Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged-in Tampa Bay Rays fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey 72 percent of Rays fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. That’s up from 63 percent last week.
That level of confidence in the team now may explain fans’ feelings toward the team’s overall success this season. 71 percent of fans expect the Rays to win between 86 and 96 games this year.
Earning those wins this season will likely require dominant pitching and lots of home runs. The game today is more dependent than ever on home runs and strikeouts. However, fans around the country don’t see this as an improvement to baseball.
More than two thirds of fans think there are too many strikeouts in the average game.
In an adjustment to the dominant pitching, more hitters are approaching at bats willing to risk a strikeout in order to hit a home run and not need multiple successful at bats in an inning. But only 17 percent of fans believe more home runs make the strikeout rate worth while. On top of that, fewer than 10 percent of fans like this hitting approach at all.
While the “how” of it all is still up for debate, one thing is clear – fans want more runners on the base paths. Nearly a full 100 percent of responding fans think the game would improve with more singles, doubles and triples.
The changes in the game over the years have made it hard to watch for some fans, in an abstract way. However, another trend recently has made baseball much harder to watch in a very real way.
More than a third of fans around the country said they are unable to watch their favorite team on TV. Two-thirds of fans said in order to watch their favorite team, they would need to pay an extra fee.
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