It must be social media season.
Within a week of each other, two independent blogs compiled a list of all Major League Baseball teams ranked by social media statistics – one based on Twitter followers and the other on Facebook “likes”.
The Nationals ranked last in both, earning them the title of “least-liked team.”
Looking simply at the numbers, it would appear that the Nationals should be last on the list. But the Sports Bog Method (aka basic math) tells a different story.
If you look at the numbers as a percentage of population, the Nationals fare much better. In an effort to keep my sanity (math makes my head hurt), I looked at just the NL East using the following criteria:
* I used the Twitter and Facebook numbers as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
* The population numbers are based on the latest census and represent only the population of the city proper for each team. (Yes, I realize that there are fans outside of each city, but let’s keep this simple.)
* For the Mets, who share a city with the Yankees, I used the NY1-Marist poll that indicates that 30 percent of the New York population is Mets fans.
* The Phillies have a Twitter following equal to 44.7 percent of the Philadelphia population and a Facebook following equal to 30 percent.
* The Braves have a Twitter following equal to 35 percent of the Atlanta population and a Facebook following equal to 260 percent (Braves fans really like Facebook)
* The Marlins have a Twitter following equal to 9 percent of the Miami population and a Facebook following equal to 61.2 percent .
* The Nats have a Twitter following equal to 5.2 percent of the D.C. population and a Facebook following equal to 23 percent .
* The Mets have a Twitter following equal to 2.9 percent of their share of New York’s population and a Facebook following equal to 19.2 percent .
Even taking into account other cities with two teams, combining the numbers for both teams in Los Angeles and Chicago, they end up with Twitter followings equal to 4 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. Both rank below the Nats and above the Mets.
If your eyes glazed over just trying to read that, here’s the bottom line: Based on simple high-school algebra, a valid argument could be made that the “least-liked” team in baseball is the Mets.
I’m sure there’s some smarty-pants math wizard out there already calculating a way to make someone else look like the least-liked team. But consider this: After last night’s 6-2 win over the Mets, I think Nats fans are “liking” their team just fine.