Who Ya Gonna Root For?


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:

Stats San Francisco Detroit
2012 Won-Lost Record (regular season) 94-68 88-74
Team payroll $129,400,000 $136,500,000
2012 Attendance 3,377,371 3,028,033
2012 Attendance/game 41,696 37,383
Attendance: % change between 2011 and 2012 -0.3% 11.0%
2011 Population 812,826 706,585
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!

~ baseballrebecca

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