In light of David Price’s and Evan Longoria’s comments (and Mitch Williams’ and many, many others), reader Steven Luck decided that he had had enough of the back and forth and set out to try to quantify the level of Rays fan apathy. He submitted it in the comments, but I figured it needed its own post, so I present it with only cosmetic edits below. Based on my vast knowledge of statistics, geography, sociology and psychology, I can say that his formula is absolutely perfect.*
*Note: I have no such knowledge whatsoever.
Enjoy. Just don’t ask me what, exactly, it’s supposed to measure. I guess it’s enthusiasm per capita or something akin to it. And, yeah, I’m guessing it favors smaller cities. But who cares? The real value of this will be to see what reputable media outlets steal it and pretend that it says something scientifically valid!
Rays apologists have always reminded me of the joke Woody Allen tells at
the beginning of “Annie Hall.” Tampa residents are all unemployed and
there are just so few of them.
With that in mind I created the Jonah Keri Memorial “Stop Making Fun of
Rays Fans” Index.* Surprisingly, the Rays come out looking pretty good.
The formula for calculating a team’s JKMSMFoRF is:
[Average Home Attendance]*81/(([Metro Area Population]/[Number of Teams in Metro Area])*(1-[Metro Area Unemployment Rate]))
San Francisco 1.568
St. Louis 1.304
Kansas City 0.859
San Diego 0.780
Tampa Bay 0.770
Chicago Cubs 0.714
LA Dodgers 0.635
LA Angels 0.577
Chicago White Sox 0.515
NY Yankees 0.434
NY Mets 0.306
Congratulations Milwaukee, you folks really, really love going to
baseball games! (Or there may just be nothing else to do in
Milwaukee.) Tampa Bay finishes in a respectable ninth place. Oakland
and San Francisco compensate for their moderate attendances by
sharing a medium sized metropolitan area. Also, it is possible that
literally every man, woman and child in the Milwaukee, St. Louis and
Denver metro areas has attended one of their respective baseball team’s
home games this year.
*Note: Jonah Keri is not dead, but we can memorialize him anyway. A good way to do that is to pre-order his certain-to-be-awesome book about how the Tampa Bay Rays used Wall Street strategies to turn themselves into a winning bunch.