Boy, that was a rough one last night, huh? Baker blew a 6-1 lead, Neshek couldn't find the plate, Crain couldn't find anything but the thick parts of the Detroit bats, and once again the umpires made some ... confusing calls. I started following a bunch more Twins people on Twitter yesterday,* and there was plenty of anger directed at the Twins, and the decision-making in this game.

* Greatly increasing the frequency with which I have to check Twitter -- we'll see how long I can handle this pace.

Yeah, it was rough. But this is baseball, and there will be rough games from time to time. More often than any other sport, really. Believe me: I understand the anguish of the moment. But it's important to realize that it's a long season, and the important thing for the team is not to completely avoid these games, but to rebound from them quickly and stay on a good track.

Seth Stohs says it better than I can:

I feel that with more activity and more people in social media, that I have had to utter the phrase “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” a lot. It’s amazing to me that people somehow forget that there is a 162 game season, not a one game series or a best two out of three series. The big picture is the 162 game season.

Of course, Seth has been taking heat lately for being "too harsh" on other fans who think each baseball game should be a win-or-die event, and should be treated like a football team. I didn't pick up the harshness, but then ... I wouldn't, would I? Point is, he's right. The Twins aren't going to win every game. They're not going to win every series. They're not going to look good every night. The best players need days off -- every player needs days off. They've been playing with a short bench for most of the year so far, and maybe that's starting to show itself in Morneau's back, Mauer's foot, Span's attitude, Hardy's leg, Hudson's whatever-the-hell-is-wrong-with-that-guy, etc. Here's a bomb for you: maybe it'll be nice when Punto gets back.

Fun Time!

But all that was just a long preamble to what I really wanted to get to this morning: the most hated team in baseball!

I saw this article which links to another article in the Wall Street Journal, which attempted to measure sentiment about each team based on an algorithm which looks at what's being said on the internet.

You probably guessed that the Yankees were the most hated team, right? Well ... wrong! It was (drum roll please) the Cleveland Indians!

I suppose that makes sense. Indians fans have watched as the team dealt CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee, and as Fausto Carmona collapsed faster than a black hole, and Grady Sizemore disappeared from the face of the Earth, and Travis Hafner got fat and forgot how to hit immediately after getting his ill-advised big contract, and prospects like Andy Marte keep getting chances and keep failing, and nobody even knows who else is on their team, and Jhonny Peralta who spells his name wrong, and they look across the division and see the Twins facing similar problems and suffering no ill effects.

Sure, that provokes some lashing out against the Twins, which we've laughed about here in the past. But all the crap they go through is enough to drive a fanbase crazy -- the Indians are supposed to have this great front office, and every year all the analysts look at their talent and say "holy shit, this team is stacked!" and then every year they get knocked around during the doldrums of summer and their late-season surge is a) not enough to make it to the top of the division, and b) too late anyway, because the fans have checked out.

Of course, the WSJ's algorithm (which they blame on Nielsen) seems questionable to me. The Indians don't have the sheer volume of fans that the Yankees do, and from what I've seen the Indians fans are less likely to blindly support their team and attack any detractor than Yankees fans are. It's just good old fashioned Midwestern honesty, that when the Indians are bad, the Indians fans will not talk favorably about them.

For their part, the WSJ was pretty confused about why the Yankees weren't atop the list.

The good news for the Yankees is that their low score is better than the only team that really matters: The rival Boston Red Sox, who are the second most-despised team.

I wonder if they realize that sentences like that are the whole reason people hate the Yankees in the first place. Guess what? The Red Sox don't maetter until they start winning.

Anyway, as the WSJ is wont to do, they didn't publish the entire list. All I know is that the Twins aren't in the 10 most-hated teams, and they aren't one of the two least-hated. I'd guess they're somewhere in the middle, with a healthy balance of Twins fans like Gleeman criticizing them, Twins fans like me riding the emotional waves of their decisions (and for the last several months being extremely excited and filled with praise), and fans from Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland ripping the Twins for various imagined offenses. At least, they do that when they figure out how to use a computer.

So that was fun. Get over the loss, folks, we have a day game today!



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Published

29 April 2010