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SB Nation FanPulse: Fan confidence in the Tigers’ direction is wavering

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After a strong start, more apathy seems to be setting in among the Tigers fanbase.

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Detroit Tigers v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The promotional bit: Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Detroit Tigers fans, sign up here to join FanPulse.

Over the past several weeks, we have been sending out surveys to our FanPulse participants. The questions have varied at times, but two have been constant; how confident are you in the club’s direction, and how confident are you in manager Ron Gardenhire? Fans have expressed a high level of confidence in Gardenhire throughout the year — or are unwilling to blame him for the team’s struggles, at least — but the team’s direction has been more of an open question.

Now that we have several weeks of responses, the graph is starting to look a bit more interesting.

As you can see, fans are still generally confident that the club is headed in the right direction. Sixty-six percent of responders said “yes,” that they like the direction the Tigers are moving in. This level of confidence is nearly identical to the previous week, in which 65 percent of responses said they were happy with how the team was doing.

Still, confidence appears to be dropping off. Responses were in the 70s or better throughout most of April, and at 84 percent at the beginning of the year. This dip makes some sense, as the Tigers have been unable to get back to .500 over the past few weeks. However, with the jury still out on most of Detroit’s prospects, fans are not ready to fully jump the wagon.

Also worth noting: the poll came out before Thursday’s 13-0 drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels, so expect another dip next week.

Do you approve of the job Ron Gardenhire is doing as Tigers manager?

89% Yes
11% No

Personally, I find it hard to evaluate how Gardenhire has done as the team’s skipper. They have one of the worst rosters in baseball on paper, and were projected to finish in last place. That they have outperformed expectations and their pythagorean expected win-loss record could be a point in Gardenhire’s favor, but it’s hard to decipher how much credit he should receive for Shane Greene locking down the ninth inning, or Matthew Boyd’s breakout, or Spencer Turnbull’s early success.

That Gardenhire’s support has remained so consistent (around the 90 percent mark for almost the entire season) seems fair.

What do you think?

As always, remember that you can sign up for FanPulse here.