Bad News for the Phillie Phanatic

Tough: coming in 122nd out of 122 teams. Tougher: Being edged out of 121st place by the New York Knicks.

PhilliePhanaticLast MLB off-season, the Philadelphia Phillies offered a playful take on the viral music video “What Does the Fox Say?” But with 2015 spring training just around the corner, there is new information that could virtually stump the notion of “What’s the Phanatic Say?”

Per Washington Post sports blogger Dan Steinberg, not only did the Phillies come in last (#122) on ESPN The Magazine’s analytics ranking of North American professional sports teams. But the team immediately ahead of them is… the New York Knicks:

The magazine has the Philadelphia Phillies ranked 122nd out of 122 teams, the New York Knicks ranked 121st, and the Washington Redskins ranked 120th, meaning last in the NFL. (Of course, you can’t apply analytics to intangibles, which is why this whole enterprise is not at all fair.)

Now, it’s not entirely clear how franchises are being ranked, at least in the paper copy of the magazine. The introduction explains that the magazine “unleashed our experts — ESPN reporter Kevin Seifert (NFL), ESPN Insiders Kevin Pelton (NBA) and Craig Custance (NHL), former Mets stats guru Ben Baumer (MLB) and an army of researchers — on all 122 teams in a quest to rank each on the strength of its analytics staff, its buy-in from execs and coaches, its investment in biometric data, and how much its approach is predicated on analytics.”

In the same fashion that the New York Times recently decided to offer their Knicks beat writer some short-term respite, perhaps the Phanatic can take Opening Day off.

[Photo via:]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.