During the All-Star break, we asked fans to answer two simple questions: “With regard to their favorite MLB team, how locked in are you and what’s your mood?”
One hundred and twenty three baseball fans responded to our survey, crossing twenty six of the thirty fan bases. It may not be a scientifically significant sample, but we’ll take these responses at face value and peer voyeuristically into the lives of other fans, as much as two answers will allow us.
You can view votes, averages, and anonymous comments using this link.
Among the responses to the survey, only the Brewers, Marlins, Royals and Rays received no love, even though respondents were permitted, and even encouraged, to answer the survey multiple times should they follow multiple teams. The Astros, Padres and Rockies slices represent 1 response each while, at the other end of the spectrum, the Red Sox received 16 votes, the Cubs 11, and the Giants 9.
Fans who responded were first asked: “How locked in are you with regard to following your favorite team right now on a scale of 1 to 10? A 1 indicates you’re not following the team at all, 5 indicates you have a basic understanding of the team’s place in the standings and important players and 10 indicates you follow you’re following the team’s every up-and-down and can recite the current roster almost without looking.” Here is the total range of responses received:
Unsurprisingly, for a survey answered mostly by the rabid baseball fans in the Effectively Wild Facebook group, the average locked in response was a very high 8.5, with a median score of 9. 55% of responses were 9 or 10. And here are the individual team averages (click to enlarge):
All four Orioles fans who responded ranked their locked in feeling as a 10. It makes sense Orioles fans might be on pins and needles this season. Following 6 consecutive 90+ loss seasons, the Orioles have made the playoffs in 2 of the last 4 seasons and sit in first place in the AL East at the time of this post. In 2006, Miguel Tejada led the team with 4.5 Baseball-Reference WAR at season’s end. As of July 27th, Manny Machado lead the team with 4.6 WAR this season.
Said one fan: “The O’s have surprised the stat heads for 5 seasons now. It’s time Showalter and Duquette get some gd respect. Yeah, the starters suck, and if they don’t hit a home run they’ll probably lose the game. But they always hit the home run. So…”
Mets fans felt the most locked in among teams that had more than the median 4 responses with their average response of 9.57. They were also the most pessimistic fans among the high locked in group, with an average mood response of 6, lower than the median team average response of 6.25. “I’m still buzzing off the high of last year’s World Series appearances but while the team has done pretty well so far, I’m concerned that injury issues will hamper the team from achieving a similar level of success and making another deep playoff run.”
Fans were then asked to answer the following question about their current mood:
“What’s your mood in regard to your favorite team on a scale of 1 to 10. A 1 indicates extreme displeasure and fits of agony with regard to the team, a 5 would indicate mixed feelings and a 10 would indicate extreme pleasure with all aspects of the organization.”
The totals for each possible response are listed below:
The average response was 6.31 with a median of 7. Only 43% of respondents answered below a 7, making for a very happy group of fans who responded to the survey.
The two Phillies fans who answered averaged a 9 in regard to their mood, making them the happiest fan base in regard to the state of their favorite franchise. It may sound surprising for a team with a .450 winning percentage to respond in such a positive way but, if the Phillies can limit themselves to only one 90 loss season during their rebuild, it would be a far quicker return to relevance than we’ve seen from other recent rebuilding clubs. One of their fans explained: “Competent front office, exciting farm system. The stop gap players we have are somewhat entertaining. Our young pitching staffs makes me more invested in each start.”
Other than the Phillies, no team with multiple responses and a losing record registered above a 7. The five Twins fans who responded averaged a mood response of 2, beating out the 4 Angels fans (2.75 average) for the most unhappy group to respond. One Twins fan explained his responses: “Fascinated by the trainwreck. Hoping for better things but dreading they will be just promising enough to make no changes.”
Three fans, representing the Cubs, Nationals, and Red Sox, answered 10 to both the locked in and mood questions. One of the two Diamondbacks fans to respond answered in the most extreme split, rating their locked in status as a 10 but their mood as a 2: “I root for an organization that makes boneheaded moves on the regular. Even when things are successful, it’s very easy to foresee the organization overvaluing bad players and setting the franchise back.”
Other choice comments:
Blue Jays: “Most successful period of time for the Jays since around when I was born. Attendance up. Non-fans even talk about the Jays. I saw Jays gear being worn by Canadians all over Europe. They’re in the division race. However, they’ve only been this good for a little while and the ability to sustain this and a willingness to carry larger payrolls based on increased revenue must be proven.”
Cubs: “we were amazing but then all our pitchers forgot how to do good and now i fear the worst”
Indians: “Best Cleveland team in a long time, and we still haven’t come down off the high of the Cavs. It’s actually, dare I say, fun to be from Cleveland. The team is fun to watch, a lot of young guys doing well.”
Red Sox: “Sox have a pretty good offense, but mediocre pitching. Even that considered, if Dombo blows up the farm for some assclown like Teheran, I’m moving to Baltimore. Don’t touch my Moncada. Don’t touch my Benintendi. Don’t touch my Espinoza.”
I expect these moods and locked in feelings won’t be static. As teams start to sell-off at the deadline, and the minor league season winds down, I’ll be curious to see if the “locked in” responses remain this high. On the mood front, we’ll see how winners and losers at the trade deadline change their responses. Within a day of closing the survey to responses, one Angels fan already wanted to change his response after Nick Tropeano appeared to join Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney on the Tommy John shelf:
I think we’ve all been there, Angels fans. Hang in there. None of the fans of recent rebuilding teams got to watch Mike Trout play baseball while their favorite team was losing two-thirds of their games.
Once again, you can view the full responses, minus the names of the respondents, via this link. Feel free to leave any comments on the survey responses in the box below.Next post: Could Cash for Prospects Become a Deadline Staple?
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