Who We’ve Covered the Most and the Least

You come here to read baseball analysis, not baseball blog analysis, but just this once real quick, I’m going to turn the metaphorical camera around. Let’s spend a few minutes talking about FanGraphs!

If you’re reading this post in your browser, you might see off to the right a list of authors. Just to the right of that, there’s an additional list, of tags. You’ve probably never paid attention to these tags, or categories, and they do appear poorly organized, but we try to tag all of our posts. Now, we certainly don’t do a perfect job. And we did a worse job in the past. But it’s always been something that’s supposed to be done, and among the various categories are all 30 individual baseball teams. Focusing on those, then: look closely. Under “Angels,” for example, you see “Post Count: 299.” That means there have been 299 FanGraphs blog posts with an Angels tag. Is that a lot, or is that a little, or is that just right?

We can easily look at the numbers for all 30 teams. We can see who we’ve written about the most, and who we’ve written about the least.

Before the results, there’s a decent amount to be said. First, this is just about the FanGraphs main blog, so the other blogs aren’t included. And, again, we haven’t always been perfect with our tagging habits, but it’s not like any teams should have been tagged or untagged disproportionately. Not all team tags are created alike — sometimes a post is about a team, and sometimes a post is just about a player on the team. Some tags, in other words, are more…deep? than others, and this won’t pick that up. This also won’t pick up trends; this combines posts from yesterday with posts from eight years ago. Lastly, I think, this says nothing about favorability. A team can be tagged in an optimistic post or a pessimistic post. All this shows is who’s been written about the most, since roughly 2008, when the blog was really born.

Maybe you won’t be totally shocked by the team in first place:

fangraphs-article-tags

The Red Sox lead the way, with 437 tags, compared to the Yankees’ 393, and the league average of 281. At the other end, there’s a tie for last, with the Twins and Rockies deadlocked at 191. The next team up is the Padres, at 207, and the Padres used to hang out with the Twins and Rockies until they tried to make things so weird and interesting a couple offseasons ago. The Padres basically forced us to write about them. Anyway, I don’t know what you were expecting from this distribution — maybe this meets your expectations, or maybe this is more even than you thought. Maybe the opposite of that. I don’t think there should be any real shocks.

Something neat that I didn’t expect to be so clean: the numbers match up pretty well with total team regular-season wins since 2008. Wins don’t directly drive content, and the blog has gone through some changes in posting frequency, but this plot speaks for itself:

tags-vs-wins

You see the r2 of 0.52, and it would be even stronger — of course — if you took out the biggest outlier. Based just on this line, the Red Sox have been tagged 121 more times than you’d expect. The Royals, 90 more times. The Twins, 60 fewer times. I definitely don’t mean to suggest post topics should just mirror the standings. I’m surprised by how closely they have, given how much that leaves out. Focusing on the regular season, for example, doesn’t credit the Royals for how intriguing they’ve been the last few years, with transactions and in the playoffs. That’s why they’ve been written about so frequently. And just as there’s material to be written about good teams, there’s also material to be written about the bad ones. In particular the unexpectedly bad ones.

I know pretty well how this looks. I’ve seen the “FenGraphs” remarks in the comments. To use a popular buzzword, it’s bad optics to have a list like this headed by the Red Sox and Yankees, who have driven so many accusations of media bias. I also know people have accused FanGraphs of writing too much about the A’s, or about the Rays, or about the Dodgers, and so on. We’ve written too little about the Rockies, and the Twins, and the Padres and the Diamondbacks. (The Diamondbacks are actively trying to change that.) This is something I always have in the back of my mind. It’s not easy to try to figure out a fair distribution.

You could argue, I guess, it could be as easy as being even across the board. For every post about Boston, there’s a post about Minnesota. A big thing that ignores is that, from a business perspective — and this is a business — posts about Boston just do better than posts about Minnesota. There’s a variety of reasons for that, but it’s undeniable. Yet, it also has to be acknowledged we play some role in that. Maybe there would be a bigger Twins audience if we wrote more often about the Twins. It’s complicated. You don’t just want to organize your post topics by market size, but it would be bad business to ignore the markets altogether.

Not that traffic dictates articles. It’s a factor, but you also have to consider what’s of interest to the authors. I think we’ve all done a good job of silencing our various rooting interests, but if you think about the fact that we all write for a stats-oriented baseball blog, it makes sense that our brains would go to the Red Sox or the Dodgers before they go to the Rockies or the Marlins. We’ll be inclined to think more often about the teams we consider most analytical, and posts eventually come out of thoughts. Of course, the landscape has changed over the years — now the Brewers are analytical, and so are the Pirates and the Astros, and the Red Sox are less analytical than they’ve been in a while. I don’t know how that will be reflected in post counts. This is a crude tool.

What’s evident: relatively speaking, we’ve written a lot about the Red Sox, and little about the Rockies and Twins. I still don’t know if that’s good, or bad, or neither. Finding the proper editorial balance isn’t trivial, but thankfully there’s a community here, and it’ll probably tell us if we’re doing something wrong. Communities love that.



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Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.


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Lenard
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Member
Lenard
3 months 12 days ago

Someone needs to go develop WARB.

Lenard
Member
Member
Lenard
3 months 12 days ago

Or BlogGraphs….Eno?

mike sixel
Member
mike sixel
3 months 12 days ago

As a Twins’ fan, I don’t blame you. Hopefully Buxton, Sano, and Berrios (and Park?) make it so you want to write about them more……

tz
Member
tz
3 months 12 days ago

There’s been something about the Twins for as long as I can remember that keeps them way more under the radar than you would otherwise think. Here’s my hastily developed theory for this:

1. Because they are so far away from the two big coasts, the only time you would hear of the Twins is if one of them led the AL in batting average (yay Oliva, Carew, and Kirby!) or wins (sorry Bert!).

