The Houston Astros are, in the words of an old Merle Haggard song, headin' downhill like a snowball headed for hell.  They're not just last in their division, and not just last in the National League.  They're last in all of baseball.

With only 33 wins and 69 losses, the Astros are the worst team in the Major Leagues, and if they don't start winning at least half  the games left in the season, they'll set an all time team record for futility and join the list of teams that were the worst in baseball history.

Here at the end of July, the Astros are 36 games out of first place.  Even your father isn't old enough to remember the last time the Astros were that far back.  You'll have to ask your grandfather about that.  Old gramps might be able to remember it was in September of 1963 that the Astros were that far out of first place.

In 1963 they were still playing in that old mosquito infested open-air stadium next door to where they had just started building the Astrodome.

Despite their horrible record, and as odd as it sounds, the Astros were playing well at the time. They managed to win 15 of their last 20 games to finish 66-96.  A losing season for sure, but not the worst ever.

But, it's only July, and there are still 60 games left in this summer of Houston's eternal discontent. The Astros will have to win 33 of those games just to match that 1963 season, and that would be a miracle of cosmic proportions.

Oh well. Wait till next year.  That's something Houston fans are very good at.

via Ultimate Astros » What was going on in the world the last time the Astros were 36 games below .500? The Astrodome was under construction, and Lee Harvey Oswald was trying to get to Cuba..