The aura of a great brand name can survive the reality of a mediocre season. The mediocrity of this year’s New York Yankees is evident in the team’s win-loss record. The power of the brand name is demonstrated anew in a Harris Poll, conducted prior to the All-Star Game among adults who follow big-league baseball. For the fifth year running, the Yankees topped the rankings when people were asked to pick their favorite Major League Baseball team. The Atlanta Braves came in second, followed by the Boston Red Sox. The Texas Rangers had the biggest gain since last year, rising from No. 27 to a tie for No. 16. Perhaps this simply indicates baseball fans’ sense of irony, as the Rangers are dead last in their division. More understandable is the double-digit decline (to No. 21, from a tie for No. 11) by the now-woeful Chicago White Sox, who won the World Series a couple of years ago.
—Posted by Mark Dolliver