07 July 2007

10000 losses, yet again

I posted a couple weeks ago a forecast of the date of the 10,000th Phillies loss, which I updated on Tuesday. My traffic-tracking software tells me that these have been my most-viewed and fourth-most-viewed pages, respectively. In particular I wondered what the chances were that I'd witness this historic event. I have tickets for July 13. The July 14 game will be televised nationally on FOX, the July 15 on ESPN; I'm certain the announcers will mention it, either as "the Phillies have just lost their 10,000th game" or "the Phillies are trying to avoid losing their 10,000th game" depending on how things play out.

Since then, the Phillies have won three and lost seven; as of the original post they'd lost 9,991 games all-time, so now they're up to 9,998 losses. They need two more for 10,000.

They play tonight, then again tomorrow, then after that not until Friday (which is when I have tickets). Who knows, I might see it.

Here are the probabilities now:
Jul 08 @ Rockies0.257245
Jul 13 v. Cardinals0.197124
Jul 14 v. Cardinals0.157155
Jul 15 v. Cardinals0.118057
Jul 16 @ Dodgers0.126696
Jul 17 @ Dodgers0.071025
Jul 18 @ Dodgers0.037119
Jul 19 @ Padres0.018392
Jul 20 @ Padres0.009024
Jul 21 @ Padres0.004337
Jul 22 @ Padres0.002051
Jul 24 v. Nationals0.000582
Jul 25 v. Nationals0.000392
Jul 26 v. Nationals0.000264
Jul 27 v. Pirates0.000180
Jul 28 v. Pirates0.000120
Jul 29 v. Pirates0.000080
Jul 30 @ Cubs0.000074
Jul 31 @ Cubs0.000039
Aug 01 @ Cubs0.000021
Aug 02 @ Cubs0.000011
Aug 03 @ Brewers0.000007
Aug 04 @ Brewers0.000003
Aug 05 @ Brewers0.000001

The single most likely game is now tomorrow's game; not surprisingly the Phillies have roughly a one-in-four chance of losing tonight and tomorrow afternoon and just getting this whole mess over with. There's almost a fifty-fifty shot of it coming during the Cardinals series (47.2%, to be exact); a 26.4% chance of it happening on the West Coast swing, which is when I originally thought it would happen; and an 0.6% chance of it happening it after their return from the West Coast.

By the way, current records for all teams are available at baseball-reference.com. The only team to have 10,000 wins so far are the Giants, with 10,150; the Cubs will most likely be next to reach that milestone, with 9,943. The Braves will be the next to cross the 10,000-loss line, but they're 320 short so it'll take a few years.

If you noticed that those are all National League teams, that's not a coincidence. The Phillies, Giants, Cubs, and Braves started play in 1883, 1883, 1876, and 1876 respectively; the eight original AL teams -- today's Orioles, Red Sox, White Sox, Indians, Tigers, Twins, Yankees, and A's -- all started in 1901, when that league was founded.)

The Phillies aren't the team with the lowest winning percentage, not by a long shot; they're .468 all-time. The Rangers, Rockies, and Padres are a bit worse at .467, .466, and .463; the Devil Rays are .398 all time. But they're all expansion teams, and expansion teams are historically bad the Phillies do have the worst winning percentage of the original sixteen teams. (The original NL is the Braves, Phillies, Cubs, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Reds, and Pirates.) You can see online the standings of the the eight original AL teams and NL teams graphed since 1901. It won't surprise anyone to learn the Yankees are the best AL team in that time, and the Giants are only a bit less surprisingly the best NL team.

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