The Yankees might not be as hated as you think


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.


  1. poster says:

    …Nah, I hate the Mets. A lot.

  2. bexarama says:

    Who the heck hates the Indians, Astros, and Reds? Other than God and their fans.

    • I think a lot of Native American groups hate the Indians too. This guy is not the most tasteful of team mascots.

      • Wisdom. says:

        It’s a cartoon character indian…. what’s the big deal.

        • Are you an American Indian? If you were, do you see how you might view things differently?

          • poster says:

            I see what he mans though. As an Italian, I wouldn’t be offended at all at a cartoon image of a mobster.

            That being said, I also totally understand why that logo would irk you.

            • Still, there’s a difference between Italian media characterizations and Indian media characterizations. One is more prevalent and pernicious.

              Italians were “hot blooded” and “violent”. Indians were “soulless savages”. There’s an intensity issue.

              • poster says:

                True, I guess. The Godfather also kind of made the mafia seem far less ruthless then they really were. The mafia were (and as far as I know is, though they’re much less powerful) a ruthless, coldblooded killer of an organization. They were MUCH more corrupt than the Godfather makes them seem.

                That being said, I don’t think the cartoon Indian is making them look like “savages”. But again, I could see why it would irk people. I can’t really get on anybody’s case for being annoyed with the logo, it was made w/o any consideration at all of what actual Indians would think.

              • Ed says:

                I understand your point, but, at this point isn’t the “soulless savages” characterization a couple generations outdated?

                If anything, I’d say for the past few decades they’ve been portrayed rather sympathetically. Growing up in the 80′s/90′s I can’t really remember any negative portrayals, and movie treatment was positive things like Dances with Wolves. School covered them in fairly a positive light.

                Really, the only remotely negative connotation I can remember at all was my parents talking about playing Cowboys and Indians growing up.

            • If the name of the team was “the Gangsters” yeah, I wouldn’t mind that. But if the name was “The Italians” or some variation thereof, I’d be annoyed.

          • Wisdom. says:

            actually my grandmother was Native American, so ugh guess what that makes me?

        • I guess you missed Cultural Sensitivity Training Day.

      • The Cleveland Indians franchise makes the Washington Redskins franchise look warm, cuddly, sensitive, and politically correct.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

          Stereotypes are fun. University of Notre Dame used to be called “The Lazy, Druken, Shifty, Pasty-Skinned, Fighting Irish”, but it was too hard to put that logo on a polo shirt.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

        If I remember correctly, the Braves old mascot, “Chief Knockahoma” wasn’t that offensive, until John Rocker suggested they change it to “Chief Knockahomo”.

        I’ll be here all week. Try the veal. Tip your bartender and waitresses.

    • JGS says:

      I’m guessing the Astros getting universally skewered by pretty much everyone for their offseason had something to do with it

  3. Rey22 says:

    The Indians? But they’re so…..irrelevant.

  4. So to clarify and expand on my quote, it was part of a larger discussion I was having with Biderman about the Mets’ recent struggles as a franchise. My overall point was that the Mets and their fans hate the Yankees and their fans more than we hate them by a long shot. Furthermore, I was saying that, as a baseball fan in New York, I’d much rather see the Mets be a legitimately good team and a competitor with the Yanks than a bumbling bunch of baseball players.

    But yeah, in a nutshell: Mets fans hate the Yankees. Yankee fans don’t really dwell too much on the Mets.

  5. Wisdom. says:

    Meet Phillies fans…. They like to talk about how the Yankees buy everything.

  6. Beamish says:

    Maybe the Indians, Reds, and Astros are not really “more hated” and it is simply as case of a delta in a smaller samples but I will easily accept that the Red Sox are “more hated” than the Yankees.

    ESPN has made me hate more sports and sports figures than any single media entity in sports. And they are biggest blabber mouths of “Red Sox Nation” so I fully believe more of the country is actively sick of the Sawx than the Yankees.

    • Wisdom. says:

      Yeah they oversold the Sawx Wagon big time. Makes you look at everyone in a Sawx hat like they’re an arrogant prick.

