I just found out why free agents don’t want to play for the Reds, and, frankly, I’m shocked. Seriously.

ESPN quotes the Wall Street Journal in saying that the Nielsen Company (the ratings people) have conducted a study and the formula says the Reds are the 3rd on the list for being the most hated team in baseball.

What may be almost as surprising is that the Number 1 most hated team in baseball is the….Cleveland Indians?

From espn.com:

The formula helps determine whether consumers have positive, negative or neutral reactions to brands in their online messages. Neilsen’s “Sentiment Rankings” ranges from 5 to -5. No team finished with a negative number. But six teams finished with a number lower than 2.

Wow….not the Yankees? The Evil Empire?

The Yanks finished fifth. The top five, in order: Cleveland, the Boston Red Sox, the Reds, the Houston Astros, and the Yankees. The Washington Nationals finished sixth. Six teams scored less than 2.0 on the scale.

Think of the ramifications…the poll is saying that the fans don’t have sentimental value for the team. We all adore the Big Red Machine days, right? Does this mean that we’re not buying souvenirs or purchasing or participating in other marketing promotions to give the team and players additional revenue and/or income? Surely, agents pick up on this and share this with the players.

This may give further indication that Forbes Magazine may be right in saying the Reds have dropped 3% in total value this past year. (Don’t fret…the franchise is still estimated to have increased by $60 million in value since Robert Castellini purchased the team four years ago).

I think it’s time we start winning again…maybe reinvesting some of those earnings into the organization?

Who are the most popular teams? The San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics. Has the Bay Area become that baseball crazy?