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Could this year's team challenge for the worst record in Reds history?

As of today, the Reds aren't a last place team. It could still happen though, as their lead over the Pirates is just a half game, so it won't take much to drop back to that spot.

We've also noted that the Reds have a shot at finishing with the worst record in the Majors, though that looks unlikely as well. With 4 teams and 8.5 games separating the Reds and the Nationals, it's doubtful that the Reds will find themselves with the first pick in the 2010 draft.

Is there anything that can make this miserable season noteworthy for us fans? Well, maybe...

With a 52-71 record, the 2009 Reds are tied for the 16th worst record in franchise history after 123 games. More notably, perhaps, they are tied for the 3rd worst record since 1950, behind only the 1982 squad at 47-76 and the 2001 team that was 48-64.

As bad as their record has been, their expected winning percentage is the 11th worst in franchise history at this point in the season. This means that we can't really blame luck, at least not luck on the field, as the culprit. Sure, injuries have been an issue, but past teams have had injuries and managed to tread water. This team has been plummeting straight down for the last month and a half.

Famously, the Reds have only had one team lose 100 games in a season in their history. That was the 1982 squad, which managed a paltry 61-101 record just a year after the team had the best combined record in baseball for the strike shortened 1981season. However, this has as much to do with season length as anything, as there have been at least 5 other teams with records bad enough that it's reasonable to think they could have lost 100 games if given a 162-game season to try it in*.

* If you think the last 8 seasons have been bad, look at the stretch the team had from 1929-1937. They had a losing record in each of those seasons, including 6 of the 8 worst records in franchise history and 5 teams that could have lost 100 games if only they had more time. On the upside, they had a winning record in each year from 1938 to 1944, including 2 World Series appearances and a World Series win. So, all we need is a world war that will require a number of stars in the league to sign up for military service and the ship will be righted.

This current Reds squad is on pace to go 68-94, which would only be the third worst record this decade, but I don't think that means that 100 losses is out of the question. On July 7th, the Reds were at .500 (41-41) for the last time this season. Since then, they have gone a ridiculous 11-30. If the team continues that pace over the remaining 39 games, they'd go around 10-29, which would put them at exactly at 62-100, making them the 2nd time in team history that they officially reached triple-digits in losses. Given the recent performance, injuries, and lack of high-quality talent coming from the minors for the rest of the season, I don't think a 10-29 stretch is unreasonable. Heck, it might well be unavoidable.

The good news is that the Reds are probably unlikely to break the franchise record for worst winning percentage in a season. That record belongs to the 1934 team, whose .344 winning percentage would translate to around a 56-106 record. In order to fall below that, the 2009 team would need to go 3-36 the rest of the way. They've been bad, but I don't see any way they'll finish the season that poorly. Do you?