Lawrence sent over a link to an interesting article at Grantland: “The Joy of Tanking: Hoarding prospects and being horrible with the Houston Astros”.
And finally, we come to the modern-day Houston Astros, who lost 106 games in 2011, 107 games in 2012, and six weeks into this season are on pace for their worst season yet. They are a threat to become only the second team ever, after the Amazin’ Mets, to lose 106 games three years in a row. The Astros don’t simply personify awful. They embrace it, they lovingly caress it, they whisper sweet nothings to it.
But the main point of the article is that the Astros actually have a chance to be good several years from now:
And once this season is over and the Astros can end their charade of being the worst team in baseball every year, they can use the free-agent market to actually upgrade their roster. The team has incredible payroll flexibility — they have $5.7 million in contract obligations on the books for 2014, and few of their young players will even be arbitration-eligible next season. There’s no reason the Astros can’t be competitive next year, at .500 by 2015, and then become legitimate contenders in the AL West in 2016 and beyond.
Currently, Houston and Miami are tied for the worst record in baseball: 12-32, with a .273 winning percentage. That puts both teams at a projected 117 losses.