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Are bench-clearing brawls ever okay?

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You decide!

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New York Yankees Vs. Boston Red Sox At Fenway Park Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across MLB. Each week, we send 30 polls to plugged in fans from each team. Red Sox fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.

Are bench-clearing brawls ever okay?

We are back with this week’s Fanpulse poll results, which I boldly am posting in the middle of NFL Week One action. Am I dumb, or just stupid? That’s up to you, the readers.

Anyway, as we’ve done the last few weeks because the Red Sox-specific results are holding steady, we’ll start with the week’s national poll. This week we tackled bench-clearing brawls. More specifically, are they ever okay?

I’ll start by saying I think I agree with the majority here, though I’m not sure it’s such an absolute. If we’re looking at things from a morally perfect lens, then there should never be brawls. It’s childish and unnecessary at its base, and even if you reject that idea it’s not good for pace of play. It seems everything in modern baseball is boiled down to its effects on pace of play, so that is probably worth considering.

All of that being said, there are two points to go against the idea that bench-clearing brawls are by definition bad. The first is that, as sad as it may be, they’re entertaining! Even when the majority of them are just guys yelling at each other, it adds a bit of electricity into the park that can be felt even after the dust settles. It’s a guilty pleasure, but it’s a pleasure for many nonetheless. More importantly, the lead-up to the brawl is often much worse than the brawl itself. Throwing at opponents is always garbage. If you want to get rid of brawls, the first step is do actually start cracking down on intentionally throwing at opponents.

Red Sox fan confidence update

As I do every week, I need to remind people that this poll was taken a little less than a week ago. As always, things have changed a bit since people responded. Specifically, the team dropped two of three to the Twins and have split their first two game against the Yankees. Mathematically, they are still in the playoff chase but it’d take a historic run on their part plus a historic collapse for two of the teams their chasing for the team to play into October. That’s not likely!

Anyway, fan confidence and confidence in Alex Cora has held mostly steady. Confidence in the organization jumped a bit from the last poll, going from 27 percent to 31 percent of respondents answering “yes” to whether or not they are confident in the direction of the team. Meanwhile, approval for Cora fell a tiny bit from 58 percent to 54 percent.