Saturday, August 06, 2005

Sox v Yankees - a different look

I do a daily tour of a silly number of blogs - some Red Sox, at least one for every other team in the majors (blogs really are a great way to find out what fans of other teams are thinking, particularly interesting when they are playing your team) and some general blogs that do a great job of giving an overall perspective of the game.

I read this story in the paper version of the NY Times this morning (I think the link may require you to fill in a free registration), and then saw a link here to a different take on the story here. Which got me thinking...

Clearly the interpretation of the numbers is subjective, and as any opponent or supporter of a statistical approach to baseball will tell you, numbers can tell you anything...

I thought I would take a look at the Sox and Yankees road draws within the American League - the interleague splits are heavily influenced by the fact that the Yankees play three road games in New York every season. My way of looking at the numbers was to look at each teams home average in all games except those for games against the Sox (looking at Sox numbers) , and all games except those against the Yankees (looking at the Yankee numbers). I then looked at the difference between these two numbers and you end up with the following tables...


Average ex. BOS

Average
v. BOS

Difference

%

Baltimore

31,862

45,437

13,574

43%

Chicago WS

27,309

37,718

10,409

38%

Cleveland

22,930

29,642

6,713

29%

Detroit

25,894

21,196

-4,698

-18%

Kansas City

18,802




LA Angels

41,931




Minnesota

25,533




NY Yankees

48,528

54,336

5,808

12%

Oakland

24,099

34,160

10,061

42%

Seattle

33,136

45,636

12,500

38%

Tampa Bay

12,314

26,941

14,627

119%

Texas

31,683

42,700

11,017

35%

Toronto

22,123

30,988

8,864

40%

Total

27,934

37,582

9,649

35%


So what stands out here? Well the good folks of Detroit sure don't like the Sox... or it could just be that it was a week-day series, and that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays should be campaigning for an even more 'unbalanced' schedule than we have at the moment.


Average ex. NYY

Average

v NYY

Difference

%

Baltimore

31,921

47,562

15,640

49%

Boston

35,206

34,840

-367

-1%

Chicago WS

28,066




Cleveland

22,512

36,747

14,235

63%

Detroit

24,605

40,680

16,074

65%

Kansas City

18,477

24,101

5,624

30%

LA Angels

41,765

44,055

2,290

5%

Minnesota

24,614

41,463

16,849

68%

Oakland

23,808

39,018

15,210

64%

Seattle

33,659

36,927

3,269

10%

Tampa Bay

13,773

15,289

1,516

11%

Texas

32,145

45,700

13,555

42%

Toronto

23,152

23,008

-144

-1%

Total

27,055

36,255

9,201

34%


So if the good folks of Detroit don't like the Sox, they sure as heck do like the Yankees! The small dip in the Red Sox / Yankee numbers at Fenway is down to a low number on the Sox opening day - my guess is that this is simply the combination of the limitations of Fenway in day games (fact) and the additional press compliment in RF at the opening day game (guess - but this had an effect on capacity for the WS games at Fenway, so at least it is a slightly educated guess!).

So in looking at the two tables, the Sox are the massive, run-away on the road draw... well no, there are 400 ticket buyers in it, which without getting in to it, could be something as simple as a weekend series in a good town.

So now that I have produced a table that shows this outcome, simply add in the Mets and the Yankees are again the clear runaway winner - the Mets regular average (for games excluding the Yankees) is 33,000+ (approximately, I have stupidly deleted the base data that I used for teams that I didn't include in the final table), rising to 55,000+ for the three game series against the Yankees.

I guess my conclusion is... fans of other teams may be tired of 24/7 coverage of the Yanks and Sox and the "Greatest Rivalry in All of Sports" (TM. ESPN), but it doesn't stop them (and members of Red Sox Nation and Yankeeland) turning up in big numbers to watch them when they are in town.

(Season numbers were taken from ESPN.com, individual game numbers from Box Scores on MLB.com)

4 threw a strike:

At 6:54 pm, Blogger Marc C. Santos said...

Very cool.

A few friends and I travelled to Montreal to see the Sox play the Expos a few years back. A stadium that drew a few thousand fans a game nearly sold out three straight days... the first day they ran out of beer--in the third inning! (No worries, they called up the Molson center and had more shipped in by the sixth!)

And to give credit where its do, the stadium sold out for each of the Yankee games that season, too.

 
At 7:35 pm, Blogger Colin Gray said...

Hey there, I have just come across this blog and will gradually get round to reading from March onwards. I liked your comparison of Dundee Utd in the Scottish Cup and the Sox in the WS. As a Celtic fan, I was at both of these (late) reversals that your team suffered in the 80's. I was also at the game yesterday, Utd were spirited enough but thought we thoroughly dserved the win - our new Japanese player Nakamura looks an outstanding player!

I tape all the Channel 5 live games and rely heavily on mlb.com to keep me up-to-date with the game. Although I am a Braves fan, I do have a soft spot for the Red Sox and was delighted that they won the WS last year. I watched the 2004 World Series documentary on Channel 5 from the other night (they had this on instead of a live game, looks like they may be getting squeezed out of their Wed coverage which is a blow).

Cheers for now.

 
At 7:50 pm, Blogger Colin Gray said...

Neil H, I read one of your posts which implored fans from the UK to visit Fenway at all costs. Well, I have only ever been to two baseball stadiums; the old Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta (dad's cousin lives there, hence I'm a Braves fan) and Fenway Park. I was on holiday in 1990 with a friend. We were staying 5 nights in Boston, 2 in NY and then visiting my dad's cousin in Atlanta for 10 days. The day we arrived in Boston, the first thing I had to do was check out if the Sox were at home - remember this is way before the internet where I could have just logged into MLB.com and ordered tickets! The concierge at our hotel confirmed that yes, they were at home that night (against the Twins) but it was their last home game before they went on the road. He gave us directions how to get to Fenway and wished us luck in getting tickets, warning us that most games sell-out. Well, we walked to Fenway to be told that the game was a sell-out and the only tickets available were "standing room only". No matter, we bought 2.

Great decision, the Sox came back from 4-0 down to win 5-4 in front a frenzied crowd. It was also an historic night, 9 double plays turned which equalled the ALL TIME record - magic. So yeah, I have experienced the Fenway magic and would love to again (perhaps from a sitting position though!!).

 
At 3:52 am, Blogger Neil H said...

Hi Colin,

Glad you have found the blog - hope you enjoy!

The only consolation to United losing yesterday is that my boss is a Celtic fan, so he will go easy on me in the morning!

Fenway really is a different experience. There are many other spectacular places to watch a game - and I am working my way round them - but only Fenway gets you so close to the game.

When I went to that first game back in 1996, getting good tickets was easy - the crowd that night was only 22,000+ (courtesy of Retrosheet, not my memory) - whereas now it involves the internet nightmare that is the Sox website on ticket day, or paying over the odds to brokers / ebay.

Neil

 

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