If you've picked up a copy of Cellar Dwellers, you may have had a chance to review Chapter 13, which recounts the exploits of the abominable Tiger squad of 2003. The team sputtered to a 43-119 record, narrowly missing the all-time mark for losses in a 162-game season. They were so bad, the VP in charge of roster management griped: "I was confident that I would be able to succeed in this organization. Then I looked at the roster...It was like being a kid in a candy store, except the store was full with candy nobody liked, like 800 year-old Tootsie Rolls that old guys would hand out on Halloween. Heck,that old guy probably could have made the team...I wanted to cry when I called Alan (Trammell) to let him know what we had to work with that year."
Grant Brisbee of the popular website SB Nation, more or less echoed those sentiments, commenting: "They were like a participant in the World Baseball Classic from a country that you didn't know played baseball. Luxembourg? Well, Okay. Astoundingly bad. Once in a generation bad."
As the season wore on, players themselves stopped believing in the team. After a humiliating string of defeats, first baseman Carlos Pena griped to reporters: "It's mind boggling. I would say, out of luck, somebody on the team would be contributing." Outfielder Bobby Higginson became equally frustrated, telling one writer: "We're a bad club right now. Nobody's helping us out." Veteran Dean Palmer felt the strain as well. "Everybody young and old feels responsible for this. And whether you're a rookie or a guy toward the end of your career, this feels awful."
Just how awful was it? Grab a copy of Cellar Dwellers and read more about it.