Those Damn Yankees Again

Just in time for baseball’s All-Star Game, a Harris Poll has the Major League standings — not in won-loss records but in public popularity. When American adults who follow the big-league game were asked to pick their favorite team, the New York Yankees ranked atop the voting, as usual. The Atlanta Braves ran second, for the second year in a row, while the Boston Red Sox repeated in third place. Filling out the top 10: The Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets.

The Colorado Rockies, who had an incredible stretch run last season, moved up 14 places (to a tie for No. 13) from the 2007 poll. Three teams moved down nine slots in the rankings: The Seattle Mariners (to No. 17), Cincinnati Reds (No. 18) and Baltimore Orioles (No. 22).

Elsewhere in the poll, 40 percent of adults identified themselves as fans of the game — 49 percent of males respondents and 31 percent of female respondents. Notwithstanding baseball’s current reputation as a sport followed mainly by geezers, people age 63 and older were less likely than those 44-62 to say they follow it (38 percent vs. 44 percent). But it’s true that young adults are comparatively unenthused, as just 34 percent of the 18-31-year-olds said they’re fans.

The survey’s results do support baseball’s image as a cerebral game: 48 percent of respondents with a post-graduate education said they follow the game, as did the same percentage of those with an undergraduate degree. By comparison, just 33 percent of those with a high school education or less said they’re fans.