It’s here! We’ve finally come to the end of the Great British and Irish Baseball Fan Survey! In this part, we look at the things you love and hate as a baseball fan, and if you were commissioner, what would you change?
Due to the nature of a write in answer, the responses were wide and varied, hence it taking so long to get this final part done (Even longer due to me going away on two long trips with work. I know, woe is me). I have learned a lot from this experience, write in answers are fantastic because you get a great feel for peoples effort and passion. However, they are difficult to read through and analyse. With that in mind, I read all the responses (Nearly 600) and placed them into a category.
For example, if some folk say they just “Love baseball, everything about it” they went into “Love of the game”. If another responder says “I really enjoy the stats, the complexity of the game and the way the crowd are always friendly” – then it’s clear to me they are in the “Love of the game” camp.
So if you don’t see your specific response (Thank you Mets fans, you had me chuckling!) then it’s probably because it was too niche.
Right, no-one seems to read these paragraphs, so onto the pretty pictures.
The question was “What is one thing you love about baseball?”
Due to the wide range of answers, I decided to drop anything that didn’t score 10 or above. Unsurprisingly, “Love of the game” dominates. People really waxed lyrical about this, with some fantastic words talking about the game mirroring life itself, saying how it resembles poetry or just simply “I love baseball”. It was great to read the sheer passion folk showed.
I thought it was interesting that Pace Of Place scored 10 votes, this is something I have always loved about baseball and likened it to test cricket (Which one responder also did). With all the talk being about a stagnant free agent market and pace of play, I’m one of those that actually enjoys the gentle flow the game can take. So what if a pitching change happens after every batter during the 7th/8th and 9th inning? For goodness sake, we spend the whole offseason demanding baseball come back, but when it’s on our screens, some of you want it to smash through the games quicker? No, not for me. Pace of play is currently perfect.
History and Stats come in second and third, with community spirit (This had a very broad range of answers) coming in fourth. All results we would have expected.
Next question, “What is the one thing you dislike about baseball?”
Once again I removed all responses that scored below 5, there were just too many.
I’m genuinely shocked. Maybe it’s because of the people I follow on twitter, the comments in the pieces I read about pace of play, I did not believe there was such a discontent for pace of play. You may look at “Length of games” and say “Isn’t that the same thing?”, potentially. The way the responses were written, some of them we’re clearly stating they disliked the pace of play. Others were saying they were happy with the pace, just wanted the overall time of games to be reduced.
On some of the other responses, time difference was another big scorer, commercials joined them at the top too. The poor Yankees got another bashing on this one, which isn’t surprising.
It was great to see 58 people say they dislike nothing about the game. There were plenty of blank responses, however I didn’t want to assume they had no issue with the game itself.
Finally, “If you were the commissioner of baseball, what would you change?”
Anything with 4 or less responses was removed.
As I was collating these answers I could see a common trend. It seems that people really do not enjoy the pace of play. You could even lob in pitch clock and mound visits as well to boost the numbers.
I’m shocked, I really believed people enjoyed the current pace of play and wanted nothing changing. Clearly my choice of articles to read and twitter accounts to follow are rather limited. I should expand.
In other news, there is a majority on wanting to remove the DH from the game. There were some responses of “DH”, but they were removed from the stats as I wasn’t sure which way the responder wanted to go.
There were some great one answer responses such as “More Mike Trout” or “Remove Bryce Harper”. You lot are the best.
So thats it, the survey responses are finally released after all this time! I must apologise it has taken so long, however work and an ill daughter took over my time and, well, I do this stuff for free because I love it.
We all hope you enjoyed the results and finding out what this small sample size likes and dislikes about the game. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to fill out the survey and to read the results through our website. We really couldn’t have done these posts without you all!
Look out for a podcast in the future where we plan to discuss the data in detail and unleash our resident Statto Darius Austin into the spreadsheets.