Written by Parth Desai
Published: 16 July 2007
10,000. The price in dollars to buy a used 2001 Nissan Maxima. Bigger than the amount of passing yards by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady combined last season. The number of seconds it takes to finish an average hockey game.
And the number of losses the Philadelphia Phillies have had since their establishment in 1883.
What does it exactly mean to be the first Major League Baseball team to reach 10,000 losses? “We must’ve been in [a lot] of games,” says one longtime Phillies fan. But to reach that point, it’s mind-boggling. To know that that your team has the most losses of any Major League team in history, it’s a lot to take.
For many of the longtime fans, who have been rooting for the Phillies for 50-60 years, they must be crushed, to see a team they have loved lose so many games. But for fans like me, who have been fans for 10-20 years, it’s not that big of a deal. When Phillies fan Chris Savarin was asked about his thoughts on loss number 10,000, he responded with “I could honestly care less, because I wasn’t alive for about 9200 of those losses.”
This milestone means many different things to many different people. Me? I agree with Chris. These last 6 years have been promising for the Phillies, so why dwell on the past when we’ve got a great future ahead of us? Some fans make out number 10,000 to be such a big thing, and something that will scar the organization for life. But the fact of the matter is, every team will get there sooner or later.
While the Phillies are the losingest team in MLB History, there are many other losing records that former Phillies do not hold. In fact, the losingest pitcher in MLB history is Hall-of-Famer Cy Young, so it can't be all bad, can it? Also, the losingest manager in MLB History is the great Connie Mack. He's also the winningest manager in MLB history. So that's not so bad, either. The Phillies are averaging 80 losses per year in their 124 year history, which isn't horrible. The records just come with time, as these statistics go to show you.
While being the first team to actually get there isn’t that good of a sign, in a few years it won’t be nearly as bad because we would’ve gotten there this year anyway, whether we had 100+ wins or no wins. The 10,000 losses doesn’t necessarily show with the team’s current crop of talent, who’s led them to winning records for the better part of the new millennium.
It’s just a number that doesn’t matter, because the Phillies right now had nothing to do with it. They contributed to maybe 300-400 losses. They don’t care about it. Why should we as fans? We know what our team is capable of at this point in time, and we don’t need something else to bring us down. We have the feeling of “so close, but yet so far” down pat. We don’t need 10,000 losses, but we’ll take it.
It’s inevitable for every team, it was just us that got there first. What does that really mean? Basically, our teams haven’t been up to par for the better part of the last 124 years, but like I said earlier: It’s not our job to dwell on the past. We need to look to the future, and frankly, our future is bright. Guys like Carlos Carrasco and Kyle Drabek in our farm system, Chase Utley signed to a long-term deal, Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels, it’s an amazing group of young, talented players.
Optimism is really not the way to look at this achievement, but there are definitely high points to this milestone. “All the losses," longtime Philadelphia Fan Anthony Priest said, "make a win that much sweeter.”