Monday, March 28, 2011

New Jerseys a Symptom of East Coast Bias

From Tom Verducci at

Yo, West Coast, anybody home?

Major League Baseball and the union this week released the list of the 20 most popular jerseys, according to Majestic's 2010 sales. Only two of the top 20 replicas are for players with West Coast teams, and both of them are Giants: Tim Lincecum (ranking number 10) and Buster Posey (19).

Twelve of the top 20 jerseys, including six of the top nine, play in the center of the baseball universe: the I-95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston. I'll repeat what I've been saying: baseball is a top-heavy game. The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies are the engine to the business of baseball, and the other 27 clubs are boxcars along for the ride.

The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies account for half of the top 18 jerseys: Derek Jeter (1), Alex Rodriguez (9) and Mark Teixiera (11) of the Yankees, Dustin Pedroia (8) and Jacoby Ellsbury (16) of the Red Sox and Roy Halladay (3), Chase Utley (4), Cliff Lee (5) and Ryan Howard (18) of the Phillies.

Actually, I can respect the West Coast vibe that wearing a jersey with someone else's name on it (adult sizes, anyway) might not be considered all that. But there are a couple of other issues the top 20 jersey list brings to mind:

• The West Coast has no sluggers. Of the top 30 players ranked by OPS last year, only one plays for a West Coast team this year: Aubrey Huff of the Giants, who was 18th.

• The NL is dead in its three largest markets. The New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs all had losing seasons last year -- the first time the three biggest NL markets had losing teams in the same season since 1992. None of the players from the NL teams in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago show up in the top 20 list -- yet there at number 16 is Ellsbury, a .291 hitter with 20 career home runs who never has been selected to an All-Star game and who played just 18 games last year.


MR.F said...

Well of course New Jersey has an east coast bias.

Dusto_Magnifico said...


Josh S. said...

Also, buying full-price jerseys from Majestic is for suckers. We're smarter than that.

karina said...

No Czar, Ellsbury jerseys are not popular because Red Sox fans think he's the reincarnation of Ted Williams, it's because for unexplainable reasons (at least to me) women think Ellsbury is super hot. I bet most of those jerseys are purchased by women.

I didn't know people from the West Coast like to customize jerseys! my Dodgers jersey is a number eleven with "karina" on the back.Maybe I sort of belong to the West Coast ;)

karina said...

and 11 is Manny Mota's number

Fred's Brim said...

Jacoby Ellsbury and Danny Woodhead, giving hope to New England racists!

Paul said...

I just bought a jersey at 30% off and felt like i spent too much (my martin one had at least 9 more good years) It is a Maury Wills jeresy. If I was a true fan I would have purchased a Xavier Paul jersey.

spank said...

I'd do Ellsbury.

Fred's Brim said...

@Spank, you'd do Angela Lansbury!