We didn't have a ton of question ideas when we went in to poll Massachusetts last week, so we ended up asking a bunch of stuff about the Red Sox. Here's what we found:
-81% of Massachusetts voters consider themselves to be Red Sox fans to only 19% who do not. We don't have a lot to compare that to for other teams in other states, but that's a pretty amazing percentage.
-Red Sox fans still love Terry Francona, giving him a 69/7 favorability rating. To the extent they've formed an opinion about Bobby Valentine they like him too, giving him a 44/6 rating. For 50% of voters though the book is still out on Valentine. Asked who they'd rather have as their manager Francona bests Valentine 39-28. Valentine appears to have some work to do to win the fan base over.
-One action Valentine's already taken that fans do strongly support him on is banning alcohol in the clubhouse. 72% of Sox partisans support that move to only 10% who disagree with it and 18% who are not sure.
-Sox fans are optimistic that the team will return to the playoffs this year, but not too hopeful about what will happen once they get there. 82% think they will make it to the postseason. But only 39% think they'll win the American League, and just 20% think they'll take the World Series.
-It's a lot more lopsided when you change the question to who Red Sox fans think is the team's best player of all time. Ted Williams wins that one easily with 45% to 17% for Carl Yastrzemski, 12% for Babe Ruth, 6% for Carlton Fisk, 5% for Johnny Pesky, Jim Rice, and Joe Cronin, 4% for Bobby Doerr, and 2% for Roger Clemens.
-Finally we looked at three Red Sox greats who ended up with the Yankees and found very different opinions about each of them. Sox fans love Babe Ruth, giving him a 68/12 favorability rating. Any ill feelings about that curse look to have been erased by 2004 and 2007. Feelings about Wade Boggs are more mixed. 35% of fans think his number should be retired, but 29% are opposed to the concept with 36% unsure. Roger Clemens is now a target of near universal scorn among his former fans. Only 23% see him favorably to 56% with a negative opinion.
Full results here