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Revisiting the Horror of the 2003 Detroit Tigers

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If you need to feel better about this season's 0-2 start (and Big Al's already hovering over the panic button), perhaps it might bring you some solace to recall the 2003 Detroit Tigers. You know, the team that went 43-119? (I apologize if I'm bringing back any repressed memories or undoing any therapy with a mere mention.) With a starting pitcher, Mike Maroth, that carried 21 losses for the season?

Over at Fangraphs, Eric Seidman looks back at the '03 Tigers and who among them managed to persevere and carry on after that brutal season. Really, the only name mentioned that's faded away is Nate Cornejo. We know the fall that Dmitri Young has taken since then, but he's still in the majors, currently on the disabled list with the Washington Nationals. After suffering an elbow injury in 2006 and being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007, Maroth was released by the Blue Jays this spring, and is looking to catch on elsewhere.

That leaves Nate Robertson and Jeremy Bonderman. And Robertson's barely hanging on for a job, though with a rather impressive inning of work on Monday night, maybe he'll manage to stick around. Will Bonderman, who took 19 losses himself that year, end up as the last man standing from that team?

Here's the Baseball-Reference page for the 2003 Tigers, if you care to reminisce or give yourself a shiver. Check out some of those names that were passed off to us as major leaguers. The horror. The horror.