Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Official: We're All a Bunch of Pansies

From Tom Verducci at SI.com:

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino has a term for playing in the intense conditions of the Northeast: East Coast Baseball. He is on to something. In Philadelphia, Boston and New York, almost every home game carries an intensity (from fans and media) that is a close facsimile to playoff baseball. And when you do get to October, the frequently cold, wet, blustery weather provides something else to battle, too.

I started thinking about East Coast Baseball as I watched the Dodgers and Angels go 0-4 in Philadelphia and New York in the LCS, all the while looking like they were not up to the challenges of the crowd and the weather. And then I thought, is there something to West Coast teams not measuring up to East Coast Baseball in October? [...]

It turns out there have been 22 playoff matchups when a West Coast team ventured into East Coast Baseball. The result: the West Coast teams are 10-36 in East Coast Baseball venues, a .217 winning percentage. In other words, get them out of their laid-back, warm environment and into the nasty conditions in the East, and they're not even the 1962 Mets.

And it is not getting any easier. Since 2003 the West Coast teams are 3-17 in East Coast Baseball playoff environments. That's the kind of history the Dodgers are up against tonight when they play NLCS Game 5 in Philadelphia. Bundle up, Dodgers.

Interesting how cold weather = intense fans. You mean it has nothing to do with the combined $320 million the Yankees and Phillies are spending (versus $227 million for the Dodgers and Angels)? Or the propensity of East Coast-based writers to perpetuate the mythos of the East Coast Sports Fan? Oh, and where do the Red Sox — swept out of the ALDS by those softy-soft Angels — fit in?

What's your take, SoSG readers? (As if you needed something else to get you fired up for tonight's game!)

15 comments:

fanerman said...

Reason # 1759392857583928472 to ignore MSM.

fanerman said...

East Coast Baseball: proving why we're the best every single year. Except the years when the West and Central win.

Dusty Baker said...

I'm more of a shrinking violet than a pansy.

fanerman said...

Do the Marlins also play East Coast Baseball? They're on the East. But... it's not cold. I'm... confused.

Erin said...

This presumes that all teams have guys on the roster who are only from that area, and are therefore acclimated to the weather of the region. Not all Yankees are from NY, and not all Dodgers are from L.A. In fact, most teams have players from Latin American countries where the average temp never drops below 70. How can those guys possibly play well in wintry conditions?

Give me a break. It's cold for everyone. People adjust. It's not as though the Phillies play in snowstorms all year to prepare themselves for the playoffs. This feels like some cherry-picked evidence.

Matt Kemp said...

I can't stand this myth that East coast teams have better fans, better players, etc. It's a slap in the fact to someone like me who went to more than 20 Dodger games this year, never got there late or left early. The only reason that people think it's true is because it gets perpetuated by MSM, most of whom are Eastern based. There is a clear East coast bias in sports that I have come to live with, but it still makes me angry.

Mr. Customer said...

I think it's a good thing that Larry Lucchino is Red Sox President, not General Manager. C'mon Larry, a little perspective, please. I like your team, but they've had their asses handed to them by two warm-weather teams with fans that would not usually be described as as intense as your own fan base two years running.

Steve Sax said...

Very convenient how Verducci starts the clock in 2003.

Not 2002, when the Angels swept the Yankees and beat the Twins of always-frigid Minnesota, before beating the Giants in the WS. And the Giants took out the Braves on their route to the World Series.

And not 2001, when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in seven games in the World Series. Seattle beat Cleveland, and Arizona beat the Cardinals and Braves en route to their championship.

Nah, let's start looking at the data from 2003, instead.

Steve Sax said...

East Coast Baseball, home of 10 divisional teams (and 14 teams if you include Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, all of which are on Eastern time zone).

Yep, they certainly dominate, relative to West Coast Baseball, home of nine divisional teams (and seven in the Pacific time zone).

14 teams vs. 7 teams. That couldn't have anything to do with it, could it?

Dusty Baker said...

Exactly, MattKemp. I've been to 25 games this year, have invested my heart and soul and pocketbook in this team (hell, probably more investment than my 401k!), and I'm sick and tired of being represented as a fair-weather fan or any less of a fan of less than a real team.

rbnlaw said...

How about the fact that Filly and Boston play in bandboxes?
If the theory holds up, look out for the 2010 Twinkies.

Steve Sax said...

I am going to Target Fueld next year and I actually can't wait...

S.M.P said...

fact is though, less people watch baseball here than on the east coast. Thats just a fact. The fact our ratings were higher watching football last Sunday (where we don't even have a team) than the Dodger game is alarming. Maybe its just more people live on the East coast than here, I dunno but I was pretty annoyed to find out there was legitimate evidence of this kind of shit

Dusty Baker said...

May be the case re: TV ratings, SMP, but I don't consider television viewership to be a testament to the level or fervency of fan support.

el montanero said...

death, taxes, and east coast exceptionalism. although you can't blame verducci. he's from new jersey, which is very impressive to people from new jersey.