By Evan Brunell
A common refrain
|Breakdown per team|
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.
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