2. By the time they won their first ever WS championship, the narrative was (1) joke of a stadium, (2) Kirby stealing homers against the wall in said stadium, (3) the difference between all those “meh” seasons and a championship was the ever-lovable Kirby

3. Kirby retires, gets his plaque in Cooperstown, passes away too young, and the bi-coastal media loses all interest in the Twins.

4. Finally, in keeping with a long history of penny pinching, the Twins get by using gritty, Gardy-approved scrappers and the occasional splurge on a mid-major free-agent signing, none of which sets off Wow! factors anywhere.

ltbailey
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ltbailey
3 months 12 days ago

I think this qualifies as a Red Sox post so make that 122

mike sixel
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mike sixel
3 months 12 days ago

Good one!

glanzerr
Member
glanzerr
3 months 12 days ago

Well, I come here for in-depth Twins stuff, but what is there to write about the Twins? As long as Terry Ryan is at the helm they’ll always be one of the quietest teams. I guess you could write about that itself! I don’t particularly care to read another article about how there’s no way to accurately predict Byung-ho Park’s transition to the majors.

Catapults
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Catapults
3 months 12 days ago

Yet another Fangraphs Fangraphs puff piece

Dave Stewart
Member
3 months 12 days ago

Good one!

jthorner
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jthorner
3 months 12 days ago

Twins fan here as well. The lack of articles about the Twins/Twins players has been both noticeable and frustrating. The most frustrating thing of all is when people use the “small market” argument. This is a huge misconception as the Minneapolis/St. Paul market size is actually quite impressive, clocking in at the 15th largest media market in the country. It is roughly equivalent in size to Detroit, Seattle and Miami. No one would consider those small markets. The other remarkable thing about the Twins market is the geographical size of it. We command a full three state area (MN, ND, SD) with parts of three others (MT, IA, WI). This is not a rant against FanGraphs, you guys do a great job and I understand that media market size is not the only driver of FanGraphs readership. I just get annoyed when people ignore the Twins on account of them being a “small market team”. Check out this recently written article.

http://milwaukee.locals.baseballprospectus.com/2016/01/25/the-minnesota-small-market-con/

Sleepy
Member
Sleepy
3 months 12 days ago

With the exception of the second Wild Card (which, admittedly, was a great idea), Bud the Used Car Salesman’s legacy is one of complete incompetence. Good riddance to that no-talent clown…

david k
Member
david k
3 months 11 days ago

Not true regarding the market size of Miami. Google “Metropolitan Statistical Areas” and you’ll see Miami has almost 6M, and Twin Cities has only 3.5M. But the Twin Cities does appear to be close to Detroit and Seattle. However, if you consider a wider swath of area that would be considered within a team’s rooting area, I’d say Seattle, by virtue of the entire Pacific Northwest, would dwarf any area you would consider to be “Twins Country”. I’d think the portions of Michigan outside of the Detroit Metro area that root for the Tigers would significantly outweigh the population of the remainder of Minnesota. Minnesota maybe gets the Dakotas too (not sure about NE and KS), but they wouldn’t get Iowa (I think that’s Cubs country).

Easyenough
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Member
Easyenough
3 months 12 days ago

I wonder what the R^2 is with team payroll. Trout articles alone (which I love), must bend coverage far beyond what the team itself does.

babaloo
Member
babaloo
3 months 12 days ago

This is what I was thinking also, as well as the correlation between total $ (or imputed $) of transactions each yet (not net, total sold and bought). Also it is interesting that twin fans and 1 ray fan is posting but ariz, SD or colorado fans (so far)

TanPadreFan
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Member
TanPadreFan
3 months 12 days ago

I have no problem with the amount of coverage given the Padres. I see FanGraphs basically covering What’s Out There in baseball; transactions, pennant races, hyped prospects, individual/team drama, individual performances. Most of the time, the Padres hit none of those while the teams getting more coverage routinely hit many.

AaronC
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AaronC
3 months 12 days ago

I saw the title and figured it would be about the players covered, not teams. I fully expected a graph with Trout towering above everybody else.

evo34
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evo34
3 months 12 days ago

I’m sure the correl. to payroll is much stronger than to wins. People don’t write about good players necessarily, but they do write about large contracts, almost obsessively on a site like this.

vecnyj
Member
Member
vecnyj
3 months 11 days ago

Or with 5+ WAR players.

John
Member
John
3 months 12 days ago

“…we’ve written a lot about the Red Sox, and little about the Rockies and Twins. I still don’t know if that’s good, or bad, or neither. ”

I’m a Twins fan, and I’ve been actively frustrated with the lack of Twins content on FanGraphs and other similar websites (BP). The team wasn’t good in the last few seasons, of course, but there are times where it seems like the authors are actively trying to ignore the team. There are so many good things to write about, so many interesting ways to view the team, and I think the reason that the Twins content doesn’t do well on your site is because Twins fans don’t come here to view content on a regular basis. If something about the Twins pops up, Aaron Gleeman and John Boehnes will point us to it.

The problem is that, for all their jollies, Aaron and John aren’t you, Jeff, or Eno or Dave or August or Matthew or the other amazing authors I come here to read daily. They’re not great at digging into a dataset and translating it into a cohesive story. They’re able to provide a basic level of analysis, but they can’t make a Tableau graph and prove their arguments the way the FanGraphs team is able to do.

