pm
GoldenOne wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:19 pm
Yeah, I didnt make the list with either Nashville or Charlotte! I think maybe if it were a top 10 list though, that 49-win season was coming up quickly!
Actually, there are four teams at 48 wins that just missed the cut.
Guess I didnt try hard enough.
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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by jleddy » Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:06 am

GoldenOne wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:04 pm
HoosierVic wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:56 pm
Actually, there are four teams at 48 wins that just missed the cut.
Guess I didnt try hard enough.
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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by Rubaboo » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:18 am

Great piece. I'm literally stunned that none of my Omaha teams made it in here.
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Re: 7 for 70: The Worst Teams in BBA History

Post by johnd2442 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:26 am

I love the "mope on the mound" and "diamond in distress"!
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