(above : Freddie “Sez” Schuman, doing his best to assist the Yankees in their efforts to leapfrog 4 other teams some internet geek claims are more hateful)

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal statistical’s maven David Biderman elicited a somewhat paranoid, maniacal response from Yankee fans when he reported that Alex Rodriguez’ home run trot was considerably slower than that of teammate Derek Jeter. Perhaps hoping to make future trips on the 4 train without wearing a disguise, Biderman today consults the Nielsen Co., who have developed an internet algorithm that determines the Bronx Bombers are “contrary to popular belief, only the fifth-most despised team in the majors.”

This service typically uses various keywords to find out whether people have positive, negative or neutral reactions to different brands and products. No team registered a negative mark on Nielsen’s “sentiment scale,” which ranges from -5 to 5, but the Yankees (1.8) were one of only six teams to score lower than 2. The Mets finished four spots higher, making them the ninth most-hated team. “Even Yankee fans don’t hate the Mets these days,” says Benjamin Kabak, a writer for the River Avenue Blues Yankees blog. “We just feel bad for them.”

The San Francisco Giants (4.5) and Oakland Athletics (4.2) were the most-liked teams on this scale, suggesting that laid-back Northern California fans are the most accepting. But the Cleveland Indians’ MLB-worst 0.9 was a bit of a surprise. They simply haven’t done a lot over the past 13 years to warrant that much attention. “I can believe that though,” says Ed Carroll, who runs the Deep Left Field Indians blog. “The team does a lot to alienate its fans.” The unheralded Cincinnati Reds (1.5) and Houston Astros (1.8) were also in the basement.