I was looking for an idea for a post and looked through some of my old posts for possible follow-ups/updates. I stumbled upon this interesting one from July 12, 2008: The FOMI (Fat Old Man Index).
Ryan noticed back in 2008 that the White Sox were by far the heaviest team in the majors, averaging 228 pounds as a team. I tried to take it a step farther by calculating team Body Mass Indexes (BMI) but found out that just about every team in baseball averaged 6’1″ except for a few that were 6’2″ or 6’0″. So just for fun, I threw in average age and multiplied it by the BMI to come up with the Fat Old Man Index. The White Sox still topped this list.
My main reason for updating this stat for 2012 is that I wanted to see how much has changed since 2008. The teams that spend big money which usually translated into fat old guys changed a lot since then. For example, the Marlins were one of the lowest spending teams in 2008 and are now one of the highest. Also, I noticed that the majors in general have a gotten a lot younger over the past few years, as it seems that a lot of young players have replaced old guys who can’t find work anymore. I wanted to see if that was actually true statistically.
Team heights have not changed much since 2008. In 2008, there were 7 teams that averaged 6’2″, 21 that were 6’1″ and 2 that were 6’0″. The 2012 numbers are almost identical, only that there are now 8 6’2″ teams and 20 6’1″ teams (The Royals and Blue Jays are now the 2 “short” teams). In the weight category, the average weight in 2008 was 208.6, while in 2012 it’s a slightly lighter 207.4. The heaviest team in the league is the Marlins at 216 pounds, and the lightest are the Padres, at 201.
Age is what really surprised me, because of how true my casual observation was. In 2008, the average age was 29.0, with 7 teams having an average age of 30 or older. In 2012, the average age is only 27.7, and not a single team has an average age over 30. The oldest team is the Phillies, at 29.7, followed closely by the Yankees, and the youngest team is the Astros, at 26.5, which is a huge change from 2008, where they were the oldest team.
So without further ado, the team that tops of the FOMI for 2012 is…
….the Philadelphia Phillies, thanks mostly to being the oldest team in baseball this year. The tops teams from 2008, the White Sox and Astros, fell to #23 and #26, respectively. The Padres are at the bottom of the list, being the lightest and one of the youngest teams in baseball. I was very surprised to see the Tigers come in at #28, considering they have a decent stock of fat guys in Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. It’s also surprising to see 2 of the highest paid teams, the Rangers and Tigers, near the bottom of the list. In general though, the oldest and fattest teams are the highest paid. The top 10 teams (which include the Pirates) have an average salary of $118 million while the other 20 teams average only $84 million (Similar to $116 million/$76 million in 2008).
Just like last time, it doesn’t seem like there is much of a correlation between being fat and old and on-field success. It’s just something fun to look at.