Last night baseball’s worst team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, lost to the Florida Marlins 4-2. They’ve lost many times this year, but this one was notable because it was their 81st loss of the year, ensuring that the 2010 campaign will not be a winning season; and that, almost certainly, this will be their 18th straight season with a losing record. (They could still end up at 81 and 81 on the year, but a 40-something-game winning streak seems beyond them right now.) To go all Mindset List, a Pittsburgh-based student entering college later this month could not remember a winning Pirates campaign in his or her lifetime.
Next up for the Pirates is trying to avoid a 100-loss season. You’d think that would be no big deal, but, though the franchise has done it a number of times, during the current dynasty of poor teams (in the monetary and athletic senses both) it’s only happened in 2001 (and that was with exactly 100 losses, no more). Last year, they finished at 99, with a make-up game against the Atlanta Braves being mercifully waved off. It looks like a lock, and like they could even demolish the franchise record of 113 losses. But who knows? With something to play for, maybe they’ll come through.