The Philadelphia Phillies have reached a dubious milestone, becoming the first professional team in any sport to lose 10,000 games.
Through the last-place finishes, September collapses and every agonizing failure over the past 125 years, no team has lost quite like the Philadelphia Phillies. Futility has followed them since the day they were born, and Sunday night was no different for the losingest team in sports history. Loss No. 10,000 came when Albert Pujols hit two of the St. Louis Cardinals’ six homers in a 10-2 rout.
Not surprisingly, this defeat resembled the thousands that came before. Bad starting pitching, brutal relief and hardly any hitting. And, of course, lots of booing. By the ninth inning, with the outcome inevitable, the boos turned to cheers. Fans in the sellout crowd of 44,872 thumbed their noses at the dubious mark, standing and applauding. One held up a sign that read: “10,000 N Proud” as NL MVP Ryan Howard struck out to end the game.
“I don’t know too much about 10,000 losses,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “I try and concentrate on the wins.”
From Connie Mack Stadium to the Vet and Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies have had few moments to celebrate. The franchise, born in 1883 as the Philadelphia Quakers and briefly called the Blue Jays in the mid-1940s, fell to 8,810-10,000.
Next on the losing list: the Braves, with 9,681 defeats. It took them stints in three cities (Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta) to reach that total. Not even those lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs, come close at 9,425. And for those counting, it was the 58th time the Phillies have lost by that exact 10-2 score, the Elias Sports Bureau said.
While it’s a somewhat embarrassing record, it’s a bit misleading. For one thing, baseball teams play radically more games than in any other professional sport. Moreover, even the best teams will lose 35-40 percent of their games, amassing 60 loses even in great seasons. And the Phillies have been around longer than virtually all other teams.
Still, not a record to cheer.
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