Minneapolis is a large media market, with a booming local economy and a rapid job growth rate. The MN Twins are turning a corner into contention, and that combination will lead more young workers, workers who speak the language of spreadsheets and analytics, to taking a passive interest in the team. Either FanGraphs is the place they go for that interest, or it’s not.

Since 2008, were the Mets really 120 posts of content more interesting that the Twins? Was Toronto really 90 posts more interesting than Minnesota? That’s not to dump on those teams, and I’ve greatly enjoyed the content about them, but that’s more than one post a month that’s pointing towards New York rather than Minnesota.

And it’s not like there hasn’t been interesting content about the Twins to discuss. I’m not going to go year by year, namely cause I don’t have that much time and have to run to work soon, but I will throw out a few suggestions that you could cover today, right now, if you chose to cover the Twins instead of the Red Sox for a bit.

-While concussions are running on the front page of national newspapers, a local franchise icon in Minnesota has seen his career derailed by them. Joe Mauer just the other day told reporters that he has been struggling with blurred vision since 2013. You’ve built entire series of posts on less interesting information than this. How have the last two years been for Joe vs the earlier years in his career, and is it plausible his vision problems have contributed to his downfall? Also, how friggin’ amazing is it that he’s still able to hit .270 with BLURRY VISION. I’d LOVE for a spray chart / hit chart breakdown. How has his LD% changed? His Fly%? His contact score? How have his concussion symptoms been different than other players’ symptoms, and does his history as a HS quarterback and years behind the plate make his symptoms more severe? ALSO HE CANNOT SEE STRAIGHT BUT STILL HIT .270!

-Last year, you ran many posts on Steven Matz before he came up, arguing for him to join the Mets rotation. The Twins had a greater need in the rotation, and a similarly ready prospect in Jose Berrios, but I can’t recall an article calling for the Twins to promote their young stud. Will they put him in the rotation this Spring? What will it take for the Twins to trust their young hurlers?

-Talk to Gleeman about the Twins pitching signings, and the snowballing effect of latching onto mediocrity in the rotation. He’s been pumping this hard lately.

-Who is playing center field for this team?
-Was it wise to keep Trevor Plouffe this offseason?
-Who is John Ryan Murphy and is he going to be the answer the Twins need at catcher?
-Why hasn’t this team invested any money in the bullpen?
-What about the fascinating draft strategy of drafting only college relievers and putting them in the minor league rotations?

I’m glad you wrote this post. I’m frustrated that it proved what I thought it would. I love FanGraphs, and I was happy to subscribe to Fangraphs+ (without playing fantasy), and I will be happy to become a FanGraphs Member.

BUT HOLY JESUS write about my team a bit more. You’ve identified the problem. Please be a part of the solution.

David Laurila
Member
3 months 12 days ago

A lot of Twins fans are commenting here, so I feel obliged to say I’m doing my best. Between stand-alone pieces and Sunday Notes segments, my 2015 output included an article on why the Twins could contend, plus stuff on Glen Perkins, Kyle Gibson, Casey Fien, Brian Dozier, Kohl Stewart, Mark Hamburger, Jake Reed and Terry Ryan. In recent years I’ve also written on Phil Hughes, Trevor Plouffe, Brian Duensing, Caleb Theilbar, Ryan O’Rourke, Paul Molitor and, A.J. Achter.

Looking forward, I’ll be in Fort Myers in early March.

Shirtless Bartolo Colon
Member
3 months 12 days ago

Did somebody say hamburger?

John
Member
John
3 months 12 days ago

I really appreciate your coverage of the team, David. Thank you, it’s been noticed! Really excited for the ST coverage from ya =)

Phillies113
Member
Member
3 months 12 days ago

Maybe it wouldn’t hurt FanGraphs to have a similar model to BP with their market-focused sites. Like, they could have a FG Minneapolis with Twins writers writing about Twins things, and maybe a FG Florida to write about both the Marlins and the Rays.

It would shuffle views off the main page, but it would appeal to markets where there is clearly a market for more analytics-driven baseball content. Also, job opportunities for writers is always a Good Thing (c)

evo34
Member
evo34
3 months 12 days ago

Christ. You’re the first person who has ever made me hate the Twins. Take a look at the scale of the chart above, and note that the Twins are being tagged a whopping 1-2 times per season less than an average team. Are those 1 or 2 extra tags really going to make a difference for you, are or you just dumping a load of Twins trivia on our head for no reason?

John
Member
John
3 months 12 days ago

Red Sox – 121 more articles than their win totals suggest.
Twins – 60 less

Since 2008, that’s what…8 seasons?

181/8 = 22.65 more posts per season than the correlation suggests it should be.
**math not guaranteed to be sound**

I’m not suggesting that the Twins suddenly receive Red Sox level coverage, of course. But that’s a huge spread from the richest to the poorest, in terms of content, and it so happens that my team is the poorest in this regard. So take a seat.

(And if this made you hate the Twins, well, then good. Villains always get more coverage.)

Fernando
Member
Fernando
3 months 12 days ago

I hope this doesn’t come across as disrespectful, because I don’t mean it that way, but in all honesty I don’t find any of the topics you listed to be interesting. I don’t think the Twins have all that much to talk about, and I say that as a person who doesn’t merely read articles about my team. I like to read about good, winning teams and the kinds of choices they make (like the Yankees decision to sign 0 free agents or the Cardinals reaction to missing out so many times) as we as bad teams who do interesting things (like the Padres and Diamondbacks pushing forward despite occupying a lower rung on the win ladder).

