In our last discussion, we tried to measure attendance (allowing for weather adjustments) as a proxy to Fan Confidence, but failed miserably. But one setback isn't going to deter our scientific inquiry!
My next idea was to visit the natural habitat of Cleveland Fans and measure their confidence on my own scale. I picked several random stories and assigned a Confidence Score of 1 through 10 to fan comments, with 10 showing the most confidence in the running of the Club.
I just got back from Vegas. Odds of Indians winning world series 100-1. I bet $1000. Odds of Indians winning american league 40-1. I bet everything my wife and I have in the bank including our kids college $...... $28,500........Lets go tribe!!!
This would seem to indicate a high confidence level. Confidence Score: 11.
smarter bet is for indians to lose 100+ games or even 110. We have returned to indians of 1970s and early 80s of small payroll and lack of talent. yes, during those years there were fleeting moments of excitement as to a brief win streak or a key prospect (Snyder, Charbonou). if wrong, no matter, any player of talent will be traded by the deadline especially prospects that dolan will have to pay for. better to grab more prospects and lead the fans on from year to year as to the hope for a better team and championship that does not arrive...at least here.
And interesting mix of cynicism with random capitalization. Confidence Score: 1.
Year after year the Cleveland Indians front office would spend the off-season trying to sign a free agent or two, bring up a couple of not ready for prime time minor leaguers, and make some horrible trades. The results were terrible. This winter they devoted all of their attention to setting up toboggan chutes and skating rinks at Progressive Field, and what do you know, they wound up with a solid ball club.
This one was hard to assign. At first I thought it was cynical, but then I decided it was dark humor. Confidence Score: 5.
How many all stars do you see on this team? When will the days of an all star at every position return? I shall purchase season tickets again when the Indians send more then 5 players to the all star game and win their division for the second year in a row!!
Confidence Score: 2 (extra point for the use of double exclamation points).
I will finish with a comment that also touches on attendance:
Last year the Indians had the worst attendance since 1992. I went and looked just who was on that 1992 team that no one went to see. In the opening day lineup was Lofton, Baerga, Belle, Sorrento, Sandy Alomar, and Nagy. I'll bet you that many fans were saying things like " It's just a bunch of minor leaguers" or " I don't know any of these guys" or " We don't have any stars" or It's just a AAA team". People were just as dumb in 1992 as they are today.
Confidence Score: 7.
Oh yes, the results. The average Confidence Score of these randomly selected comments: 5.2. Results: inconclusive.
The final data point brought up an interesting line of inquiry: is Fan Confidence dependent on player recognition? In other words, does knowing who plays for one's favorite club affect how a fan feels about that club? Perhaps this should be explored further.