In Retrospect, 1993 Mets Still Awful

As if I need further reminders that my high school years were miserable, I discovered today—completely by accident—that the 1993 Mets were the worst team in the last 84+ years (basically since the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig led 1931 Yankees) in actual wins vice expected wins based upon run differential.

Using a linear regression (trying things out from the book Analyzing Baseball Data with R), the 1993 Mets were expected to win 73 games with a run differential of -72. The Mets, in all of their absolute horridness, managed to win just 59 games. The residual of -0.089 (residual here is the error from the expected win total based on run differential to what actually occurred) is the lowest in the Majors since 1931. The ’93 squad is technically the 36th worst team in this regard, but every team “above” them in the list played baseball in the 19th century except for a 1931 Yankees team that scored 1067 runs, the sixth most in the history of baseball. Ruth and Gehrig each hit 46 home runs that year. Oh, and the ’31 Yankees won 94 games and were expected to win 108 games, which amazingly enough is only one game better than the Philadelphia Athletics actually finished.1

Here’s the scatterplot of the seasons since 1962. It looks the same if you go back further, so trust me on the actual “worst” part:

Mets_1993All of those orange circles are the Mets teams throughout the years, and the one at the very bottom represents . . . well, you get the idea.

It was the 1992 team that Bob Klapisch and John Harper wrote about in The Worst Team Money Could Buy, which was published in 1993. Let’s just say that 1993 wasn’t the best year to be a New York Mets fan.

On the bright side, it was Bobby Bonilla’s best year as a Met. It was also the year Vince Coleman threw firecrackers the equivalent of a quarter stick of dynamite out of a parked car at Dodger Stadium, injuring three including an 11-year-old boy and a 1-year-old girl. You can read more about that team over at Amazin’ Avenue if you want.


At least I can bury the pain of that season with memories of being an awkward teen.

  1. Based on Bill James’ Pythagorean expectation, which is something different, the ’31 Yanks should have won “only” 100 games.

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