December 03, 2002


THOME CAN YOU HEAR ME?: Unlike Minnesota, it was a great sports weekend for Philadelphia. First the Eagles beat the reeling Rams despite starting Mr. McFeeley at quarterback, and then this morning the Phillies signed the year's #1 free agent, Jim Thome, to a six-year deal. The deal means that the Phils will likely be a contender in the NL East in 2003, and also that they will probably be referred to from now on as a "large-market team," as though a million people suddenly moved to the city overnight.
Despite Philadelphia being the fourth-largest television market in North America, I've never once heard that phrase to describe them. I have, however, heard it used numerous times to describe Thome's former team, the Cleveland (Baseball Team) Indians, even though Cleveland as a city is considerably smaller than Philly. This is because the sports media is lazy, and doesn't know the difference between "large-revenue" and "large-market. Throughout the '90s Cleveland and Baltimore (along with New York) were almost universally called large-market because they made lots of money from new stadiums and thus always signed major free agents and competed for championships. Philadelphia didn't have a high-revenue stadium and never signed free agents or fielded a competitive team after '93, so they never got the large-market label despite being, literally, a large market. Maybe now that the Phillies are improving and the Indians and Orioles are reeling, the sportswriters can start to get it right.

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 3, 2002 04:21 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?