Mac Engel: In one of worst years, Texas Rangers on pace for worst season in franchise history

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The Texas Rangers have embraced the philosophy that says if you are going to be bad, do it right.

A franchise not exactly known for winning baseball games is losing at a pace it never has since it was founded in Washington D.C. in 1961.

To have the worst season in the history of the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers takes effort.

You gotta want it. It takes 25 guys who buy in. This club stinks 1 through 9, and their strongest link also happens to be their weakest link.

With their loss on Sunday in Seattle, the Rangers dropped to 13-27. If the Rangers can “hang on” this season will be their worst.

The Rangers’ winning percentage is currently a stout .325.

Theirs is the least good record in Major League Baseball, and the winning percentage would be the worst in franchise history.

Only 20 games to go.

“It sucks; nobody likes winning. I mean, nobody likes losing,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said on a Zoom call with reporters after Sunday’s loss.

On Sunday, I tweeted this current team is one of the three worst Rangers teams put on the field in in the last 30 years.

I was right, and wrong. It’s the worst.

The last time the Rangers’ winning percentage was less than .400 was 1985, when it was 62-99 under Doug Rader and Bobby Valentine. The winning percentage was .385 that season.

That’s not the worst.

The first season of the Texas Rangers is the gold standard of bad.

In 1972, the first season the Rangers played in Arlington after it moved from Washington D.C., they finished 54-100 for a .351 winning percentage.

The worst year in the history of the entire franchise is 1963, when the Washington Senators finished 56-106, an enviable .346 winning percentage.

What the Rangers are doing this season should not compare to those previous stinkers; we are talking about a 60-game schedule.

Nothing about this season feels right, or should count, but MLB and the Players Association wanted the money so technically it’s the same as any other year.

If you are wondering, these Rangers will not rank among the worst teams in the history of the game. The winning percentages have to be in the .200s for that to happen.

In the modern era, the Detroit Tigers put together a special season in 2003 when they finished 43-119 (.265).

Maybe in a 162-game schedule the Rangers play out of this stink-fest. The trouble selling that line of garbage is nothing the team has done suggests 162 would “help” them.

Not only can they not hit, but they also can’t pitch or field.

Before their game on Monday, their team batting average ranked 29th out of 30 MLB clubs. If you are one of those analytics geeks who loathes batting average, the Texas Rangers’ run total is 30th in MLB.

When the Rangers hired Chris Woodward to be their manager last year, they wanted to re-do their offensive approach and emphasize drawing walks, and on-base percentage.

They currently rank 24th in MLB in walks, and their on-base percentage is second to last.

The strength of the Rangers was going to be pitching, and it is. Their team ERA is 5.13, which ranks 24th in baseball.

Their defense ranks 24th in MLB.

It is impossible to find a stat of significance and see the Rangers at the top of anything.

“It’s frustrating for these guys,” Woodward said. “It’s easy to get numb to losing.”

Which is the concern. When guys get comfy losing, it’s hard to beat.

But since 2020 feels like the worst year ever for so many of us, the Texas Rangers should make it the worst year in the history of their franchise.

It’s the only way we will remember it.

Only 20 games to go. They can do it.


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