It’s interesting that the Twins are tied with the Rockies, because I think Colorado is a good example of this. While the Rockies usually aren’t that interesting, they have at least done some news-worthy things lately, such as their trade for Mcgee. That was a weird, head-scratching choice that I find intriguing (albeit not necessarily a GOOD choice), the type that Minnesota is simply lacking.

I recognize I am just one voice, so maybe most people don’t feel like me. But, honestly, I don’t want the writers to pander to any of us. I want them to pick the things they like, since those are usually interesting choices, and it seems to be working so far.

John
Member
John
3 months 12 days ago

I’m glad you said this. Here is a list of topics that have been covered at fangraphs in the last week since Joe Mauer revealed he has been playing without the ability to see clearly for the past two years.

“Could the Phillies be better than the Cubs? Maybe! Probably most likely not tho.”
“What baseball team is like Donald trump?”
“Bryce Harper is good and will cost a lot of money when he’s a free agent.”

This is not a slight against those articles, which were all interesting enough to justify having read them while on the toilet at work. And maybe I’m too interested in Joe Mauer and his post concussion career. I’ll pull a Jeff and say “maybe i don’t know I’m just stating what I see.”

I totally agree that a lot of the topics I highlighted in my original post above aren’t the most exciting content, but a lot of the content written about at fangraphs isn’t necessarily exciting on the surface. What’s special is that the authors can make it so. There’s an amazing group of talent here at fangraphs, and they have an ability to make any team interesting. That’s why I keep coming back.

But it’s noticeable that I am a member of the under class of fans. This article points that out clearly, and while you may be bored with my team, they’re not boring. You’re just not looking at them in an interesting way. And you’re not being given an opportunity to do so.

TerryMc
Member
TerryMc
3 months 12 days ago

Or maybe they are a boring team in regards to topics to write about. Roster moves for 5th place teams are not typically that interesting, while similar moves for teams leading their division can be. Interesting players or ones with niche skills (Billy Hamilton) can drive interest. Over/under achieving in a big fashion is worth a writing about. Big moves in the off season good or bad…again worth writing about. The Twins really haven’t made much noise. Please note that I’m not trying to criticize the team, I think this is just a reflection of the state of the ML roster, farm system and organizational philosophy over the last 5 years. The same could have been said about the Padres until they started making bunches of off season move,not necessarily good ones, but ones worth writing about.

Fernando
Member
Fernando
3 months 12 days ago

That makes sense. And I don’t mean to suggest the Twins aren’t worth writing about, but rather they’re in a bit of a tough spot. They aren’t particularly competetive, but they also aren’t going crazy and making bad choices like other clubs in a similar spot (Padres, White Sox, etc.). They aren’t stockpiling a ton of high-upside prospects (Braves) and they don’t have a huge payroll to bank on in a year or two (Phillies). They’re just sort of…there.

And in a broader sense there are probably just other teams that are a better fit for articles in need of team specific examples. Like you mentioned wanting to see content on Berrios if he preforms well, but to me (granted, I’m not super knowledgable about him) I would think it would be a pretty easy call. The Twins don’t have a great looking rotation so if this young stud performs then sure stick him in there. It’s a little different than with Matz where the Mets had a fantastic rotation and perhaps thought they could get by without rushing him.

I guess at the end of the day so much of this is colored by personal preference. Mauer’s concussion could be interesting, but to be honest I’m a little concussioned-out from how much that talk dominates the NFL. The one aspect of his story that does intrigue me is the blurriness, but I imagine nobody but Mauer himself could give us insight into that.

Still, if the writers can include some of these other less mentioned teams without it feeling forced then great. I just wouldn’t want them to pass up more obvious stuff solely so that we have an “everyone gets a turn” sort of thing.

Cool WHIP
Member
Member
Cool WHIP
3 months 12 days ago

Another Twins fan here– been reading and subscribing for years. I’ve always reasoned the dearth of Twins coverage has been a symptom of their recent ineptitude rather than some pervasive bias. I recall seeing a few intriguing pieces on the team this past season. The Twins aren’t prone to making Preller-esque splashy moves, but I still think there are quite a few interesting facets of the organization that will deserve coverage in the upcoming season, especially considering the trajectory of the team.

Jorge Posada
Member
3 months 12 days ago

Can you make a chart like this for player searches?

Mario Mendoza
Member
Mario Mendoza
3 months 12 days ago

Good idea. Try to plot tags vs reader interest

mike sixel
Member
mike sixel
3 months 12 days ago

See, I don’t agree with me fellow Twins’ fans. We have Twins Daily. I come here to read about baseball, from a different perspective than other sites can/are willing to provide. So, ya, just keep writing about what you find interesting, because the writing is likely to be more interesting, imo.

Bakaar
Member
Bakaar
3 months 12 days ago

It would also be interesting to see the trend in that tagging. Is the Red Sox interest waning, going strong, on the rise? Some teams like the Diamondbacks will likely be on the rise, so looking at that trend moving forward would be interesting. The Rays get a lot of love as an analytic team, but without Friedman or Maddon, have there been fewer articles, and will there be fewer moving forward?

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
3 months 12 days ago

I’d rather you continue seek the most compelling narratives. If you feel forced to write about something you don’t believe is compelling, the quality of the content will suffer. Very few writers exist that can convincingly create good content this way.

nickolai
Member
Member
nickolai
3 months 12 days ago

Agree 100% with this.

