In the past week, Curt Schilling has retired, Junior Spivey has joined the New York Mets, and the World Baseball Classic finale inspired a conversation about the best games of the past few years. That would make the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks a topical team to discuss, but nope, instead let's focus on 2004, when the team won only 51 games.
This team is just downright bad. The positional leader in wins is Chad Tracy, with two. Shea Hillenbrand, Steve Finley, and Luis Gonzalez are the only other hitters with at least one. I suppose the best way to sum up how bad this team was is by telling you that Alex Cintron finished with -26 batting runs and -6 fielding runs yet still was amongst the team leaders in plate appearances.
Most people remember are going to remember Bob Brenly as the manager prior to Bob Melvin taking over. While that's true in terms of official title, Al Pedrique managed the final 83 games of the season. Fittingly, Pedrique finished with 22 wins. Do yourself a favor and reread how many games he managed. That's a sub-.270 win percentage. Melvin took over in the off-season (after the Wally Backman fiasco) and saw the team lose 85 games in 162 games, that's 24 more losses in 79 more games.
That's not to say it's Pedrique's fault or Melvin's credit, this team is just that bad. The lone bright spots were Randy Johnson and Brandon Webb. The latter posted 3.1 wins in 208 innings. Johnson was amazing. 245.2 innings and 9.9 wins. 10.62 strikeouts per nine along with 1.61 walks per nine, and a 2.30 FIP. Of course, Johnson went 16-14 with a 2.6 ERA, and in the off-season was traded to New York, but that's not to take anything away from his incredible season.
Perhaps the best thing about this season is that it landed the D-Backs Justin Upton in the draft.