      • Steve H says:

        There’s certainly something to be said for that. Nationally, the Yankees were clearly hated, but the Sox winning twice, the Sox/Yankees rivalry becoming a bigger deal across the country, and Joe West have made the Sox hated quite a bit. John Henry complaining about money with a $170 million payroll certainly can’t help either. The Yankees are still the big bad bully, but the Sox have been dragged into it with them now.

  7. Anksy says:

    How could anyone hate the Sawx? They’re so…gritty! And they’re leader is Captain America!

  8. Steve H says:

    They should retake the poll. Minnesotan’s and Philadelphian’s undoubtedly hate the Yankees more now as they forced the Twins and Phillies to overpay for Mauer and Howard.

  9. pat says:

    Deadspin offered its own explanation of these strange results-

    Really? Who hates the Indians? They haven’t won in a decade. They don’t have any despised players. We’re forced to conclude that the algorithm is flawed, and it’s simply picking up on people hating real, non-baseball Indians. (Dot or feather? The presence of the Reds in third place suggests the latter.)

    Kinda makes sense to me. There absolutely nop doubt in my mind that the Yanks are the most hated franchise in sports. I doubt the algorithm the WSJ used can decipher the context of certain phrases.

  10. Sea Man says:

    I miss being the big bad Yankees, I always liked being hated and having everyone pissed off when the team won. Made things more fun when I had new outlets for my assholery. Hell, that’s the only reason I vote Republican.

  11. CS Yankee says:

    I think the Yankee thing is more envy than hate.

    They do so much good “quietly” (VTech,hurricane relief, etc), haven’t blabbed like Henry about being a victim, and have their own standards (not giving Obama Mr. October’s #, but giving him a signed #27).

    Throw in the loyalty to keeping proven vets on the team (Red Sox just don’t) and having retired players come around for functions and they are a step above all else.

  12. steve s says:

    Pretty ironic day to be saying that some Yankee fans just feel sorry for the Mets. Winning 9 out of 10 and leaping ahead of the Phils is a pretty fair accomplishment for this early on in 2010. If Yanks lose tonight you will be hearing on the FAN more than a few pent-up Met fans busting Yankee fans chops with some of it (based on the responses above) constituting fair payback.

  13. phughesisgod says:

    First off, lol at the quote from Ben. When I read that quote, I yelled out “HAH! BURN!”

    Secondly, I hate the Mets, but I respect them. I cant hate them too much since my whole family besides me are huge Mets fans. It used to make for some interesting discussions at family get togethers. Now, they wont even say anything since their team is terrible. I hate the Mets, and I really cant say I feel bad for them, though. They bought this upon themselves with firing a good manager and replacing him with a shitty one. And a shitty manager combined with a shitty GM makes for a 92 loss team. Plus, my friends who are Mets fans make it impossible for me to feel bad for the Mets with their complete ignorance and stubborness.

  14. karlkole says:

    “” That honor belongs to the Cleveland Indians with a score of 0.9 on the -5 to 5 scale. “”

    I think you meant… That “dishonor” belongs to the Cleveland Indians…

  15. RobMosley says:

    Its democrats for the cirminaly, insaity, dishonesty and anti-Americanism that are hated rightists make the majority of this world I know im one of them the Venezulan people booed that creep Ordonez for him ockc sucking that pig Chavez. There is nothing “Wacist” or “offensive” about redskins or indians or the braves. Indian names and mascots were and still are a popular thing just like in some areas ragin cajuns and yankees and rebels and spartans and trojans and brewers and phillies(girl horses) andrangers andcowboys and MEAT PACKERS and cheese heads and etc. etc. STFU pc lying cultural worshipping nutters who clearly misrepresent homages to culture because its not mindless dishonest lies about haow great native americans were etc. etc. Many were bloodthirty savage criminals AZTECS hence 1 million of their slaves helping the spanish in every way possible fighting with just few conquistadors to overthrow the nutters. But the representation by sports teams of indians is traditional competitve and historical homage like names or mascot like attractions. I named my dog Inspector Callaghan…I guess I dont like Irish cops that kill cross dressing murderers.

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