Blog Entry

Is there east-coast bias in baseball coverage?

Posted on: September 13, 2011 9:14 pm
 
Cervelli, Saltalamacchia

By Evan Brunell

A common refrain
Breakdown per team
Key: East Central West
No. Team %
1 NYY 6.70%
2 BOS 5.51%
3 TEX 4.99%
4 WAS 4.28%
5 PHI 4.11%
6 CHC 3.95%
7 NYM 3.89%
8 SF 3.81%
9 CIN 3.76%
10 STL 3.69%
11 CHW 3.65%
12 LAD 3.50%
13 TB 3.48%
14 ATL 3.33%
15 MIL 2.95%
16 FLA 2.93%
17 SEA 2.85%
18 DET 2.81%
19 MIN 2.80%
20 TOR 2.73%
21 LAA 2.71%
22 PIT 2.67%
23 BAL 2.64%
24 SD 2.61%
25 ARI 2.47%
26 COL 2.41%
27 CLE 2.36%
28 KC 2.29%
29 OAK 2.19%
30 HOU 1.94%
 about sports coverage is the existence of an "east-coast bias." That is, the majority of coverage comes from teams based on America's east coast, instead of equally spreading the wealth.

Well, it's true. At least, it appears true at Eye on Baseball, with the Yankees and Red Sox dominating all baseball coverage here with a combined 12.21 percent of coverage at Eye on Baseball, determined by amount of articles per team category as of nighttime Sept. 12 (chart, right). To take it a step further, five of the seven most-written-about teams hail from the east, and only three eastern teams -- Florida, Toronto, Baltimore -- rank in the bottom half of all teams since Eye on Baseball began business in early June, 2010.

The West Coast is actually the least covered, with only three teams in the top 15 although the Rangers rank third and the Giants eighth, with the Cubs the only Central team in the top eight, coming in at No. 6. But Nos. 9 through 11 all belong to the Central before the Dodgers check in for the final top 15 spot at No. 12. Both the west and central share space pretty equally in the bottom 15.

But to circle back to the top, the Yankees rule the roost with a whopping 6.70 percent of articles, 1.2 percent more than the Red Sox, which is the largest disparity between two teams on the list. The disparity between the Sox and Rangers is 0.51 percent, good for third -most behind the drop from Texas to Washington. So yeah, the Yankees and Red Sox are written about a lot, but that's due to the massive markets both teams play in increasing interest for these teams. (It doesn't hurt that they are perennial World Series contenders, too.)

More interesting is the inclusion of the Rangers and Nationals next on the list, ahead of the Phillies. While four of the top five most-covered teams on Eye on Baseball are in an eastern division, the Nationals are fourth on the list because of their luck in finishing last in both 2008 and 2009, enabling them to pluck Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in the draft. Since these are two of the most heralded prospects ever, it's no surprise the Nats rank so high on the list.

The Rangers, meanwhile, are third on the strength of a competitive team that went to the World Series, the bankruptcy auction held last season to find a new owner, and the introduction of Texas as a big market to be contended with in light of their massive new TV deal.

As one goes down the list, the placement of teams really isn't surprising. The Astros finish dead last -- what do you expect from a team that's been an afterthought the last two years, though? (Also, the drop-off of 25 percent from No. 29 in Oakland to Houston is the fifth-biggest dropoff. The fourth is 38 percent between Atlanta and Milwaukee) The NL Central dominates the top 10, with three representatives, the most of any division. That's thanks to the Cubs' large following, plus the Cardinals and Reds being prominent contenders the last two seasons, plus Albert Pujols' impending free agency.

You'll notice the Braves are bolded at No. 14. If there was no bias of any sort -- whether geographically, competitively or any other means -- you would expect all teams to be written about 3.33 percent of the time, exactly as often as Atlanta is written about. Thus, any team higher than Atlanta has gotten more than its share of publication, while those below are lacking.

So is there east-coast bias? The data would seem to support it, but really, what this chart shows is that there's a bias toward news. The Yankees aren't being written about because Eye on Baseball is a Yankees haven, but because of the sheer volume of interest and material focused on the team. Relevancy is huge too -- if the Yankees hadn't made the playoffs in a decade, they'd rank far lower on this list despite playing in a massive market. That's why the Rangers and Nationals rank so high on the list; those two teams would have been mere bips from 2008-09, but instead have the good fortune of becoming relevant just as Eye on Baseball opened its doors.

Below you can view a graphic of the US map and all major-league teams, with corresponding dots for team coverage. The Yankees have the largest dot, being written about the most times while Houston's dot looks positively tiny in comparison.

Map

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Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 5:33 pm
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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 10:20 am
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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 10:18 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:35 am
 

Is there east-coast bias in baseball coverage?




Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: September 15, 2011 10:39 am
 

Is there east-coast bias in baseball coverage?

You don't suppose that it's actually as simple as the top teams are (a lot) better?

Consider that:

The top 5 teams on this list average 86 wins apiece.
The next 10 teams post an average of 77 wins each.
The next 10 teams post an average of 71 wins each.
The last 5 teams on the list average 65 wins apiece,
Looks to me like:

You get the press when you're really good.
You get ignored when you're really bad.

Mediocre teams, with mediocre strories, get written about more than some, less than others.



Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: September 15, 2011 12:28 am
 

Is there east-coast bias in baseball coverage?

east coast is overrated even here in the netherlands. well baseballwise, one round of play-offs and the wankees and red sox are done



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: September 14, 2011 9:39 am
 

Is there east-coast bias in baseball coverage?

Lmfao!!! Gay S U, I didn't even catch that. Though I doubt these guys have editors, that would make them real journalists, which they clearly are not.



Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: September 14, 2011 2:39 am
 

Is there east-coast bias in baseball coverage?

Is there an east coast bias? The writer doesn't even know where Arizona is on a map apparently and neither do his editors... You have got to be kidding me...............



Since: Sep 14, 2011
Posted on: September 14, 2011 12:37 am
 

Is there east-coast bias in baseball coverage?

Are you kidding me? New York and Washington D.C. think the world revolves around them. I'm always amused while watching teams from the midwest and southwest (Pro and College) that represent themselves respectfully in games. Then the East Coast media, who probably file their reports and head to straight to the bar or bed after the latest game are so surprised at the amount of talent that exists out here beyond their sheltered newsrooms.
I'm also sick and tired of watching a Yankee/Red Sox ballgame forced upon me because the powers that be with the national networks consider this the "Game of the Week/Day/Month/Decade" (take your pick). Hell, there are a heck of a lot of other teams and fans around the country that could give a rat's patoot about seeing every Yankee/Red Sox game. Oh, btw, why do the NY/Boston games take 4.5 hrs to play? Thanks to MLBTV streaming, I can fire up the PS3 and watch the game I want to see..not what the networks "think" I want to see.
Sign me "East Coast is OverRated in New Mexico"



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: September 14, 2011 12:13 am
 

Is there east-coast bias in baseball coverage?

East coast bias is prevalent in all facets of life...not just in sports. Fashion, theater, music, political, economical, and social all get more coverage and are seen as more important than their western and central brethren.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com