Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Indians fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.
Look, I’m not going to pretend that this week’s FanPulse poll is unbiased. I was allowed to pick one question to ask Indians fans, my power went out for nearly a week, I forgot about it, then at the last second I submitted the following:
Will the Indians win the AL Central?
The results, from fans primarily of the Indians who primarily read an Indians-based SB Nation blog, are decidedly in favor of the Tribe winning the AL Central for the fourth year in a row. It’s certainly not impossible, but I don’t know if it’s 70% not impossible.
Currently the Indians sit 3.0 games back of the Twins, fresh off a game where they blew an opportunity to bring it within 2.0. Minnesota has tonight off, so the Indians could theoretically still take it to 2.5 with a sweep-dodging win over the Mets. The Indians have also stealthily brought their run differential to one of the best in baseball — nothing near the powerhouse American League teams yet, but the their +90 would be the second-best in the National League behind only the Dodgers.
Also, they still have a really, really good starting rotation, a pretty good offense, and a great bullpen when Brad Hands returns from his alien abduction. They also have Carlos Santana. So I fully embrace the confidence, and if you don’t at least believe the Indians have a shot at winning the division, what are you even doing here?
Elsewhere in FanPulse, 93% of Indians fans said they were confident in the direction of the team (down from 100% last week), and 91% of Indians fans said they approved of the job Terry Francona is doing. Tito’s approval rating has been at exactly 91% for the past three weeks, so whatever he’s doing is working for the vast majority of fans, but not moving the needle for the 9% of holdouts.
Around the league, Pirates fans still have 0% confidence in the direction of their team for the fourth-straight week (lol). Meanwhile, the Red Sox have reached double-digits for the first time in three weeks with a stunning 13% confidence rating from fans. Please feel bad for them.
Last week, SB Nation asked fans if they thought MLB was intentionally juicing the ball, and this week they got around to the important part of the question: Is it good for baseball?
An overwhelming 74% said that intentionally juicing the ball — again, if that is what MLB is doing — is bad for the game. Goose Gossage would likely agree, but because he’s old and cranky. I, too, miss balls in play and seeing more than just solo home runs, but I also don’t think that’s the reason attendance is down and I don’t think baseball is dying. Maybe that’s why Bob Nightengale hasn’t quoted me in an article yet.
That’s all for this week. Don’t forget to sign up if you want to participate in the polls, and if you want more context/discussion, check out Let’s Talk Tribe on Tuesdays where we’ll break them down even further.