ESPN.com had an interesting article late last week about a poll that the Associated Press and AOL conducted about baseball fans in America. It's definitely worth the time to read it:
I was really surprised to see that 64% of those polled are not a fan of professional baseball. If I were running the game, that would worry me very much. More and more, baseball is losing the younger fan, and years from now, they maybe pining for the days when the number was just 64%. The hype over the story was the fact that nearly half of all baseball fans are NOT rooting for Barry Bonds to break Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. Oh, I wonder why? I found his agent, Jeff Borris, and his take on it to be almost comical:
"It saddens me," said Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris. "I think true baseball fans who know and understand everything Barry has done to get to this point should be pulling for him.
"They should feel fortunate that they'll have the opportunity to see him break probably the most hallowed record in sports," he said.
Maybe it's because of all the steroid allegations, and just maybe the "true baseball fans" have never embraced this obnoxious jerk who treats the media and fans with such contempt? The public knows a complete asshole, as well as a cheater, when they see one, Mr. Borris.
It truly makes me feel sad for Hank Aaron, a man who played baseball for 22 years with class and dignity, not to mention under things like death threats when he was attempting to break Babe Ruth's home run record in 1973. He's caught in the middle of this controversy, and doesn't deserve it. Even if Bonds breaks his record, most fans will look upon Hammerin' Hank's record as the REAL one.
The rest of the poll was quite interesting as well. Fans were asked who their favorite team is, and the team they dislike the most. You can guess who won in both categories. The Yankees took it in both. They narrowly won the favorite category (with 14%, over the Braves 10% and the Red Sox 9%), but when it comes to being disliked, they are on their own planet (or should I say "universe?"). The Red Sox were second with 7%, but a full 40% in the poll said the New York Yankees were the team they hated the most. Hardly a surprise, as Yankee-hating sure hasn't gone out of style.
I was also surprised to see that 75% of all fans think that postseason games are scheduled just right. I can only imagine that most of those polled don't live in the Eastern US time zone.
There are more questions there, especially about steroids and baseball.
Once again, it's worth checking out.