Through 19 games, the Marlins are historically bad

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With a 10-6 loss to the Reds this afternoon, the Miami Marlins dropped to 4-15 on the season. Not that it is a shock to anyone, but they are by far the worst-hitting team in baseball: their .242 weighted on-base average (wOBA) is well below the second-worst Mariners’ .279.  The starting pitching has been decent, but the five-to-seven innings of good starting pitching is quickly undone by the bottom-feeding bullpen which includes such luminaries as John Maine and Chad Qualls.

The Marlins’ start through 19 games is historically bad. They have never won fewer than five games in their first 19 in franchise history — they started 5-14 in 1995, 1998, and 1999.

The Marlins, with 43 runs scored through 19, become the 19th team in baseball history to host such an anemic offense and only the fourth to do it in the 2000’s. The full list:

Team Date Wins WP RS RA RunDiff
CLV 5/27/1884 6 .316 42 108 -66
IND 5/30/1884 2 .111 42 133 -91
BSN 5/6/1905 6 .333 39 101 -62
STL 5/5/1907 3 .158 41 88 -47
BRO 5/11/1907 2 .111 21 70 -49
STL 5/10/1908 5 .263 41 57 -16
WSH 5/12/1909 6 .316 34 78 -44
NYG 5/12/1909 8 .421 41 54 -13
SLB 5/12/1910 4 .222 43 78 -35
STL 5/19/1919 5 .263 40 81 -41
CHW 5/16/1943 8 .421 40 51 -11
KCA 5/7/1966 5 .263 36 83 -47
CHW 5/5/1968 5 .263 40 65 -25
MIL 5/13/1972 6 .316 38 65 -27
BAL 4/26/1988 0 .000 36 118 -82
DET 4/23/2003 2 .105 43 100 -57
MON 4/25/2004 5 .263 34 72 -38
PIT 4/27/2012 8 .421 42 57 -15
MIA 4/21/2013 4 .211 43 89 -46

And with a -46 run differential, the Marlins become the 15th team since 1975 to start the season off so poorly and the eighth of the 2000’s. The list:

Team Date Wins WP RS RA RD
BAL 4/26/1988 0 .000 36 118 -82
ATL 4/30/1988 3 .158 50 104 -54
MIN 4/24/1994 6 .316 91 147 -56
BOS 4/22/1996 4 .211 72 119 -47
CIN 4/22/1997 6 .316 69 116 -47
DET 4/24/1998 4 .211 65 127 -62
DET 4/25/2000 5 .263 70 126 -56
TBD 4/22/2001 5 .263 66 121 -55
DET 4/23/2002 4 .211 76 125 -49
CIN 4/20/2003 6 .316 90 144 -54
TEX 4/20/2003 8 .421 77 125 -48
DET 4/23/2003 2 .105 43 100 -57
PIT 4/26/2010 7 .368 65 147 -82
MIA 4/21/2013  4 .211 43 89 -46

If the team gets any worse, Jeffrey Loria will have to find another fan or two to alienate.

Mariners sign Ichiro to a minor league deal

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.

I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.

Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.

Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?