Thanks to Wednesday night’s 7-3 loss to the Anaheim Angels, The Red Sox are now a dismal seven games under .500 (29-36) at Fenway Park, a mark that is as stunning as it is historic.
Even the worst Red Sox teams of this generation played somewhat even at home. In 1997, the Red Sox finished three games under .500 (39-42) under Jimy Williams. Butch Hobson led Boston to nearly identical home records of 44-47 and 43-38 in his two seasons at the helm in 1992-93, respectively. In fact, you have to go back to 1983 to find a home record rivaling the one Bobby Valentine has watched under his watch, when the Red Sox went 38-43 under Ralph Houk. In 1980, the Sox went nine games under .500 (36-45), including a 1-4 record under Johnny Pesky, who replaced Don Zimmer at the tail end of the season.
So, what we’re witnessing is 32 years in the making. Neat.
The 2012 Red Sox are not just bad, they are teetering on becoming historically bad. Let’s consider they play around .500 ball for the remaining 38 games of the season, which considering their 6-14 August, is being kind, they’ll finish the season with 77-78 wins. Seventy-eight wins would tie the ’97 squad, while a 77-win season would be the worst since 1992 (73-89). Hobson’s mark seems safe, but considering Boston is a pathetic 12-22 since the All-Star break, I wouldn’t rule it out.
You have to go back to 1966 to find a worse record in a non-strike-shortened season, 72-90 under Billy Herman and Pete Runnels, the precursor to the Impossible Dream. That team at Fenway? 40-41.
The 1960 team went just 65-89, but was only five games under .500 at home (36-41). But alas, the 1932 Red Sox went a franchise-worst 43-111, and just 27-50 at Fenway Park. Valentine can point to beating those records, at least.
Still, that points to just how bad it’s gotten. Thirty-eight games remain, sixteen at Fenway, which means, at worst, the Red Sox can only go 29-52 at Fenway. At best, 45-36. Amazing that one seems much more plausible than the other.