Scoreboard
Member
Member
Scoreboard
3 months 11 days ago

+1

Atreyu Jones
Member
Atreyu Jones
3 months 12 days ago

Is part of the issue that Fangraphs might be taking too many cues from the rest of the baseball media? The Sox are over-covered in general in other places – which may (consciously or not) result in Sox issues commonly becoming “stories” in the general baseball realm more often that other teams’ issues. And then a Fangraphs writer will offer his take on this baseball story – and voila another Sox article.

So, Fangraphs could be less reactive about the topics they choose – i.e. don’t fall into the trap of “Everyone’s writing about this issue (Hanley’s fielding, Price’s opt-out, Prospecty McPawtucket, etc.) so we have to offer our viewpoint.”

That being said, I don’t think Fangraphs has been particularly reactive compared to other sites. Often a topic will be covered here and it is the first time I have seen anything anywhere about the topic.

Malcolm-Jamal Hegyes
Member
Malcolm-Jamal Hegyes
3 months 12 days ago

That’s probably part of it. Part of it is also due to the crazy ass roller coaster soap opera that the Red Sox performance has been over the last few years.

And even though I agree they’re covered too much, I’m still waiting for Jeff to run through Hanley’s greatest misadventures in LF, complete with GIFs or video highlights. That’s the kind of stuff you can only find here.

Atreyu Jones
Member
Atreyu Jones
3 months 12 days ago

That’s true. And they have also had a front-office regime change and a higher-than-average amount of trades and free agent signings. Those are things that should be covered.

But that only covers part of the phenomenon.

Matthew Kory
Member
3 months 11 days ago

I’m no Jeff, but I wrote about Ramirez’s defense (complete with GIFs/video highlights) back in July!

thecodygriffin
Member
thecodygriffin
3 months 12 days ago

Thank you for completing this exercise Jeff! I actually noticed the categories (tags) a few weeks ago and scanned for the top 10 and bottom 10 teams, so the actual data points are not a revelation for me, but I did not consider the site traffic component.

On a side, but somewhat related note, as a Rays fan, I have noticed that articles discussing the Rays and their players typically have a fewer number of comments than the average article, or at the very least, I perceive it to be that way. The discussion also seems to be less passionate as compared to an other teams such as the Red Sox, Yankees, Cardinals, and Cubs.

This may be asking too much, and my inner stat junkie getting the best of me, but I would love to see an expanded analysis of categories versus average traffic versus average comments in the discussion.

Chris_from_Bothell
Member
Member
Chris_from_Bothell
3 months 12 days ago

Perhaps the FG authoring tools could build in an automated check that authors could run on their articles, to remedy this.

The automation would use player comps and this article’s data, and any time it sees an article containing a player in the upper 50% of FG-most-mentioned-teams, it suggests an alternate player from one of the the lower-half teams.

thecodygriffin
Member
thecodygriffin
3 months 12 days ago

If this isn’t the embodiment of 2016 America, I do not know what is.

There is no need to regulate or “encourage” what teams and players are written about. All we need are interesting articles about interesting subjects regardless of team and/or player that helps FanGraphs accomplish their business goals.

Obviously, we do not want FanGraphs to be 100% Red Sox or “East Coast Bias”, but it isn’t that now and never has been. It is only touted as that due to the skewed perception of the very few. There is nothing to remedy here, it just is.

mike sixel
Member
mike sixel
3 months 12 days ago

I could be wrong, but I think your sarcasm detector is malfunctioning (or mine is, and I’m registering a false positive).

Chris_from_Bothell
Member
Member
Chris_from_Bothell
3 months 12 days ago

a) whoosh
b) I suppose if I have to explain that it was a joke, it wasn’t really a good joke, so ultimately it’s on me, here.

thecodygriffin
Member
thecodygriffin
3 months 12 days ago

I was wondering what that red blinking light meant, now I know. Damn sarcasm detector making me look like a fool. I guess it is time to get it checked out again. Another $729 down the drain. I should have bought that pre-certified warranty.

ramseyk88
Member
ramseyk88
3 months 12 days ago

Where are the Rockies fans lol

John Elway
Member
3 months 12 days ago

On BeerGraphs. To celebrate the recent Lombardi Trophy, and to find the right refreshment to pass the spring and summer away with (better than what Peyton’s getting paid to drink).

Just neighing.

PurpMtnMagesty
Member
PurpMtnMagesty
3 months 12 days ago

…plotting ways to wrestle control of the team from the Monforts

jdbolick
Member
Member
3 months 12 days ago

I understand the frustrations of fans who feel underserved, but in my view there is no such thing as writing too much or too little about a particular team. FanGraphs writers should pursue the topics that they find interesting rather than incorporate more of a quota system where “someone needs to write a Twins column this week.” If Twins fans feel like an interesting angle is being missed, mention it to some the writers. If they find it similarly interesting then I imagine it will result in a column.

Chickensoup
Member
Member
Chickensoup
3 months 12 days ago

they could also try their hand at writing the columns themselves in the Community Research section

szielinski
Member
Member
szielinski
3 months 12 days ago

I root for the Pirates, and, during our long nightmare, would sometimes find the lack of media attention annoying. Yet, all things considered, what would national writers have found interesting in the McClatchyfield that they would want to research and write about them? A few players were interesting, but the whole package stank of incompetence and mendacity. That, by the way, provided the one good story about the team. How low could that ownership regime go? What motivated upper management? What did they believe they were accomplishing?

Coverage of the McClatchyfield Pirates was akin to coverage of national politics if the coverage was at all realistic. How would fools and rent-seekers apply spin to their rigged game? Would monopolists successfully extort money from the various governments? Which national writers would debase themselves carrying water — teams ‘tank’ — for the high revenue franchises?

