Remember last year when Los Angeles Dodger Manager Don Mattingly claimed that the Dodgers were “America’s Team” ("The Dodgers: America's Team?")? I argued then that Mattingly truly believed that, he's remarkably out of touch the rest of the baseball world. At the time I didn't have any empirical evidence to back up my claim, but now, thanks to the folks at Facebook and New York Times, I do. As many of you know, Facebook users often make their team preferences public on Facebook, and the New York Times used aggregated data provided by Facebook in order to create a geography of baseball fandom ("Up Close on Baseball's Borders"), which is pictured above. (The interactive map is even more interesting to play with ("A Map of Baseball Nation")). One doesn't have to be a genius to see that the Dodgers's fan base doesn't extend too far from Chavez Ravine. In fact, their rivals to the north (i.e., my beloved Giants) command a far greater one than do they. Oh well. As the Beatles reminded us many years ago, money can't buy you love.
We can learn something else from this map. There's a reason why the Oakland A's have a hard time selling seats and the Giants don't. The A's simply don't have the fans that the Giants do. In fact, there are more Giant fans in Oakland than there are A's fans. And based on the map below, it doesn't look like a move by the A's to San Jose will help.