More than half of Major League Baseball fans believe Houston Astros players should have been penalized along with team management after the signal theft scandal that dominated the game last week, according to an online survey of 1,010 adults, including 810 MLB fans, across the country, Thursday and Friday on behalf of ESPN.
Fifty-eight percent of adults responded that Astros players should have been penalized by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, according to the survey. In addition, the vast majority (72% of adults and 76% of MLB fans) said they would support the MLB to take additional steps to punish players involved in the theft of signals.
According to the survey, MLB fans are paying close attention to the scandal, with 61% of game fans interviewed saying they are closely following events involving Astros and Boston Red Sox. A third of MLB fans say they can watch both teams less, although most Americans say the doping / steroid scandal was worse than the current signal theft scandal that prompted Astros to fire general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, with Red Sox, says goodbye to coach Alex Cora, former coach of Astros bank.
O New York Mets they were not involved in a signal theft scandal, but parted ways with new manager Carlos Beltran, who was involved in the scandal as an Astros player. The research was started before the departure of Beltran and Mets.
Among avid MLB fans, 86% see the situation as serious, with 57% saying it is very serious, compared with 83% of fans of the game considering it serious, including 52% who say it is a very serious situation. Among all Americans, 77% think this is serious, and 45% think it is very serious.
Most Americans say the doping / steroid scandal was worse than this (49% say doping was worse than 24% who say the signal theft scandal is worse), but it ranks the scandal above the game Pete Rose on his own team (44% say this scandal is worse vs. 25% for Rose's scandal).
While more than half of Americans view Astros (56%) and Red Sox (52%) less favorably in the light of scandals, the negative impact is less severe for MLB, players and owners, with 54% saying their views on MLB itself remain unchanged and 53% say their views on players have not changed. Just under half (49%) say that their opinions about the owners of the game have changed, although about a third or a little more say they have a less favorable view of each of these entities or groups.
Among MLB fans, it is a uniform division when teams caught cheating must have their championships broken, with 56% saying Astros should quit the 2017 championship and 53% saying the Red Sox should do it. the same for the 2018 title.
While 60% of MLB adults and fans say the scandals make no difference in how likely they are to watch MLB games, about a third of fans say they are less likely to watch Astros or the Red Sox.
Approximately 3 out of 4 Americans (74%) and MLB fans (76%) believe that most teams were using the technology to steal signals, but it was only Astros and Red Sox that were caught.
The survey was conducted by the Global Strategy Group for ESPN on January 16-17. It was weighted for known demographic data based on the Census. The overall survey had a margin of error of +/- 3%, and the margin of error among 810 MLB fans is also +/- 3%.