Are the Yankees Truly the Most-Despised Ballclub?
By DAVID BIDERMAN
Even President Barack Obama took jabs at the Yankees this week, cementing the fact that everybody—except, of course, Yankee fans—hates the World Champions. But are they actually the most loathed team in baseball?
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. The Mets finished four spots higher, making them the ninth most-hated team. "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."
The San Francisco Giants (4.5) and Oakland Athletics (4.2) were the most-liked teams on this scale, suggesting that laid-back Northern California fans are the most accepting. 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." The unheralded Cincinnati Reds (1.5) and Houston Astros (1.8) were also in the basement.
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.