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We’re 25% of the way through the season and the Giants have won just 43% of their games. That’s... about what we might’ve expected after everything the team has done over the past few years, so this week’s FanPulse response of just 34% of the votership having confidence in the team’s direction feels more right than wrong.
Compared to the rest of the league, though... I have questions. First, let’s look at the top 5 most confident fan bases:
- Philadelphia - 100% confidence in team’s direction
- San Diego - 100%
- Milwaukee - 98%
- Minnnesota - 98%
- Houston - 97%
Philadelphia saw a 12% surge week over week and the Padres picked up 4%, the other teams have remained steady. The Giants, meanwhile, haven’t recovered from the 74% week one confidence, which dropped to 43% after two weeks. The highest it has been since was 55% in week four.
Let’s compare that to the bottom five confidence teams... after we look at those least confidence fan bases:
- Washington - 11%
- Pittsburgh - 20%
- Cleveland - 33%
- San Francisco - 34%
- New York Mets - 44%
Only Washington (18-25) could reasonably be viewed as being in the same boat as the Giants. Their slightly worse record might actually have been an exact match for the Giants had weather not postponed one of the Colorado games.
Otherwise, the NL East is supposed to be a bloodbath. The Nationals are certainly underperforming in terms of expectations and the general talent on their team, but that bullpen is a human tragedy and it doesn’t look as though Dave Martinez has the full confidence of the clubhouse. And why should he? The Nationals have been terrible to their managers.
Meanwhile, the Mets are hanging in there despite injuries and refusing to sign Gio Gonzalez, Craig Kimbrel, or Dallas Keuchel to save some money, but they’re just 3.5 games out of first despite a sub-.500 record (20-22). Although... hmm. Well, I should note that the 44% approval is a 19% improvement over the prior week, when the Mets went just 2-5. Just hang in there, Mets fans! This is going to be a tough year for most of the NL East!
Their low approval rating reminds me of my second-ever trip to New York. I was in the large Eataly market and got some coffee at the counter. This was in 2015 when the Mets were making their run. The barista was wearing a Mets t-shirt under his apron so I asked him how he felt about the Mets. He launched into this negative, sad diatribe about how they’re bad and everything’s terrible.
Folks, I could relate. Really, really relate. It was like looking into a more haggard mirror. I waited for him to stop before saying, “Hey, you never know what can happen — just you wait and see. With pitching like that, they’ll be fine.” “NAWWWWW! I DON’T TINK SO! DON’T SEE IT HAPPENIN’!”
I went back to New York a year later and when I went back to Eataly, I looked for him. He was not there. I would’ve told him “See!” and I would’ve looked like a mad man.
Look, I know the Giants aren’t very good, but realistically, they’re in a much better position than the Royals (55% approval) and the White Sox (56%) and the Miami Marlins of Miami (58%), and those were the most shocking comparison results of the week. Obviously, percentages can fluctuate with the number of inputs.
Maybe there are only 12 Miami Marlins FanPulse voters and 7 of them think their 10-win team is doing everything it needs to in order for the franchise to setup a glorious return to prominence where it can sell off its elite talent to begin another rebuild.
Maybe Royals FanPulsers just like to watch their team steal bases while Alex Gordon and Whit Merrifield crush baseballs. Maybe the entire White Sox front office signed up to be FanPulse voters.
Maybe Giants fans are tired of seeing so much turnover in the #20-#25 spots on the roster. Playing guess the left fielder can be frustrating, but not nearly as disheartening as the game of Oh my god, please don’t let the starter throw another pitch.
Giants fans gave Bruce Bochy a 78% approval rating this past week and coupled with the voters’ confidence in the team’s direction, the 44% difference represents the largest gap between manager approval and team confidence in FanPulse history! Giants fans like Bruce Bochy a lot. They just don’t like that he’s managing a barrel of ashes. Makes sense, actually.
Want to influence the conversation? CLICK HERE to become a Giants FanPulse voter.