To put it bluntly, the Baltimore Orioles this year are not good. With a sub-.300 winning percentage and their biggest star on the trading block, there just is not a lot to look forward to as a fan. And all of that has got me thinking of other bad teams, for instance, that for as bad as things are, they won’t be as bad as the Cleveland Spiders. The 1899 team went 20-134 (a .130 winning percentage), a monument to awfulness that will stand the ages.
It’s an interesting story about how they got that bad; the owners of the team, happy with the growing popularity of the sport, decided to double down in their investment, and so they purchased a second team in another market (a National League team in St. Louis that you may know of). Once they did that, they had an idea: wouldn’t one super team do better than two middling ones? So, deciding the St. Louis team had more upside, they transferred all of their stars (including several Hall of Famers, like Cy Young) to there and left the Spiders with whatever was left. The results were so dire that Cleveland folded the next year, and NL leadership banned any future owners from owning multiple teams.
But what if it wasn’t against the rules? How would a modern Cleveland Spiders experiment go? Thanks to the kind people at Out of the Park Developments, I was given the chance to play their powerful simulator, Out of the Park Baseball 19, and see for myself. (And if this game sounds up your alley, it’s currently on sale on Steam!)
Obviously, the Orioles would be my Spiders, as I need to do something to make myself feel less depressed about this season. For my second team, I decided I’d need a second-tier playoff contender, since just building up the Astros or Yankees would be boring. So why not just use the Cardinals again? With that decided, follow along with my documentation of this alternate 2018 universe: