Today’s (Sunday’s) Outside the Lines revealed the results of a public opinion poll following the admission by Alex Rodriguez that he took steroids. The phone poll, commissioned last week by ESPN and done by the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is connected with Seton Hall University, queried more than 500 “people who follow sports.” Questions ranged from what caused baseball’s unprecedented power-hitting numbers and what would you think if those power numbers were to decline significantly, to whether Rodriguez should be voted into the Hall of Fame.
Among the findings:
• Despite the notion that allegations and admission of steroid use will prevent players from being elected to the Hall Of Fame, fans are split on whether Rodriguez or Barry Bonds should be elected, while of those who answered the question, most believe (43%-36%) Clemens should be elected.
• More than 80% of respondents believe there is current use of HGH in baseball. More than 25% of the respondents believe over half of the players are currently using HGH.
• Nearly three times as many respondents believe steroids are more prevalent in MLB (61%) than in the NFL (22.3%).
• The economy is perceived as a much bigger problem for baseball than steroids. Of those who say they will attend fewer games this year, 74% say it is because of the economy, 6% says it is because of the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport. Further, fans say players making too much money is baseball’s biggest problem, and say that by a 40% to 23% margin over steroids.
• While more fans (30%) say home-run hitting is their favorite aspect of the game, overwhelmingly they say a decline in power numbers won’t decrease their interest in the game.
Results of ESPN/Seton Hall Sports Poll announced today on ESPN’s Outside the Lines:
Margin of error: 4%
What is your favorite aspect of Major League Baseball?
Home Run hitting 29.7%
Great pitching 25.9%
Speed on the bases 14.9%
Don’t know/refuse to answer 14.8%
If home run numbers declined, would your interest in baseball…
Remain the same 79.9%
Don’t know/refuse to answer 6.0%
Why so many HRs over the past 15 years?
Performance enhancing drugs 53.2%
Hitter friendly parks 13.9%
Inferior pitching 13.9%
Don’t know/refuse to answer 12.5%
Biggest problem with Major League Baseball?
Players make too much money 40.3%
Too much money to attend 21.1%
Games too long 8.3%
Why would you attend fewer games this season?
The economy 73.9%
Your team is not very good 6.9%
Don’t know/refuse to answer 6.3%
Players’ use of PHD 5.6%
How much do you care about MLB players using steroids?
A lot 64.1%
Not at all 17.7%
A little 16.9%
Don’t know/refuse to answer 1.2%
Because of drugs, I now take baseball records…
Less seriously 59.9%
No effect 33.2%
Don’t know/refuse to answer 7.0%
In which league are steroids most prevalent?
Don’t know/refuse to answer 9.0%
What % of baseball players use HGH?
Don’t know/refuse to answer 17.6%
Should Bonds be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame?
Don’t know/refuse to answer 13.4%
Would you change your mind if Bonds were found not guilty?
Don’t know/refuse to answer 17.9%
Should Rodriguez be elected to the Hall of Fame?
Don’t know/refuse to answer 17.6%
Would a further apology change your mind about Rodriguez?
Don’t know/refuse to answer 16.6%
Should Clemens be elected to the Hall of Fame?
Don’t know/refuse to answer 20.6%
Would an apology change your mind about Clemens?
Don’t know/refuse to answer 23.2%