On Friday, Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter voiced his displeasure with his team's play. To some extent, Jeter's frustration is a water-is-wet situation: Jeter was billed as the consummate winner during his playing days so of course he's not going to be happy overseeing a poor team. But those who haven't paid attention to Miami this season might not realize that this Marlins group isn't just bad by conventional standards -- it's on pace to be historically dreadful.
The Marlins entered Sunday with a 9-23 record, the worst in baseball. Prorate their 28.1 winning percentage over a full season, and they'd check out with 45 wins -- or in the neighborhood of the 2003 Detroit Tigers, . By some measures, the Marlins have overperformed to reach that mark, too. Their Pythagorean record -- a mark calculated using run differential -- has them down for a 8-24 record, or one fewer win.
And how about that run differential? Miami entered Sunday having been outscored by 71 runs, or more than two per game (not loss, but game). Predictably, that sum is again the worst in the majors; it's more than that, though, as it puts Miami on pace to be outscored by nearly 360 runs on the year. Not only would that give the Marlins one of the 10 worst seasons of all-time, it would be the worst effort since the 1800s.
Granted, it's unlikely that the Marlins continue to play this poorly. Since 1900, only 18 teams have been outscored by more than 300 runs, let alone 350. Just four of those teams have played since 1950: the 1954 Philadelphia Athletics, the 1962 expansion New York Mets, and the 2003 Tigers and their 1996 forecats. Take a look at the worst run differentials since the last round of expansion:
Still, it's clear this is a bad team with a horrendous lineup. The Marlins are tied with the San Francisco Giants for the worst offense in baseball, per adjusted weighted runs created. Yet the Giants have the better defense, meaning Miami has the worst group of position players in the game. As a whole, the Marlins' lineup has been more than a win below replacement level, per FanGraphs. What that means, in so many words, is that a group of hypothetical minor-league stand-ins would theoretically outplay this group by about a win.
No wonder Jeter is mad: The Marlins could be paying a lot less to get similar results.