Killing Time

I’ve got baseball on the brain, but at the same time I’m trying not to spend too much time and effort over analyzing every little thing about today’s game.  So instead I revisisited one of my favorite baseball sites, Flip Flop Fly Ball to see what latest and greatest graphs and charts were available to peruse.  And much to my delight, there was a bobblehead chart!  Check it.    

The first thing that came to my mind was which two teams gave away a bobblehead when the Giants were visiting.  Not an easy thing to figure out without researching every teams’ bobblehead activity, which is what I ultimately ended up doing.  (Like I said, this day is crawling way too slowly towards 7 PM!)   So using Flip Flop’s own key, I made my own chart:
2010bobbleheadgrid.jpg
I found a few discrepancies in Flip Flop’s chart, but for the most part they’re the same, square-wise.  I added all the applicable teams though, so on the left side you can see what team was visiting during bobblehead day, and on the right you can see what teams gave away a bobblehead while being visiting. 
I would have assumed that most teams would decide to give away a bobblehead when they’re scheduled to play a bad team in an attempt to generate ticket sales.  The Phillies giving away a Roy Halladay bobblehead on the day they have to play the Pirates makes perfect sense.  (And photos of the sucker blew up all over Twitter, so obviously it worked!)  But then there’s the Dodgers giving away a bobblehead when the Giants came to play, and what would fill seats better than a Dodgers-Giants game?  
Note also that the Braves, Red Sox, Rockies and Yankees are too cool for bobbleheads (or draw enough ticket sales without gimmicks) and the White Sox was the only team to give away a bobble when the Red Sox and Yankees came to town (not enough of a draw for Chicago, I guess).  
I wonder if there’s a bobblehead website…
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How We Do 2010

With the real season coming up here quick, let’s take a moment to see what we look like in the grand scheme of things before we add another year of numbers.  (AKA, another excuse to make charts in Excel!) 

w-l2010part1.jpgFrom beginning of time to last season, the Giants rank #2 in the league for win percentage.  Not bad really.  The Yankees are the winner, of course, and it doesn’t look like they will be dethroned anytime soon.  Dodgers are catching up, but we still got a decent enough gap there.  (And just as an FYI, we rank #1 in total actual wins, but since not every
team started in the 1800s, that standing isn’t exactly a fair comparison.)

And since I was at it, here’s the rest of the league, for my imaginary readers whose team didn’t make the top 15:

w-l2010part2.jpgI’m betting Rays fans are hard core. 

Now about some head-to-head?  How do we compare to other teams on a face-to-face level? 

head-to-head-2010national.jpgGiants are still beating out everyone else in the National League.  They have more wins vs losses than each and every team, though it looks like the Dodgers are a few wins away from pushing that bar to the left.  But that’s what makes good rivalry, right?  Who wants to have a rivalry with a team that sucks?

head-to-head-2010american.jpgAmerican League is kicking our butts a bit harder.  Of course, we face them much less, which makes each loss much more powerful than the National League chart.  Looks like 6 out of 14 teams are beating us more than we’re beating them, including the A’s, which…sucky!  Still above average though.

All-in-all not a bad state of affairs.  Again though, this is over the Giants entire history, so I’m betting a lot of their momentum was built back in the day. Best make sure we keep things going so we can stay on top, eh?

Salary vs. Performance

I came across this cool applet that displays a team’s salary by year and compares/contrasts it to their performance for the same year. You can slide the date bar on top around to see how your team did throughout the season, but here’s a screen shot for the end of 2009:

salaryvsperformance2009.jpgI don’t know how accurate this information is, or what to even take from it really. I keep reading here and there about how money makes teams in the MLB, but this chart doesn’t necessarily confirm that.  Although the Yankees pay the most and are #1, so there’s that.  But there are also a lot of red lines (bad performances) in the top 10 salary positions, so maybe money isn’t everything.  At least the Giants appear to have used their money wisely! 

Facebook Wars: The League

Last war, I swear, and this one’s all out.  Let’s see how the Giants fair in the National League:

National League Fans
Arizona Diamondbacks 57,822
Atlanta Braves 209,828
Chicago Cubs 446,474
Cincinnati Reds 72,063
Colorado Rockies 89,973
Florida Marlins 74,655
Houston Astros 102,833
Los Angeles Dodgers 118,844
Milwaukee Brewers 133,330
New York Mets 155,838
Philadelphia Phillies 272,750
Pittsburgh Pirates 59,735
San Diego Padres 58,558
San Francisco Giants 300,691
Saint Louis Cardinals 243,610
Washington Nationals 38,962

And the winner is…

nlfans.jpg
Alas, Chicago takes it, but second place for the Giants, not bad!  Even with the Phillies headed for the World Series, they still fall into 3rd place.  Nice!

Now let’s look at that other League we only care about once a year:

American League Fans
Baltimore Orioles 78,528
Boston Red Sox 908,460
Chicago White Sox 186,300
Cleveland Indians 121,942
Detroit Tigers 197,837
Kansas City Royals 98,031
Los Angeles Angels 79,211
Minnesota Twins 211,973
New York Yankees 1,018,320
Oakland Athletics 186,981
Seattle Mariners 101,736
Tampa Bay Rays 93,549
Texas Rangers 98,296
Toronto Blue Jays 97,056

And the winner is:

alfans.jpg
Shocker…

How about if you mix them all together?

leaguefans1to15.jpg
leaguefans16to30.jpg

So 4th place for the Giants overall.  Not bad, and way better than I expected, for some reason.  Again, I have no idea what Facebook pages mean in terms of representing reality, but the Giants made the top five!  Who could ask for more?  I think what we really learned here is that I have way too much time on my hands.