If you were to survey a random group of 1,000 baseball fans about their most hated team, I suspect the Yankees would be the most frequent answer. There are just so many reasons to hate them. They buy their team via free agency. They have an unmatched payroll. They win, a lot. And their fans have developed a sense of entitled arrogance. I think this picture sums up how fans of other teams view Yankees fans.
According to a recent study, though, there are other teams that face a bit more net hate than the Yankees. David Biderman of The Wall Street Journal describes a survey conducted by Nielsen Co. — the company that determines television ratings with their set-top boxes. They developed an algorithm that searches the internet to determines the positive and negative reactions to various brands. Among baseball teams, the Yankees somehow did not score the lowest.
That honor belongs to the Cleveland Indians with a score of 0.9 on the -5 to 5 scale. The Red Sox were the next most hated team at 1.1. You have to get past the Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros before you get to the Yankees, in the No. 5 spot, at 1.8. The Mets rank as the ninth most hated team, and our very own Ben Kabak has a quote in the article regarding that.
“Even Yankee fans don’t hate the Mets these days,” says Benjamin Kabak, a writer for the River Avenue Blues Yankees blog. “We just feel bad for them.”
I suspect this survey suffers from a volume issue. Are the Indians, Reds, and Astros really more hated than the Yankees? Obviously not. The issue, I think, is that there is so much positive reaction to the Yankees that it offsets a lot of the negative remarks. Again, I’m not sure of the exact algorithm, but I’m pretty sure that the positive reactions from the large Yankees fan base played a big part in their ranking. Compare that to the fan bases of the Indians, Reds, and Astros, all of which have experienced a few losing seasons lately.