The game of baseball became interesting once again when management committed itself to winning under the rules of the League. They were successful too. And, national coverage of my local team picked up the pace to reflect those facts.

How is the situation today? The Pirates are now best prepared to compete for WS championships than they were at any time since 1970. Yet, some national writers have already closed the book on the current squad, doing so even though most of the organization’s high value minor leaguers have not yet made their ML debuts. It seems to me as though the Pirates are on the path that ends with them being an afterthought.

This, I suspect, expresses the prejudice within MLB, prejudgments which reflect the differences between the haves and the franchises that have so more than their poorer kin.

evo34
Member
evo34
3 months 12 days ago

Huh? Sounds like you’ve taken a couple good seasons and inferred that the Pirates will forever be a great franchise top to bottom. Also, who is closing the book on the Pirates this season?

szielinski
Member
Member
szielinski
3 months 12 days ago

“Huh? Sounds like you’ve taken a couple good seasons and inferred that the Pirates will forever be a great franchise top to bottom.”

Ummmm, no….

I wrote:

“The Pirates are now best prepared to compete for WS championships than they were at any time since 1970.”

This claim is true. The Pirates have had three consecutive post season appearances. Most of the core of those playoff teams remains in place. The development system remains stocked. Catastrophes aside, the Pirates have another 5 to 10 years in their current run.

That’s it. I said nothing about championship contention for eternity.

“Yet, some national writers have already closed the book on the current squad, doing so even though most of the organization’s high value minor leaguers have not yet made their ML debuts. It seems to me as though the Pirates are on the path that ends with them being an afterthought.”

I could cobble together quotes and links from national and local writers who doubt what the Huntington regime has done. I won’t make that effort. That said, even knowledgeable Pirates fans found the building of the 2016 team less than convincing. Like some national writers, they believe the lack of significant free agent signings this winter show an organization unwilling or unable to compete, now on a “path that ends with them being an afterthought.” But the recent surge was built on finding value others missed and on amateur player acquisition.

The Pirates may miss the playoff this coming season, but the ML team will become younger and better. The pitching will improve, the defense will improve and the offense will improve.

jlukebeld
Member
jlukebeld
3 months 12 days ago

From a business standpoint there seems to be an opportunity here to grow your readership. Either get more articles from your writers on the bottom ten teams or hire someone to specifically cover them. Untapped markets are a good way to expand a business. I think there’s more than enough interesting points to write about on these teams if that is someone’s main focus.

Gregg
Member
Gregg
3 months 12 days ago

All teams are not equally interesting. Of the six teams with the most coverage, five have won world series in the period being analyzed. NONE of the teams in the bottom half have won a world series, or even played in one…

It would be interesting to see a chart comparing tag frequency with attendance. I think you’d see a similar correspondence as wins.

Your content will be most readable when your writers are free to explore what is fascinating to them. Trying to satisfy some arbitrary standard of fairness will diminish your fine publication.

mike sixel
Member
mike sixel
3 months 12 days ago

Good point. If we take out the postseason, what does it look like? Because the WS teams are going to get a lot more coverage because they are playing for 3 more weeks than everyone else, then we have a few days of analyzing the playoffs…..

PurpMtnMagesty
Member
PurpMtnMagesty
3 months 12 days ago

I have a vague memory of attending the 2007 World Series at Coors Field…

also, here is your attendance data: http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance

Surprised to see the Rockies in the top-half of the league for the last decade??? because I’m not.

Runaway Toaster
Member
Member
Runaway Toaster
3 months 12 days ago

The period being analyzed was 2008-2015, so the Rockies 2007 WS appearance isn’t relevant to his point.

McKay
Member
McKay
3 months 12 days ago

Quite fascinating. I’ve been racking my brain on the causality part of this equation. All sorts of questions – are the Red Sox just that much more active? Teams in the playoffs a lot must get some kind of boost come playoff time. On some level Fangraphs has to follow with national storylines too, and MLB does clearly emphasize the Red Sox – Yankees rivalry.

One question as well. Yes, BOS came out on top. But how does this full distribution compare to other baseball sites. I’d bet Fangraphs is more balanced in coverage than Yahoo Sports or Bleacher Report.

Owen S
Member
Owen S
3 months 12 days ago

One thing that I feel merits attention is the fact that the off-season+postseason spans nearly half the year. That means the teams that have regularly been in the playoffs and have regularly been active in the FA market since 2008 are going to receive a lot more coverage, even if there is a totally even distribution of writing during the regular season.

Let’s compare the bottom five teams with the top five teams (on the histogram). First look at the total playoff appearances of the Sox, Yanks, Dodgers, etc. Vs. the appearances of the Twins, Padres, Rox, etc. since ’08. Lol:It’s not even close. So why would any Fangraphs author in his right mind be covering the Rockies in October when I don’t think they’ve made a single postseason appearance since 2007. And why, in November when we are reviewing the postseason, would he discuss them?

Then we get to hotstove season from Dec -Feb. When you sign a bunch of FAs regularly, like the top 5 teams, not only do you merit posts on the team implications of the signing that just occurred, you also merit conjecture on which remaining FAs may sign with you. So if you are the Yankees, you get a lot of posts on the ’15-’16 off-season despite signing 0 MLB FAs. Why? Because of the proclivity you’ve shown for signing them in the past. Imagine you are an author on the site and you wanted to write a piece in December on where Heyward would land. You’d have to be nuts to go into great detail on why Heyward would be an excellent fit for the Twins.

