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Poll shows Red Sox fans have extremely pessimistic outlook for 2024 season

BOSTON -- Opening Day for the Red Sox is a mere nine days away. The excitement in Boston is ... not quite palpable.

Coming off a 78-win season and a second straight last-place finish, the Red Sox entered the offseason and did very little to improve the major league club. Outside of swapping out Chaim Bloom for Craig Breslow as chief baseball officer, along with some minor roster shuffles, the Red Sox haven't done a whole lot to make anyone believe their 2024 season will be an improvement.

That's been the general feeling. But now some polling from The Athletic has added some data to back that up. The Athletic polled 22,000 fans to gauge their optimism -- or lack thereof -- in their favorite teams.

In that polling, Red Sox fans ranked 27th out of 30 in terms of optimism for the 2024 season, with just 12.2 percent responding with optimism. That's down from 38.5 percent a year ago (ranking 23rd) and 88 percent in 2022, when they ranked 11th while coming off an ALCS appearance.

"They did nothing in the market except juggle some fringe pieces," one fan named Andrew said. "It's like watching someone stir a leftover soup that wasn't great the first time."

Another person expressed a common belief among Red Sox fans these days regarding John Henry and the Fenway Sports Group ownership contingent.

"We are in better shape than most franchises, especially over the last 20 years. We won the World Series I waited my whole life for, then three more. But I don't trust the owners anymore," the fan, also named Andrew, wrote. "They keep denying they are gaslighting us but very clearly are. I'm not sure what the future holds. It could be bright, but the lack of trust and transparency sours me."

The only teams that ranked lower than the Red Sox' 12.2 percent optimism rate were the Oakland A's (8.4 percent), Chicago White Sox (4.7 percent), and Colorado Rockies (4.6 percent). Around the AL East, the Orioles ranked No. 1 (98.7 percent), followed by the Yankees at No. 11 (80.7 percent), Rays at No. 13 (76.6 percent) and Blue Jays at No. 25 (31 percent).

Things can change in a relatively short time with these feelings though. The Orioles had just a 6.8 percent optimism rate in 2022, and the reigning NL-champion Arizona Diamondbacks went from 7.5 percent in 2022 to 97.3 percent in 2024.

So perhaps Breslow and the Red Sox can steer their ship in that direction in a year or two. But for now, things are looking bleak.

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