This morning Norm Hitzges said that the Rangers have been as bad this year as at any point during Buck's tenure.
Challenge issued and accepted. I'll never pass up an opportunity to show that Buck was bad.
Only one problem... Norm was not far off (at least as measured by wins). During Buck's 4 years in Texas, there were not very many 38 game stretches that were this bad.
The season that got Buck fired did not feature a 38 game stretch this bad. The team's worst stretch last season was 16-22, which you can point to a number of times over 38 game stretches beginning in mid-June and ending in early August. They also finished the season 16-22 over the final 38 games.
After going 30-20 over the first 50 games, the team collapsed. The worst stretch was from July 14 to August 21 where the team went 11-25. That's nearly as bad as it got under Buck. During that time (grabbing a game or two before/after), the worst 38 game stretch was 12-26.
Ah yes, the fabled 2004 season where we celebrated the Rangers 3rd place finish by extending Buck's contract. This was the best season under Buck and as you might expect had the least disgusting bad 38 game stretch. From July 1 to August 12 the team went 17-21 (that stretch began with a John Wasdin loss and ended with a Scott Erickson loss and mixed in more spare pitching parts than I care to mention here).
Buck's first season was really bad. It featured a proud-to-be-a-Ranger-fan stretch of 2-19 (May 30 to June 23) book-ended by 8 and 9 game losing streaks. That stretch spawned a number of 38 game stretches worse than the current one; the worst of which was 11-27 (pick a date). The team also finished the season 14-24.
Throw out 2003 and Norm is pretty much dead-on. This team is as bad as nearly any point since then. Only the 2005 collapse had a worse stretch.
On a more positive note, the 1998 team (which made the playoffs) had one 38 game stretch of 15-23 (May 24-July 3). Of course, that streak began after the team had run the record up to 31-16 with a six game win streak. They basically had the division won after that strong opening (needing just a .478 record the rest of the way to win). I guess if this team could put together a .660 winning percentage over the next 40-45 games they'd be back in position to win the division just like that '98 team.
Okay, maybe that wasn't a more positive note after all...