Daily Archives: October 12, 2011

On being fifth: An emotional and poorly-thought through reply.

First, the phrase “thought through” is kind of hard to read. And type. In my brain, it sort of smushes together as “thththththouououououghghghghgh.” Uh, anyway.

Second, I just read this, and felt the need to refute it in the quickest, most slipshod and groundless way possible: with an indignant response that makes up for in passion what it lacks in factual support.

If you don’t like clicking links,* the article is from The Business Journals’ On Numbers blog. According to their “analysis” of some “criteria,” St. Louis is the fifth-best in baseball fan support.

Fifth best? 

You gots to be fucking kidding me.

Number one? San Francisco. Okay, okay. I get that. Last year’s World Champions and all. Still riding the wave. Plus they’ve got one-quarter of Mystery Incorporated on their pitching staff** – I could get behind that.

But number five? Behind the Twins (fine), then the Brewers (ugh, fine), then – and this is where I really become irate- the Phillies. Yes, you read that right. Philly is ranked ahead of St. Louis for the “best fans in baseball.”

Philadelphia:  Where the fans vomit all over each other, throw glass bottles and batteries at an opposing teamand their own player!, and run around on the field til they’re Tasered.

Keep it classy Philly.

you cannot tell me that this is not a picture of some of baseball's greatest fans. Here, my parents sport their custom-made jerseys of Cards greats Julian Javier and Joaquin Andujar.

Granted, the article relied more on hard numbers and less on empirical, observational, evidence. They took a look at:

Average attendance.
Fifth-best? Still find that one hard to believe. But consider the breadth of the Cardinals’ fan base: prior to Colorado’s debut in the ’93 expansion, Cardinal Nation reached clear to the Rockies (reports are that, on a clear night, you can pick up a KMOX signal in Denver and I believe it. When my brother lived in north-central Minnesota, he could often pick it up in his car). With fans from Kentucky to Utah, they can’t all possibly make it each home game. Were this an age of teleportation, I’d postulate that our attendance at Busch Stadium would reach max capacity every time.

Percent of Capacity.
I’m just going to say that surely there is a computational error here, and that absolutely no adjustments were made for each stadium’s total capacity. I mean- of course they will come close to a sell-out when your place only holds, like, 40,000 fans.***

Attendance per win.
It is no secret that the Cards’ record this season belies how far we’ve advanced in the playoffs (NCLS? Seriously? Someone pinch me).  In 2006, we were 83-78, and we all know how that season turned out. So yeah, whatever.

Attendance per 100,000 residents.
Not fair. Are they counting “metro areas”? If so, helloooo! Ours includes two frickin’ states. And besides, the actual City of St. Louis has a population of approximately 79 people, compared to the St. Louis / St. Charles / Jefferson / Madison / Et Cetera County population of 9281 million-billion (Fact).

As you can VERY CLEARLY see, this “statistical analysis” is a load of horse-hocky. In the spirit of some lively scientific back-and-forth, I’d like to offer my own study, based off of carefully-noted anecdotal qualitative evidence.

Please, dear Reader(s), stay tuned.

* If you don’t like clicking links, I fear you don’t like this blog very much either.
** I’m casting Tim Lincecum as Shaggy and Brian Wilson as Scooby. Thoughts?
*** It’s been awhile since I took a statistics class. I realize this makes absolutely no sense.