SURVEY SAYS: Are You Rootin' for the Rays or a Fan of the Phillies?

October 23, 2008 ( - The 2008 World Series started last night - and ahead of the "fall classic", I asked readers who they were rooting for.

If the series is as close as this week’s results, it will be a great World Series.    In fact, the split between the Phillies, the Rays and Neither/Other was nearly identical…but not quite.   In fact, a majority of this week’s respondents are expecting a six-game series.  

Still, when the polling was over, 36.2% said they were pulling for the Phillies, narrowly edging the 33.3% that is rooting for the Rays (based on verbatims, their comeback against the Boston Red Sox comeback won them some Bosox fan support.   One reader noted, “I’m a Red Sox fan, and I’m hoping that the Rays take it all. They have a great team and they deserve it.” ).

Other fan comments included:

“Event though I’m an avid Red Sox fan, I am rooting for the Rays. I was disappointed the Red Sox didn’t win, but I think it is wonderful for baseball to see a small-market team with a very small player payroll go from 97 losses to winning its league championship and going to the World Series! What a Cinderella story!! And it is hard not to like the “Rays” players and their coach!”

“Regarding the Tampa Bay Rays, you have to appreciate a team that comes from the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox… and who spend considerably less.”

“The owners of the Comcast Center have put a figurine of Billy Penn on the roof of the Comcast building in Phila (the tallest building in the city). No Philadelphia team has won a championship since the gentlemen’s agreement, not to build anything taller than the top of the hat on the massive Billy Penn statue above City Hall, was broken. This jesture will hopefully break “the curse of William Penn”. Go Phillies!”

“As a Phillies fan living in CT, surrounded by Yankees and Red Sox fans, finally I get my time. Phillies in 6, the Cinderella story has to come to an end, the clock strikes midnight on the Rays!”

“I’d like to say that Tampa team sure has improved since they dropped the Devil.”

Just over 17% said they were rooting for neither (generally because their team wasn't in the World Series, though some were not baseball fans - as one reader noted, "No offense, but I don't enjoy baseball. I'll find something better to do with my time" ), and the remaining 13% opted for "other", including at least one respondent who, apparently, could go either way; "I'm a Jaime Moyer fan since he pitched and lives in Seattle so I am partially rooting for the Phillies but as an American League fan, I'm pulling for the Rays."

How Long?

Regardless of their preferred winner (or lack thereof), I also asked readers to predict how many games the World Series would run.   A clear majority ( 56.7% ) is expecting a six-game series, with five games coming in a distant second choice ( 22.1% ).   Under 4% thought it would be determined in a four-game sweep, while 17% thought it would go the full seven games.

Other interesting comments included:

"I don't have a favorite but would love to see it go 7 games with 3 going extra innings."

"That's baseball right?"

"Brewers! At least the road to the World Series finally made a pass through Milwaukee."

"Who cares? If it's not football, it doesn't exist for me."

"As I sit here with my Phillies jersey from the 1993 season on over my nice red blouse, and listen to the helicopters circle over Philadelphia's City Hall covering the pre-series rally, I anxiously await the start of another World Series, 15 years after Mitch Williams threw the final pitch to Joe Carter in what was indeed great baseball, though my team was on the losing end. GO PHILS!!!!"

"Other than being mildly curious, I really don't care."

But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who said "I only root for the Cubs - it frees up my time in the post-season."

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!