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Baseball: mo’ money, mo’ problems?

Many fans are less than happy with the way the game is currently played - and their ability to watch it.

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Milwaukee Brewers v. Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged-in Arizona Diamondbacks fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.

According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey 52 percent of Diamondbacks fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. That’s up from 44 percent last week.

That level of confidence in the team now may explain fans’ feelings toward the team’s overall success this season. 64 percent of fans expect the Diamondbacks to win between 76 and 85 games this year. That’s up a bit from our own pre-season poll. The bands were different, but only 21% were in the 77-85 win range then, with 8% above that, and the remained below. I’m not sure exactly when this poll was taken, but it seems to have been just before the 0-6 road trip got under way, when the team was above .500 and playing pretty well. I imagine the results right now might be a little different...

Earning those wins this season will likely require dominant pitching and lots of home runs. The game today is more dependent than ever on home runs and strikeouts. However, fans around the country don’t see this as an improvement to baseball. More than two thirds of fans think there are too many strikeouts in the average game. I can’t argue with that in the broader scheme of things. An individual strikeout is fine, but the game is based around the ball being put in play, and that’s where the entertainment comes from.

In an adjustment to the dominant pitching, more hitters are approaching at bats willing to risk a strikeout in order to hit a home run and not need multiple successful at bats in an inning. But only 17 percent of fans believe more home runs make the strikeout rate worth while. On top of that, fewer than 10 percent of fans like this hitting approach at all. As with the strikeouts, it’s the conflict between winning baseball and entertaining baseball. While all fans want their team to win, it does seem that they’d rather have an entertaining defeat than a boring victory.

But... But... I was assured that chicks did the long ball? And designated hitters! Dingerz, people! DINGERZ!!! While the “how” of it all is still up for debate, one thing is clear – fans want more runners on the base paths. Nearly a full 100 percent of responding fans think the game would improve with more singles, doubles and triples.

The changes in the game over the years have made it hard to watch for some fans, in an abstract way. However, another trend recently has made baseball much harder to watch in a very real way. More than a third of fans around the country said they are unable to watch their favorite team on TV. Two-thirds of fans said in order to watch their favorite team, they would need to pay an extra fee. I’m not quite sure why so many are “unable” to watch their favorite team. If you’re out of market, should have you covered, while in market, you just need the appropriate cable package. There are a few exceptions - did the Dodgers ever sort themselves out? - but a third seems rather high.

To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.