Anyway, to the frustrated Twins fans, I encourage you to honestly ask yourself why your team should receive as much attention as the top teams in the current environment. If the answer is, because JRM potentially taking over as catcher is just as interesting as where David Price will sign, I would answer: to you, my friend. To you.

Orsulakfan
Member
Orsulakfan
3 months 12 days ago

I guess I am in the minority here but I actually think this is evidence of bias and I think it’s unfortunate. I think these numbers should be used to inspire Fangraphs to diversify their coverage more. Certainly it does not need correlate with wins and losses, but is telling that a last-place team for 2 years in a row still gets so much coverage. To his credit, it seems like Sullivan is a bit embarrassed by it, so perhaps these numbers will encourage change.

Owen S
Member
Owen S
3 months 12 days ago

How does that graph depict bias? What it depicts is uneven coverage, which does not, in and of itself, depict bias.

Uneven coverage looks like this:
I’m Eno Sarris and I’m bouncing around ideas for a post. You know what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately? The Red Sox 91 Steamer win projection. I’m going to write about that.

Bias looks like this:
I’m Eno Sarris and I’m bouncing around ideas for a post. You know what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately? Patrick Corbin’s sleeper potential. Too bad I hate the Diamondbacks, their fans, and everyone who resides in Arizona. I’m gonna write about Price.

YABooble
Member
YABooble
3 months 12 days ago

Granted, the uneven coverage my come from a hidden bias of some sort, but I see your point. It’s not like there’s an intentional conspiracy to screw a particular fan base.

VottomanEmpire
Member
Member
VottomanEmpire
3 months 12 days ago

I don’t think FanGraphs has a huge problem here, so this isn’t necessarily a defense of Orsulakfan’s post, but Owen, I don’t find your definition of bias very useful. You offer a good example of what it would look like if Eno had & acted upon individual, conscious bias. What about institutional bias? What about individual, unconscious bias?

Your description of bias is a lot like saying “racism/sexism/etc. is only when someone looks at a minority and decides to discriminate against them because of their explicit beliefs about that person’s minority characteristic”, completely ignoring both institutional barriers and the behavior of other individuals who do not realize they are biased.

Owen S
Member
Owen S
3 months 12 days ago

OK fair enough. I agree my definition of bias was way too simplistic. It’s just–God–what I love about Fangraphs is the impartiality. The lack of homerism. The lack of puff pieces. The honest and objective analyses.

While there may, in fact, exist more insidious and subtle biases, Fangraphs just does such a good job at limiting them. But the authors are indeed human, and bias is just part of the species.

Anyway, fair point.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
3 months 12 days ago

So the Sox have been tagged ~150 more times than the Jays?!

#YouKnowWhoWasRight

Ruben Amaro Jr.
Member
Ruben Amaro Jr.
3 months 12 days ago

I’m afraid that, despite all my best efforts to make the Phils worth writing about, Fangraphs was afraid to write too much about the team because of a certain FELONY FRAUD conspiracy nut.

Oh well. At least I know they’ll write plenty about my new team.

Gregg
Member
Gregg
3 months 12 days ago

The Sox won the world series the previous year (2007), and have been in six post-season series since 2008, including the winning the world series in 2013. The Jays have been in a total two post-season series. With 150 more posts, over the course of the eight years the Sox have received an extra tag, on average, once every three weeks. Doesn’t sound like bias to me.

Lenny
Member
Lenny
3 months 12 days ago

The funny thing is that the metacommentary around the Red Sox and the fact that there are people who will obsessively hate read every FG article about them is probably a huge reason why they get written about so much here.

Damaso
Member
Damaso
3 months 12 days ago

yep. he sure was.

Ed_Escobars_Dirty_Sanchez
Member
Ed_Escobars_Dirty_Sanchez
3 months 12 days ago

Twins fan here. The Twins bring some of it on themselves. For the umpteenth year in a row, they finished dead last in strikeout %. I suppose that in itself is worth thinking about. But now that I actually think about it, who isn’t getting his due? Trevor May? Who, Twins fans, should fangraphs be writing about that they’re not writing about?

tz
Member
tz
3 months 12 days ago

Fun Eduardo Escobar Fact of the Day:

When playing shortstop, Escobar has a career .340 wOBA and 116 wRC+ to go along with a +6 career UZR.

Gluten-Free AEC
Member
Gluten-Free AEC
3 months 12 days ago

#TwinsLivesMatter

dbminn
Member
Member
dbminn
3 months 12 days ago

I too am a Twins fan. I’ve never sensed any strong bias from Fangraphs in general. There is a little tilt towards the biggest markets but nothing near the bias shown by conventional networks and publications. Hopefully, the Twins will get covered more in the next few seasons. Plenty of prospects and young players in the pipeline.

Roger McDowell Hot Foot
Member
Roger McDowell Hot Foot
3 months 12 days ago

*Whom

JackS
Member
JackS
3 months 12 days ago

Does this include rotographs posts?

VottomanEmpire
Member
Member
VottomanEmpire
3 months 12 days ago

Fourth paragraph: “First, this is just about the FanGraphs main blog, so the other blogs aren’t included.”

Chickensoup
Member
Member
Chickensoup
3 months 12 days ago

It’s par for the course and really, the distribution here is nothing close to what the big time national media markets have. Im making wild guesses but I would say Yankee/Red Sox coverage is somewhere in the vicinity of 100-200x that of the Brewers or Twins over the same time period. Part of that is those teams have been better, but sometimes ESPN and ilk are ridiculous.

