Indians Most Hated Team in Baseball

There’s an article in the Wall Street Journal today about the most hated teams in baseball. And surprise, surprise, it’s not the Yankees or the Red Sox at number one. No, it’s our very own Cleveland Indians. Now, the Journal doesn’t really do a good job explaining how they came to this conclusion. Here’s how they describe it:

Contrary to popular belief, the Yankees are only the fifth-most despised team in the majors, according to an Internet algorithm built by Nielsen Co. that analyzes how people feel about certain things. This service typically uses various keywords to find out whether people have positive, negative or neutral reactions to different brands and products. No team registered a negative mark on Nielsen’s “sentiment scale,” which ranges from -5 to 5, but the Yankees (1.8) were one of only six teams to score lower than 2.

- David Biderman, Wall Street Journal

The Indians, if you’re interested and too lazy to read the short article,  scored a 0.9, the only team to score less than 1. Now, I have no idea how bad that is, or how the WSJ came up with these numbers. They don’t explain it in the article. And Bierman declined to explain them to me when I spoke with him on the phone. Yes, that’s me quoted in the article. But it’s hard to get worked up over these rankings without understanding how they came to this conclusion.

About that quote …

I feel I was taken horribly out of context. I talked with Biederman for maybe 10 minutes, and that was the best he pulled out of me? Again, if you’re too lazy to read the article, here’s my quote, as printed:

But the Cleveland Indians’ MLB-worst 0.9 was a bit of a surprise. They simply haven’t done a lot over the past 13 years to warrant that much attention. “I can believe that though,” says Ed Carroll, who runs the Deep Left Field Indians blog. “The team does a lot to alienate its fans.”

I believe my actual quote was something along the lines of, (after hearing where the Indians ranked) “Well without knowing how you came to these rankings, I can say that does surprise me, because you would expect a team like the Yankees or the Red Sox to be at the top. If it’s based more on recent years, I can believe that though, because the Indians have done a lot in recent years to alienate its fans, such as the trades of Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, and CC Sabathia.” I think I also threw in something about it not being all bad, and the Indians having some exciting talent, yada yada yada.

Look, journalism and communications were my major in college (I know, I apparently didn’t learn much). I worked at the student newspaper as the Arts and Life editor for a year. I’m not writing for the Wall Street Journal, but I know how to write for a newspaper. I get that sometimes you have to hack up a quote to make it fit. But don’t misrepresent who you’re quoting. I’m not one of those “Hate Shapiro, Hate the Dolans, Hate everything the Indians do because they don’t spend”-type fans/bloggers. And I feel this quote makes me seem like one.

I’m also not sure why he threw in that the Indians haven’t done anything in the past 13 years. 4 Central Division titles, and two trips to the ALCS. Better than a lot of teams have done. I actually brought this up to David, saying that “It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since the 95 World Series team.”  He even agreed, saying that it’s not like the Indians are the Pirates, who haven’t been relevant for 15 years or so.

So there’s my defense of what I said. I’m a little frustrated with how I was quoted, but hey, at least he mentioned Deep Left Field. Free advertising!

Let me know what you guys think. Are the Indians deserving of the most hated team in baseball?

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  • Andrew Corselli

    I’m calling BS and refuse to believe this! There’s no way any team is more hated than my beloved Yanks. Impossible. Furthermore, who hates the Reds and ‘Stros? The Sox I can see, but how can you hate Cincy and Houston? David Biderman has some ‘splaining to do.

  • George Laird

    The quote definitely helped … I checked out your site from the Bay Area (home of the two teams where its fans can barely muster enough energy to emerge from a pot induced haze to complain about their teams). As someone who has been quoted in the media at times, I sympathize with having quotes put in the context of the story the writer wants to write. I would suggest though when you defend yourself using your educational credentials and ability to write, you use a spell checker so you spell the word “newspaper” correctly next time (see your post). Take care!

  • Ed Carroll

    Thanks for the catch George. Whoops. Got a little too excited there. Thanks for reading.

  • danimalCarroll

    Ed…always remember that ANY press is GOOD press when you are trying to get your name out and your blog’s name out. Keep up the good stuff man.

  • April

    You just got a new reader thanks to that stupid article! Gotta love the free advertising.

    But really, I think this is complete crap. We have all seen Major League. The scene when the hoity-toity folks are sitting around drinking wine and a prissy lady says “I didn’t know Cleveland had a baseball team” so I’d be more inclined to think that people have forgotten about us WAY before I’d believe they hate us.

  • ADD

    Lazy journalism. Came here because of the article…he quoted the alienating fans thing but didn’t even bother to say what that means. It was actually the only intriguing point in the article to me.

    I’m a writer specializing in science. I don’t even like baseball (but like any decent writer I’m a curious person). Anyway, the first tip-off this article is crap was the phrase “Internet algorithm built by Nielsen Co. that analyzes how people feel about certain things.”

    If they had said phone poll, fine. If they had said mailed survey, fine. While those have potential flaws, you could at least get a rough idea. But I could enumerate at least 10 reasons how an algorithm based on internet content would not be worth the 0s it’s written with. It’s nothing but fluff, and David Biderman would be better off covering a cat fashion show than playing at science.

    On a side note, people would be shocked how many writers flunked spelling.

  • Connie

    Hey, it got me to your site. I saw that quote and thought “what?” So I am glad to see you responded and I understand the getting misquoted as it just happened to me. I am not a journalism major, so thanks for knowing why it happens, we’ve been hacked.
    I love our Indians. Maybe we need to start a new campaign?

  • Schluda

    Clearly no merit to the article. Biderman also claims the positive ratings for the Giants and A’s suggest the “laid back” lifestyle of northern Californians. Seems like steryotyping to me. I am also still confused if the study rated how fans feel about their own teams or other teams. Pointless studies aside, I’ve never seen more beligerent baseball fans than at a Giants/Dodgers game at AT&T park. GO TRIBE!!

  • Schluda

    Dangit! *stereotyping

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