Cincinnati Reds

If you’ve been reading The Study’s wall-to-wall Opening Day coverage today, you’ve learned that today’s baseball fans are a vengeance-hungry, price-sensitive bunch. But was it always that way? What about the fans of yesteryear? A fascinating 1990 study provides rare insight into the makeup of some of the game’s earliest fans—people who attended Cincinnati Reds games in the late 1880s.

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Ron Paul has recently suggested there was only a “total of about eight or ten sentences” of “bad stuff” in the newsletters that he regularly used to publish under his name. This assertion was patently false: As TNR has shown, the newsletters contained dozens of statements marked by bigotry and conspiratorial thinking.

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Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals superstar (and longtime scourge of my own Cincinnati Reds), must be feeling pretty popular this week. On Monday, the Marlins reportedly offered him a ten-year contract worth over $200 million—enough, they hope, to peel him away from St. Louis, which offered him a nine-year contract worth $195 million at the start of last season. The Cardinals are scheduled to meet with Pujols today, and it’s likely they’re preparing for a bidding war. Is a decade-long investment in Pujols worth it? Maybe not, according to a 2008 paper by two economists.

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O Brother

Something wonderful, or terrible, is taking place in Philadelphia. The city's sports fans, whose only consistent love has been for an inanimate object--the statue of Rocky--are becoming warm and fuzzy. Sort of. Kind of. Well, about as nice as they are ever going to get in Philly, where fans have made their national mark with nastiness, boos, and a perverse fondness for losing. But now the city is confronted with a success story greater than any since the signing of the Constitution (which wasn't so pretty, either). It's the Philadelphia Phillies, of course.

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