Keep writing about interesting and fun topics instead of worrying about team distribution. You’re staff is not wildly biased and I’d rather have good articles than ones you reach for in order to be “fair”

Aaron
Member
3 months 12 days ago

Makes Sense

Paul22
Member
Paul22
3 months 12 days ago

Obviously, somebody is wondering why all the membership money is coming from Boston and NY, and not much from anywhere else

evo34
Member
evo34
3 months 12 days ago

So the average team has gotten about 30 tags/year, and the Twins and Rockies got about 24. This is some kind of tragedy?

I happen to be a fan of the Pirates and couldn’t care less where they rank on this list.

PerReyMysterio
Member
Member
PerReyMysterio
3 months 12 days ago

Marlins fan here. Just wanted to let y’all know we’re alive. Don’t care who you write about though really. Keep up the good work.

Cipher-Six
Member
Cipher-Six
3 months 12 days ago

As a member of the community I understand your sense of obligation to provide compelling content for all teams and fanbases. As a Red Sox fan, I find it hard to deny the fact that part of why I finally signed up and bookmarked this page is specifically because of the great articles written about the Red Sox as a team and its individual players.

I don’t want to be an obnoxious homer and argue for a continuation of the status quo, but uh, if you could just write more about all the other teams and not reduce your Red Sox coverage, that’d be great.

astropcr
Member
Member
astropcr
3 months 12 days ago

I wonder if you could figure out how to do this over time? As a Yankees fan I feel like there have been much less Yankees posts of late, but they are also not doing as much in the off-season. If we look at the 2008 off-season though there would likely be a spike.

I also don’t think the author’s personal biases plays much into it as I think I only know the team leanings of 3 writers (Dave and Jeff Seattle, Carson Red Sox) and they all are fairly weak leanings now anyways. You guys do a good job with that.

the flu
Member
Member
the flu
3 months 12 days ago

As a Braves fan, that ATL, WAS, MIA tight grouping toward the bottom half pops out. With NYM and PHI substantially above, the coverage doesn’t align with the winning-teams=more-coverage trend:

ATL – 674
MIA – 521
NYM – 632
PHI – 674
WAS – 630

Maybe it’s market size or NE megalopolis bias pushing the Mets and Phils up (certainly the blanket East Coast part doesn’t seem to driving coverage of the other teams in particular). Or maybe it’s periods of front office incompetence that drive articles? I guess with Miami it’s ownership rather than FO weirdness, but that would explain their higher-than-expected spot just below the Braves and Nats, too.

I’m not surprised or too disappointed about Braves coverage – I think it’s fair to say that until the rebuild, they’ve been a bit boring in success and failure since 2008. It is intriguing not to see the Nationals higher, though, given big signings, Harper/Strasburg arriving, and making the expansion-to-contender transition within the window.

Runaway Toaster
Member
Member
Runaway Toaster
3 months 12 days ago

I think there is a lot of recency bias here when people are complaining about coverage.

2008-2011 was a LONG time ago in baseball terms. Take a peak at the final standings from those years to remember just how different the landscape was.

Nats Fan
Member
Nats Fan
3 months 12 days ago

Is it just me, or does the state famous for legalized POT not seem to care much about their team not being written about at FANGRAPHS!!!!

Bryz
Member
3 months 12 days ago

Yet another Twins fan here. Yeah, I’ve noticed they don’t get much publicity here and it’s a bit disappointing, but it hasn’t stopped me from checking FanGraphs daily for several years now. I agree with what some other people said, don’t write articles just because you feel like you need to meet some quota. Write about something interesting, like Eddie Rosario’s crazy 18 2B, 15 3B, 13 HR, 15 BB, 11 steals, 16 OF assists season.

level10peon
Member
level10peon
3 months 12 days ago

I guess I’ll pop in as the only Rockies fan. I second the frustrations that Twins fans have of not being covered by Fangraphs or national media in general enough. It’s true the Rockies, unlike the Twins, can legitimately be called a smaller market team, and it’s true they’ve been bad for awhile, but still.

I also find it frustrating that it feels like when the Rockies do get covered, they don’t get much respect. I don’t mean they deserve positive coverage or to be free from criticism. But, when any of the other 29 teams make puzzling moves, the writers try to at least think about why that move might be rational. With the Rockies, though, I feel like there isn’t even an attempt some (not all) of the time.

When other teams have a top 6 farm system, they’re incredibly hyped by the baseball media. When the Rockies do, like they do now, people outside of farm ranking articles seem to pretend they don’t, or are more dismissive of their prospects than they would be of other organizations.

maxximus
Member
maxximus
3 months 11 days ago

I get the crude-ness of searching by this, as many posts may be about newsworthy items like roster moves, firings, etc.

It would be nice if going forward posts that were more in-depth statistical analyses of a player or team were tagged differently to see how much each team gets analysis on the site, which is what would be nice if that were more equal across the board. Even if there’s a weekly post about a player that rotates across teams on the lower half of that posts graph. I get that paying attention to analytics-based teams is natural, but shouldn’t statistical analysis be done on all the teams, regardless if that’s how they approach their team-building?

brewers fan here, btw

Momus
Member
Momus
3 months 11 days ago

And in this, as in so many things for the last 20 years, the Blue Jays are basically average. I looked at the makeup of the average team recently (FA signings, drafted, trades, etc) and was amused to see that the Jays were almost exactly average in their makeup. I am so glad that last season the Jays finally broke out and were hugely exceptional at scoring runs. It’s just great to see the team be something other than average.

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