The question of whom to root for in the World Series has been on my mind a lot lately. In Washington and Baltimore, we got our wish – those who squashed our ALCS and NLCS dreams were punished and not permitted to advance to the World Series. But the victory is only bitter-sweet, for we are drained of energy and devoid of baseball spirit after the crushing defeats of the Orioles and Nationals in their respective division series. So now many of us just don’t know who to root for in the World Series.
I have to admit. I don’t know a lot about the Detroit Tigers or the San Francisco Giants. I know Verlander and Fielder of the Tigers did cute Chevy baseball commercials, and the Giants were exciting to watch in the 2010 World Series. But that’s about it. However, being the Baseball Sociologist, my natural instinct is to turn to data gathering and analysis to assist my decision-making:
|2012 Won-Lost Record (regular season)||94-68||88-74|
|Attendance: % change between 2011 and 2012||-0.3%||11.0%|
|Attendance as a percentage of the population||5%||5%|
|Population: % change between 2011 and 2010||0.9%||-1.0%|
|Per capita income||$45,478||$15,062|
|% in poverty||11.9%||34.5%|
|Unemployment rate (2010)||9.6%||23.1%|
|Bachelor’s degree or higher||51.2%||11.8%|
|% Vacant housing units||9.8%||25.8%|
|# Hall of Famers||55||21|
|# Times in the World Series||20||9|
|# World Series wins||8||4|
|Last World Series win||2010||1984|
(Data Sources: baseball-reference.com, census.gov, bls.gov)
I’m leaning toward rooting for Detroit – the city that is. Despite tough economic times, they’ve continued to support their team (an 11% increase in attendance since 2011). Although the jury is still out on the economic impact of baseball, some experts believe that the World Series will have an impact of $26-28 million or more on the city of Detroit. At the very least, the World Series should have a positive impact on the city by boosting pride, bringing media attention, and bringing people together to root for their hometown team.
Happy World Series!