Weekend Reading: MiLB, Naming Public Transit, and Soccer Playing Styles

November 30, 2019 • #

Mapping the New MiLB Landscape

Combining baseball and maps? Sign me up. The MLB has a plan to “improve” the MiLB system costs, standards, compensation, and other things through shuttering 42 ball clubs around the country. In this piece for FanGraphs, the authors use some GIS tactics to analyze how this shakes out for baseball fans falling within those markets:

So how many Americans would see their ability to watch affiliated baseball in person disappear under MLB’s proposal? And how many would see their primary point of access shift from the relatively affordable games of the minor leagues to major league ones? To work out how the closure of these minor league teams will affect access to baseball, we went to the map. More specifically, we took the geographical center of each ZCTA (a close relative of ZIP Codes used by the Census Bureau). We calculated the distance as the crow flies from each ZCTA to each ballpark in America, both in 2019 and in MLB’s proposed new landscape.

🚇 The ‘Namewashing’ of Public Transit

Seems like a strange move for transit agencies to sell the naming rights to entire stations to private entities. Would it really raise revenues enough to make a dent in paying for operations or improving systems? Seems like the downsides outweigh the upsides here. I’m all for experimentation in improving public services, but this seems like a lazy method for raising a few million bucks.

I did learn a new handy phrase here:

There’s a phrase that urban geographers use for this private rebranding of public space: “toponymic commodification.”

Characterizing Soccer Players’ Playing Styles

Another one for the sports fan, an analysis and comparison of different players.