April 24, 2014

The NYT mourns its loss of Nate Silver...

... with this tragically striving effort at data-crunching and display.

24 comments:

Chance said...

More baseball...and my childhood team is totally blotted out by their regional inferiors.

mccullough said...

The White Sox fan base is more spread than a Facebook inkblot. I do believe, however, that there are more Cubs fans on Facebook. You need something to do when you're at a Cubs game. Mark Zuckerburg would make a great Cubs fan.

David said...

Those are moving lines. Depends on who is winning.

tim maguire said...

A couldn't find a single zip code in which Mets fans outnumber Yankees fans. Not even the zip code that contains the Mets' stadium.

Cryin' shame, it is.

Wilbur said...

When I resided there (the 60's, 70's and 80's), the Cub-Cardinal season series were the biggest sporting events of the year in Central Illinois.

The outcomes of these series resulted in more exchanging of beer and money than any other human activity.

AReasonableMan said...

I thought it was pretty good. The Mets are screwed.

traditionalguy said...

The Atlanta Braves have no competitor. Unless you count the Mets as a media rivalry from the Ted Turner days.

John Christopher said...

I don't think this was tragically striving at all. Pretty interesting all around.

SeanF said...

tim maguire: A couldn't find a single zip code in which Mets fans outnumber Yankees fans.

The article says, "The Yankees are the preferred team...over the Mets (in more than 98 percent of ZIP codes nationwide)," so there must be at least a couple.

chrisnavin.com said...

I was an Orioles fan, behind enemy lines for many years.

Those were the days of Cal Ripken Jr. Rafael Palmeiro, Brady Anderson before he juiced, even Joe Orsulak.

During our last game in Memorial stadium, I remember a very drunk black guy, a drunk woman with some teeth, and a rambunctious midget drifted down towards the 3rd baseline for the last few innings.

They were a real crew. 7-0 the O's lost. I had never seen anything quite like it.

After the game, waking back to the parking garage we saw the midget had vomited and apparently passed-out near a fountain outside a restaurant/bar.

Poor little guy was all alone.

gadfly said...

In the fine tradition of Richard H. Hoggart who freed writers to use the F-word, I would like to say:

In any discussion about baseball (that distinctly American game wrought with druggies, gamblers, and spoiled brats) - I don't give a flying fuck.

When the millionaire players struck for higher pay in 1985, the game lost a fan and now I am convinced that watching grass grow is more interesting than watching batters hitching their pants, rubbing dirt on their hands, stepping in and out of the batters box and spitting.

The Godfather said...

I grew up in West Hartford, CT, in the '50's/early '60's, and we were the ONLY admitted Yankees fans I knew (my folks were native New Yorkers, and my brother and I were born in NY, so we had an excuse). And this was when the Yankees dominated professional baseball to the extent that a book called "The Year The Yankees Lost The Pennant" had to be a fantasy. In those days, I doubt that Yankee loyalty extended beyond Fairfield County (which was really New York without an income tax). If Hartford has become Yankee territory, I have to blame the state income tax.

David said...

"During our last game in Memorial stadium, I remember a very drunk black guy . . ."

You sighted a rare (if impaired) bird. Blacks for a time made up a good percentage of attendance for major league baseball (post 1947 at least.) No more. The black fan at the ball park is rare. The percentage of American born black players in the big leagues is down as well.

There are lots of glib theories on the reason for these facts, with basketball one of the leaders. I don't know why. It's a sad and divisive development.

avwh said...

Pre-expansion, and before there was MLB on the West Coast, St Louis was both the westernmost and southernmost MLB city.

They used to draw attendance from 16 states, and KMOX broadcast Cardinals games into maybe 30 states.

Wonder what this equivalent map would have looked like then?

Sigivald said...

Tragically striving?

It's actually pretty good, on the graphing level - I don't think Tufte would be disappointed.

What I want to know is why the West likes the Red Sox so much. (I also want to know why everyone loves the goddamn Yankess so much, but I have better ideas as to why that is.)

