The Most Overexposed Teams in Baseball
In a throwaway comment in the middle of a post on Zack Greinke’s Cy Young win, Joe Posnanski asks who the 5 most overexposed teams in baseball are. For the moment, let’s bracket the question of overexposed. We can return to that at the end of the discussion of the most exposed teams. Instead of just giving an off the cuff answer, I think we can bring some statistics to bear on the question.
1. New York Yankees
Technorati ranks the top blogs on the internet, breaking them down by category. Among sports blogs, only one single team baseball blog cracks the top 10, the LoHud Yankees Blog. Among the top 10 baseball blogs, 3 Yankees blogs make the list, versus two for all other teams. They broadcast all of their games, either on the team-owned YES Network or on one of the major networks. Only the Indians also own their own TV network. No team is as exposed as the Yankees, regardless of medium.
2. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox exposure is manifested primarily through all of the sportswriters from the Boston area. Consider the impact of Bill Simmons at ESPN, Kevin Hench at MSN, Peter Gammons at ESPN, and even football writer Peter King at Sports Illustrated. Their highest rated blog, Fire Brand of the American League, comes in at only 31st on Technorati’s rankings. NESN does full coverage of Red Sox games, though it is not team owned like YES. It does have nationwide coverage through DirectTV.
3. New York Mets
The Mets edge out our next entrant for two important reasons: The Mets have one top-10 blog and 4 higher than the highest Red Sox blog. They have a very close relationship with SportsNet New York (SNY), which has nationwide exposure via DirectTV.
4. Chicago Cubs
The Cubs exposure is pushed, at least partially, by the laziness of sportswriters. A century of failure is a cheap story that can be trotted out on any occasion. They no longer have WGN showing nearly all of their games, limiting their national exposure in comparison to the Mets. They do have nearly complete coverage through regional networks. They lack the strong internet presence of the Mets, with no team blogs higher than Bleed Cubbie Blue at 46th. Nevertheless, it is impossible to glance through a newspaper or sports telecast without some mention of the dysfunctional Cubs.
5. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies could arguably be higher on this list. They have a remarkably strong internet presence, with 4 blogs higher than the first Cubs blog. They have strong regional coverage through Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, but they lack the national exposure of the top 3 and the history of #4.
What makes a team overexposed? Look at closely at the list. The Yankees and Phillies just faced off in the World Series, while the Red Sox have won 2 of the last 6 series. Those 3 teams have won 4 of the last 6 World Series. The Mets and Cubs, in contrast, have been competitive, outside of this season, but have always come up short. They, then, have the least claim to the exposure they receive. The Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets clearly outstrip the rest of the MLB in national TV coverage, and because of this I think there is a severe drop off from the exposure of the Mets to the exposure of the Cubs.
What are your thoughts? What team have I left out that dominates the airwaves and the internet more than these 5?