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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