What does Boston have to do with things such that so many western counties have them as #1 or #2 (even if that's only at 10-20%)?

Ann Althouse said...

So, you seem to be asking, why did I say "tragically striving"?

They're taking available information, which is detailed, but exactly what we more or less know and expect. Michigan likes the Tigers, Wisconsin likes the Brewers, etc etc.

But they happen to have all this detail, so they crunch it and display it, with a lot of effort and fanfare, but there's no point to it. It's faux detail. It's absurd.

After I blogged it, Meade read my post and clicked and immediately laughed.

I wonder -- of all my readers -- who laughed and who thought why did she say that was tragically striving?

Ann Althouse said...

All these news sites are into showing off by using statistics, but what's it all for? Where's the judgment?!

madAsHell said...

I go to a Mariners game every few years. I'm always amazed by the number of women....many single...that attend the game. It's a social event with a distraction in the background.

AntiBathos said...

Would Nate Silver have omitted four MLB teams when creating this graphic?

Weak.

AReasonableMan said...

Sigivald said...
I don't think Tufte would be disappointed.


This must be a first on Althouse, a Tufte reference. He consulted for the Times years ago and their graph work has been excellent every since, notably better than other publications.

Paul Golba said...

gadfly: When the millionaire players struck for higher pay in 1985, the game lost a fan and now I am convinced that watching grass grow is more interesting than watching batters hitching their pants, rubbing dirt on their hands, stepping in and out of the batters box and spitting.

1985? The strike that lasted all of two (2) days and had all the games made up? Really? I can understand being upset by a sports strike. The 1994 number that canceled the World Series broke my heart to the point that I gave it up for a year or so. But 1985? The Wikipedia article is only three (3) sentences! (For that matter, they were definitely not all millionaires in 1985. The highest paid player Mike Schmidt earned $2.1 million. Average player earned $371K with a minimum of $60K according to baseball-reference.com.)

Paul Golba said...

Anyway, to the map. Personally, I think it is pretty cool. Yes, you would expect a team to be most popular in its surrounding area, but what I find fascinating is the gaps where there are no nearby teams. Utah is Yankees and Red Sox territory? Wouldn’t expect that. (The Angels have their AAA team in Salt Lake City so I expected they would be the team, but nope.) The no man’s land in Montana between the Mariners and Twins fan bases, which of course prefers the Yankees, is also interesting. I would also think that New Mexico would be split between the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Rangers, but no it is the Yankees and Red Sox again with some Dodgers thrown in. I’m also surprised that the Toronto Blue Jays do not make any headway into western New York State given their proximity. (If there was an equivalent Canada map, I suspect it would be almost all Blue Jays.)

I do tend to agree that the map reflects teams that are currently good more heavily, the Red Sox being case and point. If the Mets were winning pennants, they wouldn’t be shutout of the map. But the Yankees popularity is telling. They are America’s team, aren’t they? They show up almost everywhere in the top 3.

As to the technical portion, the map does suffer from too many teams having similar colors. At a glance it becomes difficult to tell what is what is more obscure locations, like Utah. Is the red the Angels, the Red Sox, the Rangers, what? Yeah, I can zoom in and see the details, but the point of the map was to view at a glance. Where do the Cardinals end and the Rangers begin? Good luck! The change of the highlight from county to ZIP also is a bit jarring, though actually useful once I got used to it. Or as useful as nearly useless information can be. The map also suffers from some misleading coloring. If you look at the ZIP codes at the edges of the White Sox territory, it become apparent that the Cubs are only marginally more popular than the Pale Hose ( 41-40, 42-38, etc.) but the area is a solid Cubs.

gadfly said...

@Paul Golba doesn't believe that I bailed on baseball in 1985 and I didn't. I meant to say 1995.

Paul Golba said...

@gadfly: Heh. I kinda figured as much. But thanks for the typo. Until yesterday I hadn't realized there was a strike in 1985, as brief as it was.

The worst thing about 1994 was it stabbed the Montreal Expos in the back, a wound from which they never recovered.