Presented without comment:
An analysis of Major League Baseball fans conducted by Emory Sports Marketing Analytics compared fan demand with winning percentage. Phillies fans are the most demanding on the study’s “win sensitivity” list. Next in line were fans of the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox.
At the bottom of the ranking — the fans who attended games whether their teams were winning or losing — were the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals.
OK, one comment: Please go back to the comments of any Phillies-related post at HardballTalk from, say, 2009-2011 and observe that the word “diehard” was used so often by Phillies fans to describe themselves that the Oxford English Dictionary considered making DiehardPhilliesFan its very own word.
But let’s not data interfere with a heartfelt belief.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.