The Network of Baseball Blogs

In the last 15 years or so, there has been a shift in baseball management to a more sophisticated form of statistical analysis called sabermetrics. It was the focus of the book and movie Moneyball and each year more and more teams are using it to make decisions. Interestingly, a lot of the initial work was done by baseball fans who were not associated with Major League Baseball at all. Perhaps because of the success that amateurs had in promoting sabermetrics, there are a lot of baseball blogs today.

In 2010, two articles on showed the connections between different baseball blogs (Article 1, Article 2). First the author defined a connection as any instance of a blog post being linked to by another blog. The first graph he got was too dense in the center, so he decided to redefine a connection as any time a blog linked to another blog three or more times. The graph that this definition generates is a lot clearer.

At the center of the graph are blogs that are devoted to general MLB news. Most of them are use sabermetric analysis. They are not devoted to one particular team, but might get some of their information or ideas from team-specific blogs, requiring them to link to the blog. Outside of the center are the team blogs that link to blogs associated with the same team. At the very edge are team blogs that are linked to, but don’t often link to other blogs, even other blogs that cover the same team.

I was surprised how isolated team blogs were. The only blogs with significant external links are general news blogs. Before looking at the graphs, I would have expected the blogs of one team, say the Boston Red Sox, to link to their division rivals like the New York Yankees or Tampa Bay Rays.