(This post was written by long-time friend of the Nation Michael Howes.)

My favorite sort of question was posed in last night’s game thread:

“What is the worst offense in Reds history? Is the 2009 team coming close?” Let’s take a look.

First, since 1980 the current seasons looks to be the worst. The only season close is 1982. Here are RC/G compared to league average


1 Reds 2009     -.92    4.11         5.04
2 Reds 1982     -.80    3.62         4.42
3 Reds 2003     -.70    4.45         5.15

A slightly better comparison is EQA (Equivalent Average):
.243 2009 (tied for worst in baseball)
.247 1982 (23rd in baseball)
.252 2003 (23rd in baseball)

So far, the 2009 offense is the worst Reds offense in the last 30 years. Looking at the last 50 years, the above 3 offenses (2009, 2003 and 1982) are still the 3 worst.

We are halfway; how far back do we have to go to find a Reds offense worse than this year? Oh! Possibly 1950 and 1951:


1 Reds 1951   -1.32  3.69         5.00
2 Reds 2009   -.92    4.11         5.04
3 Reds 1950   -.89    4.41         5.30
4 Reds 1982   -.80    3.62         4.42
5 Reds 2003   -.70    4.45         5.15

.235 1951 (worst in baseball)
.243 2009 (tied for worst in baseball)
.247 1982 (23rd in baseball)
.248 1950 (14th out of 16 teams)
.252 2003 (23rd in baseball)

So it looks like the 1951 offense was worse.

The 30s and 40s were some really dark years for the Reds. It looks like a lot of the 1940s offenses were also worse. Thus, it appears that there is no chance of this season being the worst in Reds history, mainly because the Reds have such a long history and baseball was so different in the early part of the century.

But this year’s offense is almost definitely the worst offense since 1951.  I don’t know what the lineup was in 1951 but looking at the starters, only 2 had an OPS+ over 95. Connie Ryan 2B (97 OPS+) and Johnny Wyrostek OF (105 OPS+).

The same can be said for this season. Phillips 2B (100 OPS+) and Votto 1B (143 OPS+). Gomes only has 188 PA and might be a regular now but remember, the guy not only didn’t make the roster but never played when he first got called up.

So, not the worst in Reds history but it’s safe to say that this is the worst Reds offense in a very long time.