WSJ: Indians are Most-Hated Team in MLB

In an age where multimedia is flooded with the penchant for big-city bias, a recent study that was published by the Wall Street Journal lists the Cleveland Indians as the most-hated team in Major League Baseball.

Using an algorithm provided by Nielsen Co.  – the same firm responsible for various ratings throughout the mediasphere – that gauges personal feelings towards teams a ranks them on what is called a “sentiment scale.”  And while most fans of baseball would assume that the ever-hated New York Yankees would be on the Mt. Everest of sports hate, the Pinstripes came in fifth behind the Indians, Red Sox, Reds and Astros.

Judging by the teams that top the list, the algorithm appears to weed out jealousy-based hate, opting to focus more on the displeasure with overall results; fans villifying their own team.  If this is in fact the case, it comes as no surprise that the Indians would be among those with the most negative sentiment.  There are fewer teams in all of baseball with a passionate fan base that has had to endure such futility for the most part of the last decade.

All the Wahoo Bucks in the world will not mean a thing to Indians fans until the team regularly competes, plain and simple.  Trotting out players like Jason Michaels and David Dellucci while your competition opts for guys like Carlos Quentin and Miguel Cabrera is not going to get it done.

With that said… Congratulations, Dolans.  Your team has finally won something.

Are the Yankess Truly the Most-Dispised Ballclub? [WSJ]

(AP Photo/Joseph Darwal)

  • Lyon


  • Eli

    What an horribly designed metric. They completely intermingle disgruntlement and disappointment with despising/hatred. These are not 3 compatable D’s.

    For instance, I despise the Wall Street Journal editorial page because it is a cesspool of ignorance and worthless diatribe. I am disappointed with the decline of the Washington Post.

    Also, I despise A.J. Pierzynski because he is a worthless human being and I would punch him if given a good opportunity. I am disgruntled with Hafner and his contract, but would still buy him a beer if he wanted to hang out.


  • Tapin

    Came here to comment on how their algorithm is conflating a bunch of completely different emotions (hopefully the “hatred” gloss is WSJ editorializing, not what Nielsen labels it); saw that Eli already covered my point, in comment #2.

    Posted anyway.

  • Garry Owen

    How much of this is skewed by the amount of negative internet chatter regarding the Tribe’s mascot? I’d bet enough to raise the team about 10 places, at least.

  • Denny

    My name starts with D. WORK THAT IN TO YOUR COMMENTING, MR. ELI

  • 216in614

    peralta has a higher batting average than seizemore…let me say that again…PERALTA HAS A HIGHER BATTING AVERAGE THAN SEIZEMORE…at this point even if we still had cc, lee and martinez i still think this team would have the same record. remember all those games we lost were cc would give up only 1 run and get a ND or L?

  • tom

    well they ARE the worldwide leader in sports so THEY would know i guess…oh wait a minute…..

  • BrianRut4

    The “algorythm” was tracking keywords in google searches for statements like “I Hate the Indians”. Wouldnt you think most of these instances may not have referred to the baseball team?

  • tom

    ps….any “news” related website that you have to pay to read is seriousy stupid (looking at you online version of WSJ)…get out of the dark ages.

  • Jack

    This is sooooo incredibly stupid.

    Guess that’s why the “Major League” films were such a success. EVERYONE just LOATHES the Cleveland Indians.

  • Kevin

    I think you meant Mt. Rushmore…not Mt. Everest.

  • Omar13Vizquel

    To be honest, I didn’t know anyone else in baseball even *cared* about the Indians anymore. Hell, 3/4 of the city’s own “diehards” that packed the Jake in the 1990s even make it to the park anymore.

  • Garry Owen

    Of course, 1/2 of the city’s diehards no longer live in Cleveland.

  • CP

    Uh yeah, I just flat out don’t believe that. Faulty algorithm, faulty logic, faulty decision to consider this printworthy.

    I’m not in denial or anything…that’s just a joke.

  • Narm

    Really? Two 90 win seasons, two Cy Young winners and being one game from the World Series is complete futility?

    Scott – I love you as a writer but between this and your Twitter the constant Tribe bashing is a little frustrating.

    Jacobs never EVER spent more money than the Dolans (out of pocket – not talking overall payroll). Quit blaming them for everything.

