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Thursday, April 29, 2010
Report gauges feeling after start

ESPN.com news services

This story has been corrected. Read below

With 27 World Series championships, baseball's highest payroll and some of the most boastful fans in sports, the New York Yankees have to be the team other baseball fans love to hate, right? Wrong.

According to a formula created by The Nielsen Company, The Wall Street Journal reported four other teams are more detested.

Slider
Slider and the Cleveland Indians fans haven't had much to cheer about early.

But that report may have misinterpreted the results of the study, Aaron Lewis, a Communications Director at Nielsen, told the New York Daily News.

The computer-generated rankings, Lewis said, were intended to determine "the correlation between positive and negative feelings generated by each team based on their starts to this season." They weren't an indication of which team is "most-loved or most-hated."

The computer-generated program searched for positive and negative keywords in message boards and blogs to determine sentiment about baseball teams. According to Nielsen's website, "Positive scores indicate positive-leaning discussion and negative results indicate negative-leaning discussion."

With the rankings index ranging from minus-5 to 5 six clubs scored below a 2, including the Yankees. The Indians were at 0.9, Red Sox 1.1, Reds 1.5 and Astros and Yankees 1.8.

San Francisco and Oakland are ranked first and second. Houston and Los Angeles, who have struggled, have gone down in the rankings since spring training, Lewis said.

In an April 29 story on ESPN.com, a Wall Street Journal story was cited saying the Yankees are not the most hated major league team. The WSJ report failed to mention that the study they cited gauged fan reaction to this season only, not all time.