A new study examining comments posted to sports news stories by fans of the nation’s Major League Baseball clubs finds that New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies fans fail basic grammar while Royals fans give their opinions most often.
The Wall Street Journal recently enlisted the aide of the proof-reading company Grammarly to evaluate the comments sections of stories on each MLB team’s website to see how fans fared on grammar.
According to Grammarly, “Mets fans had the most errors, making 13.9 mistakes per 100 words.”
The second-worst grammarians were fans of the Philadelphia Phillies with 13.5 mistakes per 100 words.
Amusingly, the five teams with the best writers may not be the best judges of baseball. The top five grammarians (in order the Indians, Padres, White Sox, Mariners, Cubs) are fans of teams that don’t have much by way of winning records. As the Journal trenchantly notes, these fans “root for teams that have collectively won four titles in the past 100 years.”
The spelling service also ranked which teams are the most chatty online and found that far and away fans of the Kansas City Royals are the most eager to add their comments to stories online.
A few years ago Phillies relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon, who had only then just been traded to Philadelphia, assured the city that Phillies fans were much smarter than those of his last team, the Boston Red Sox.
Grammarly’s findings tend to show that Papelbon spoke hastily. While the Phillies came in as the second worst writers in the MLB, Red Sox fans came in as the 11th worst grammarians. So, Phillies fans seem far less in command of the English language, at least according to this survey.
One wonders what Mr. Papelbon, on the trading block, thinks now?
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org