Anderson: The 2003 Tigers and rebuilding lessons for today’s teams

From R.J. Anderson at CBS Sports on May 3, 2018:

Fifteen years ago, the Detroit Tigers played one of the worst seasons in baseball history.

Winning five of their last six games spared the Tigers, who finished 43-119, the indignity of tying the 1962 New York Mets for the most losses since integration. Those Mets went 40-120 but had a legitimate excuse: they were an expansion team. The Tigers weren’t, they just played like one.

Anybody with an internet connection can list off morbid facts about the ’03 Tigers: they started 0-9, then 1-17; they recorded only three more wins than blowout losses (40 by five-plus runs); they were outscored by nearly two runs per game; and so on. There’s sufficient statistical humiliation for the quant masochists in the audience to savor.

But those Tigers serve a purpose greater than their near-constant belittling suggests. The 2003 Tigers are relevant again all these years later because few teams are better qualified to speak about the modern baseball landscape.

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Originally published: May 4, 2018. Last Updated: May 4, 2018.