  • Denny

    @ tom – I disagree with that statement regarding charging for websites 100%, but that’s an economic issue not a sports-related one.

  • Vengeful Pat

    @CP, I couldn’t agree more. I think some Yankee fan working for the WSJ just wrote that to feel better about loving the most hated team in MLB. It’s not even close… nobody says “I hate the Indians” unless they are an Indians fan. And where is Pittsburgh on that list? Are their fans surprisingly okay with the futility that is the Pirates organization? Maybe it’s not on there because there’s no such thing as a Pirates fan anymore…

  • Charlie

    It’s the racist logo.

  • brwnsgrl

    We should all just google “hate yankees” over and over again…

  • Rick

    Obviously the negative press from the trades of Sabathia, Lee and Martinez are killing this algorithm. And as was mentioned before, the term Indians is not unique to the Cleveland sports team. Math fail. (See, we can’t even win this!)

  • Pittsburgh is For Man Lovers

    Absurdly racist logo, indifferent owner, alienated fan base repeatedly kicked in the groin by team management, failure to keep any type of talent – what’s not to love about this team? I say that with some of my best sports memories coming from the Tribe in the 90’s. Being away from the town, I have completely and utterly stopped giving a poop about this team. At least when the Browns suck, they do it with a little flair.

  • Karsten

    Anyone who even makes note of “racism” in the logo are fools. Get over it and move on. This article fails.

  • Omar13Vizquel

    The logo is horribly offensive to great swathes of people, non-baseball fans and baseball fans alike (this lifelong Indians fan included). Still seems strange that that would overshadow the general and widespread hatred of the Red Sox and Yankees though.

  • Matt#2

    I shan’t even make note that the logo is the poster child of a so-called harmless racism. I shan’t and I won’t. I didn’t.

  • Lake Erie Soldiers

    It’s good to be number 1!!!!!

  • typo

    HAAAAAAAHAAAAAAA!!!! Half of america has no idea that we even have a team! Most hated

  • AMC

    @vengeful pat – there are no longer any pirate fans left to “hate” that team…

  • Scott

    Narm – Believe it or not, I didn’t create the report at the WSJ. Only passing it along…

  • Andrew S

    I play for the Indians.

    Here in Cleveland? I didn’t know they still had a team.

    Yup, we’ve got uniforms and everything, it’s really great.

  • MattC

    lol @ the people claiming great offense to Chief Wahoo. Please people, find something legitimate to worry about in this troubled world.

  • J2theB

    The research had to be have been done after Branyan was signed. He just watched strike 3 (on three pitches) with bases loaded and 1 out. good times

  • Matt#2

    Why equate identifying an offense with worry?

  • Tim

    This was the best explanation I could find: “The algorithm worked by scouring the web for mentions of any baseball team, and then looked for words that revealed emotion or opinion, such as “hate”, “love”, “sucks”, and so forth. Of course, this algorithm can only measure the occurrence of these words, and not how vigorously they were typed.” I couldn’t actually find the Nielsen report. But when you trade away three all-stars in two seasons–plus fan-favorites like Casey Blake– and essentially cash-out halfway through the season, words like “hate” and “sucks” are bound to show up. So what if we hate the Indians? At least our fans are still passionate about them. In Pittsburgh, they’re just apathetic.

  • Denny


  • Pittsburgh is for Man Lovers

    I didn’t say I was offended, just saying it’s obviously racist. You are racist if you disagree.

  • Andrew S

    A fitting way for the game to end…

  • Gren

    Haters wanna hate.
    Lovers wanna love.
    I don’t even want, none of the above.
    I wanna Chief Wahoo….

    Is the Redskins logo racist ?

  • Fred Beene

    Love the team and the organization.

  • Matt#2


    I would think that the main problem with the team symbols is found in the names of the teams.

    Redskin and Indian are broad-brushing of peoples with significant differences among themselves who, overagainst a banal comparison to Europeans, seemed to have been lumped together. These peoples’ commonality was that they were treated as externalities by Europeans. I find the broad brushing prevails today.

    Is that a description of racist? I know of no generally agreed upon meaning of racist/racism.

  • Alex

    No, that’s a description written by someone drunk. Overagainst a banal comparison to Europeans? Bad tense usage (seemed rather than seem)? I find the broad brushing prevails today?

