Nobody likes to lose in baseball – not the players, not their managers, and definitely not the fans. While some fans instantly react in a not-so-positive way when their team loses (and would fire the whole team and its staff in an instant if they could), others are far more optimistic than one would expect. A loss doesn’t dampen the spirits of every fan, and some fan bases even roll on the positive edge regardless of the game’s outcome.
The Truth is in the Tweets
According to Twitter, the Oakland Athletics have the most positive fans. Though their current standings in the American League West aren’t stellar (they currently rank fourth), it seems all of their fans aren’t wallowing in despair, even after a loss. Sitting at around 10 games under .500, the team seems to lose more than they win. Still, the secret may be in recent wins. Leading a few series, particularly against a division rival (Houston Astros during the July 18-20 three-game set) certainly softens the blow, allowing fans to be more optimistic when a game doesn’t end well.
The Minnesota Twins may be at rock bottom in the American League Central, but they check in at No. 2 in our Twitter positivity survey. It can be a hard pill to swallow when they lose, but when they win, they win big. A recent example is a five-run seventh inning that took them past Boston in Fenway Park on July 24. The Twins have had quite a few big-run wins despite their less-than-stellar record, which likely boosts overall morale for a fan base who probably knows their team won’t be playing in the Fall Classic this year.
The Pittsburgh Pirates come in third for most positive tweets after a loss. The Bucs also sit solidly in third in the National League Central, within reach of the No. 2 spot currently occupied by the Cards. As trade rumors heat up closer to the deadline, the Pirates’ potential for snagging a wild card spot with a few roster upgrades may make fans a little cheerier overall.
The Cleveland Indians currently lord over the American League Central with a solid cushion of game wins over their division opponents. While each loss can carve away at that lead, fans know that it’s far easier to hold a lead than it is to make up lost ground.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim round out the top five positive fan bases on Twitter. While they are not in a position in the standings that their fans love (No. 5), the club has Mike Trout – one of the best players in MLB. Despite his team’s struggles, Trout continues to be a beast at the plate and in the outfield. While the team’s playoff chances look dim, they’ve been on a raging hot streak as of late and may not be big sellers at the trade deadline – so there is indeed some optimism to be had, even after a loss.
Heading Into the Future
Regardless of whether a team is in first place, fans of these five clubs don’t seem to let the rankings get them down. The Oakland A’s, for example, have been on a pretty good tear lately, and while a Wild Card spot may seem out of reach, that doesn’t mean their overall future isn’t grand.
The Twins don’t seem to interact with their Twitter fans regularly, but they still send out a lot of tweets. Though this season isn’t living up to their hopes and expectations, the amount of talent they have on the farm keeps them optimistic.
The Pirates also have a good batch in the pipeline, even though they suffered from a less-than-super record thus far. Regardless of whether they snag a WC spot this fall, the team and its fans have a lot to look forward to.
The Angels don’t interact much with fans on Twitter, but they do tweet a ton and even acknowledge the performance of star players during a hard-to-swallow loss. While that WC slot seems pretty out-of-reach, many fans roll with the good times and the bad to keep the future of the Angels in view at all times.
Like many MLB teams, the Indians are very active on social media – Twitter in particular – and they interact with fans regularly. Not only does this help boost fan morale, but it also likely works the other way around to improve the team’s confidence.
Losing can be hard on everyone, but fans are the ones who can be the hardest on a team after notching one in the loss column. Some fans, though, love their team through thick and thin and are a little more optimistic after losses than fans of other squads. While we don’t yet know which teams will do battle on the field in the World Series, keeping the faith through hard times can really be a boost to your team’s confidence.
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