MLB fan survey says ... baseball actually ISN'T boring and your team is really awesome

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There are two types of baseball fans: Those who follow national storylines and those who mostly just love their local nine. Or perhaps the two types are those who stare fixedly at baseball for three hours every night and those who are happy to keep it murmuring in the background. Or maybe the two types are those who love baseball more than ever and those who miss what it used to be.

We brought all these cohorts together for a survey about the state of the game and the way they consume it. The responses suggest a broad range of fans have found their own ways to get exactly what they want out of the sport, though many are also open to change.

Note: We've left the voting open, if you still wish to participate. You can also keep the conversation going using the hashtag #ESPNMLBPoll on Twitter.

1: How many games did you watch, listen to or attend in person during the opening week of the baseball season?

Attendance figures back up these responses. Major league teams have drawn about 1,000 more fans per game than they had in the same ballparks through the same number of contests last year. If those rates hold, they would arrest last year's attendance drop, which saw baseball draw its lowest crowds since 2010.

2: How do you consume baseball?

While the 8 percent who say they don't miss a pitch are obviously lying, there's an interesting, roughly 50-50 split here: the die-hard fans, who are most affected by the pace of play but who don't seem to be discouraged by it; and the background fans, who consume baseball in a way that makes pace of play or oversupply largely irrelevant.

3: Postseason aside, do you regularly watch games that don't feature your favorite team?

More than half of respondents' loyalties are to the team, not the sport. That makes it hard to turn Mike Trout into a national celebrity, but it's great for regional sports networks spending $60 million per market to claim this audience.

4: Is baseball boring?

Of course, parts of it undoubtedly are boring -- just as the flight to your tropical vacation and finding a parking spot for a rock concert are boring. But our respondents see the totality of the experience favorably, suggesting perhaps that fans aren't as focused on the dead moments as the How To Fix Baseball industry is.

5: If baseball is boring, why is it boring?

It's not great when the most common complaint about your product is "you're giving me too much of it."

6: What would be the best way to improve the game?

Some 70 percent said baseball isn't boring in Question 4, and 58 percent stuck to that for Question 5, but here only 34 percent say to leave it alone. Even fans who emphatically consider baseball entertaining, then, are open to changes -- though there's less support for more radical changes (such as shortening games to seven innings).

7: How do you rate the state of the game's popularity?

It's worth wondering how different the responses to this question would be if Major League Baseball itself, and baseball writers like us, didn't spend so much time publicly worrying about the state of the game's popularity. Regardless of that influence, though, about half the respondents see baseball as fundamentally stable.

8: Do you think the game has enough household names?

Considering no active major leaguer is among America's 50 favorite athletes -- that the game arguably has no household names active -- we can probably lump the "yes" and "who cares?" responses together here. That is telling, and consistent with the rest of this survey: Fans are passionate about their teams, not about an industry.

9: How do you feel about your team's chances to win a World Series over the next five years?

Retired commissioner Bud Selig once said that "if you remove hope and faith from the mind of a fan, you destroy the fabric of the sport. It's my job to restore it." He'd probably consider the responses to this question a fine legacy.

-- Poll questions by Matt Marrone