When your favorite baseball team misses out on the playoffs, October offers a brief free-agency in fandom. Do you temporarily switch to root for a loved one’s team, or choose to root against a rival?
For me personally, I want former Rockies players to do well. It would be fantastic to see DJ LeMahieu lift the Commissioner’s Trophy, even if he’s now wearing the wrong color of pinstripes.
But do I really have to root for the Yankees? I wanted to see if I had any other option — to see if there was any other playoff team with more former Rockies.
I started with FanGraphs data showing player totals from every season going back to 2001 (CC Sabathia is the player on a 2019 playoff roster with the earliest debut, having come on April 8, 2001 for Cleveland). I also defined “playoff roster” as only including players who made an appearance for a playoff-bound team in September of 2019, so if someone hasn’t seen the field in the last month, they’re not counted here.
I didn’t want a player with only 15 ABs to have the same weight as a player with 1,000 at-bats, so I used each player’s “appearances” for their former clubs (plate appearances as a batter plus total batters faced for pitchers, including both regular season and playoffs). Read the rest of this entry »