4/29/2010

Ridiculous WSJ Article

[Warning: This is so completely different from what I usually post, I even surprised my wife with its randomness]

The WSJ published an article about the most hated teams in baseball, using an algorithm developed by Nielsen Co. According to them, the Yankees are only the fifth most hated team in baseball, which is simply impossible. To demonstrate, I came up with two simple algorithms of my own: the hatred index (HI) and the adjusted hatred index (AHI). The hatred index is the total number of hits in a Google search of ["the hated {team name}" baseball] (the last term would exclude, for example, incidences of "the hated Indians" that refer to Custer's Last Stand or "the hated Reds" that refer to the McCarthy era). The AHI divides the HI by the number of hits generated by ["{city}{team name}"]. Thus, a team that has 10 hates out of 100 total references will have a higher AHI than a team with 1,000 hates out of 1 million total references (.1 to .01). Admittedly it's not perfect or scientific, but I believe that it will yield a fairly accurate view. Now to the stats.
You can see my spreadsheet here. It turns out that the Yankees are only the second most hated team (HI) in MLB - the SF Giants take that title, surprisingly. The Yankees fare even better according to AHI (because of the large number of 'neutral' hits). Perhaps the presence of three rivals (Dodgers, A's, and Yankees from back in the day) and a monstrous scandal contributed to the Giants' poor showing. Teams that are recent expansions or are from the Midwest are the least hated, generally (Chicago excepted, presumably due to the intense internal rivalry), and bad teams tend to not be hated.
Still, I think that something must be wrong if the Yankees do not come out on top. Perhaps I should have searched using "damn" instead of "hated." Also surprisingly, the Rays have such a low AHI due to a very high number of general hits - about three times as many as any other team, for some reason. There must be some reason for that; it's certainly not fan base.

Here's the full listing according to AHI, from most hated to least hated.


Team HI HI Rank AHI AHI Rank
Giants 42900 1 0.0136 1
Yankees  38500 2 0.005 4
Mets 34500 3 0.0079 2
White Sox 24300 4 0.0062 3
Cubs 18000 5 0.0029 9
Cardinals 17500 6 0.0037 6
Dodgers 14800 7 0.004 5
Braves 14000 8 0.0034 7
Red Sox 12500 9 0.0018 12
Phillies 11000 10 0.0024 11
Rangers 6910 11 0.0031 8
Angels 6020 12 0.0025 10
Twins 2260 13 0.0004 14
Tigers 927 14 0.0002 17
Astros 920 15 0.00029 15
Orioles 878 16 0.00026 16
A's 739 17 0.0011 13
Brewers 703 18 0.0002 18
Indians 490 19 0.00008 19
Reds 312 20 0.000066 22
Mariners 213 21 0.000072 20
Blue Jays 192 22 0.000067 21
Padres 158 23 0.000061 23
Marlins 55 24 0.000021 24
Pirates 37 25 0.000006 27
Rays 31 26 0.000001 30
Nationals 27 27 0.000008 26
Diamondbacks 21 28 0.000009 25
Royals 10 29 0.000004 28
Rockies 6 30 0.000002 29
Copyright 2010 by Elli Fischer/ ADDeRabbi
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