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Elephant Rumblings: The Oakland A’s record is approaching record lows

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Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

It’s Thursday, Athletics Nation!

It’s not pretty to see, but with the combination of the Royals’ win over the Giants last night and the A’s loss to the Red Sox, the Athletics have been handed the worst record in all of MLB once again. With 21 wins and 43 losses that makes for a win percentage of .328 heading into today, and the 2022 season is about to be 40% complete. The current record is a win behind where the A’s pythagorean W-L says it should be. This means the team hasn’t been unlucky, but anyone who’s tuned in to the last month and a half of A’s baseball shouldn’t be surprised by that.

If they keep playing at this rate, the A’s would look to end their season at around a 53-109 win-loss record. That’s 17 wins lower than FanGraphs’ initial projection at the beginning of the season, though FanGraphs still projects the A’s to make it back to 64 wins by October. The .395 winning percentage granted by 64 wins would be welcomed by A’s fans, as right now the current record isn’t just bad, it’s approaching historically bad.

The worst 162 game season in Athletics history was in 1979 when the team won a third of their games, ending at a 54-108 record. If you look to the paragraph above, staying at the current rate would put the 2022 A’s a win below the ‘79 team, replacing them as the worst squad in Oakland history. The A’s do have 7 other seasons with lower win percentages in Philadelphia between 1915 and 1954, but all were seasons with less than 162 games (and all but one were managed by Connie Mack).

The last time the Athletics tore down we saw 68-94 and 69-93 seasons in 2015 and ‘16 respectively. Before that we have to go back to 1997 for the A’s previous sub-70 win season. And aside from strike-shortened seasons you have to go another fifteen years to 1982 for another year with a win record in the 60s.

In the 40 years since 1982, we have seen the Athletics reach the playoffs 15 times, including three consecutive trips to the World Series netting one championship. Over that span the team has also combined for 3301 wins out of 6374 games, giving them a .517 win percentage. Even if the A’s lost every remaining game this season, they wouldn’t be able to push that long-term record below .510. While it’s been a rough go so far this year, at least it looks to be a blip in the A’s overall trend.

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