    It may be because I’m moderately intoxicated, but I can recognize drunk speech when I see it.

    Or really bad typing skills.

  • DK

    book it. Shappetti.

    how much of the fact that the people hate the indians came from that guy on this site constantly saying the indians sucked and that theyre rooked for trading anyone away?

    I dont feel any different about the Indians today as I did in the 80s when they sucked, in the 90’s when they were winning 100 games, or now, when they are rebuilding…people get too worked up about sports teams…i dunno how people can go from love to hate in a matter of weeks/months/years…its just a game…its entertainment…

  • Jon Steiner

    My favorite fall-out from this story (other than retreading old Chief Wahoo arguments, of course) is that Yankee fans are really mad that they didn’t win: “Nobody hates the Indians. PEOPLE HATE US WAY MORE!!”

  • Denny

    @ DK – I’m legitimately laughing at the first half of your comment there. OBSERVE.

  • DD

    It’s silly that anyone would care/love/hate any of these teams or their outdated logos. It’s just another crass business with a bunch of mercenaries chasing $$$$. The MLB is so ridiculously uncompetitive: Yankees payroll 5X+ farm teams in same league, and more than double CLE. It’s just not worth the hours fans anywhere spend watching, caring, griping because the games are fixed. Move on and do something productive people.

    2009 data

    Rank Team Payroll Average
    1 N.Y. Yankees $201,449,289 $7,748,050
    2 New York Mets $135,773,988 $4,849,071
    3 Chicago Cubs $135,050,000 $5,402,000
    4 Boston $122,696,000 $4,089,867
    5 Detroit $115,085,145 $4,110,184
    6 Los Angeles Angels $113,709,000 $4,061,036
    7 Philadelphia $113,004,048 $4,185,335
    8 Houston $102,996,415 $3,814,682
    9 Los Angeles Dodgers $100,458,101 $4,018,324
    10 Seattle $98,904,167 $3,532,292
    11 Atlanta $96,726,167 $3,335,385
    12 Chicago White Sox $96,068,500 $3,694,942
    13 St. Louis $88,528,411 $3,278,830
    14 San Francisco $82,161,450 $3,043,017
    15 Cleveland $81,625,567 $3,023,169
    16 Toronto $80,993,657 $2,892,631
    17 Milwaukee $80,257,502 $3,086,827
    18 Colorado $75,201,000 $2,785,222
    19 Arizona $73,571,667 $2,724,877
    20 Cincinnati $70,968,500 $2,957,021
    21 Kansas City $70,908,333 $2,727,244
    22 Texas $68,646,023 $2,367,104
    23 Baltimore $67,101,667 $2,580,833
    24 Minnesota $65,299,267 $2,251,699
    25 Tampa Bay $63,313,035 $2,183,208
    26 Oakland $62,310,000 $2,225,357
    27 Washington $59,328,000 $2,045,793
    28 Pittsburgh $48,743,000 $1,874,731
    29 San Diego $42,796,700 $1,528,454
    30 Florida $36,814,000 $1,314,786

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  • Matt#2

    It was ONE beer and an altogether clumsily put statement.
    If there’s interest, I’ll restate it.

  • DK

    @Denny –

    I dont follow.

  • BOogeyman

    Not sure about most hated but most pathetic
    might be more appropriate.

  • Mark

    I hate the Indians. Well, at least Larry Dolan, Mark Shapiro, the entire front office, and now Manny Acta for being a complete tool. So yeah this WSJ article is right now.

  • mgbode

    @Scott – in defense of Narm, you may not have written the article for the WSJ, but did you not post this line?

    “There are fewer teams in all of baseball with a passionate fan base that has had to endure such futility for the most part of the last decade”

    that is what he was referring to and he is correct. the Browns continually kick us in the groin these past 11 years, the Indians make serious playoff noise, win 90 games a bunch of times and get 1 win away from the WS and people are ready to give up on them.

    the Tribe has had quite a bit to cheer for this decade. yes, it is frustrating to cheer for them and then see the best players get traded away, but the Reds, Pirates, Padres, Brewers, Nationals, Royals, and Orioles fans all wish they had players they would get upset if they were traded away.