On Thursday, GQ opined that that Philly fans are the worst sports fans in America. Today a market research firm released its annual Sports Loyalty Index and named Phillies fans the most loyal in the game:
The survey, conducted by market research firm Brand Keys, a company focused on customer and brand loyalty metrics, interviewed 250 fans in each relevant market across the pro sports landscape with an eye on gauging the relationships fostered between teams and fans that takes into account a variety of factors (tickets sales, merchandise, as well as tradition and history in each market).
Brand Keys President Robert Passikoff said in an interview with Bloomberg, “With the Phillies, every game seems to count to the whole team. They seem to take it more personally.”
I assume that the pre-2008 data has finally fallen off, allowing the Phillies to pass the Yankees and Sox.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.