March 31, 2014
As another baseball season opens, the Facebook data team has gone and put numbers to baseball fandom, generating a map of which teams are most popular in every county in the US (according to user data).
The Northwest was pretty much how I expected, with the Seattle Mariners dominating most of the region (including Hood River County). The San Francisco Giants have a sizable enclave in southern Oregon.
However the part that confused me was the swath of pink in south-central Oregon and parts of the Southwest. A couple of commenters on Deadspin pointed out that that, while the colors are wrong on the chart, that these had to be Red Sox fans. This makes much more sense than a western enclave of Cincinnati Reds fans, and is certainly the Jacoby Ellsbury effect. However, will all those fans now become part of the Yankee's evil empire? I hope the Facebook data team takes another peak halfway through the Madras centerfielder's mega contract with the Yankees.
Also of note, while Southern Oregon has pockets of Oakland Raider fans, the Oakland Athletics don't enjoy the same reach as the football team with which they share their stadium. In fact, they don't even register in their own county, being completely overshadowed by the San Francisco Giants.