The Minnesota Twins are growing in popularity across the country but there are few baseball fans who believe they will win the World Series, according to a survey released Monday.

The Harris polling firm, in questions about major league baseball posed to 2,227 adults during the third week of June, placed the Twins ninth as the respondents' favorite team. That's up from 13th a year earlier.

The New York Yankees -- again -- came out on top, as they have every year starting in 2003.

As for who will be World Series champions in 2010, the survey found that 34 percent who consider themselves baseball followers believe the Yankees will repeat. Boston comes in next at 10 percent, followed by Tampa Bay at 9 percent. As for the Twins, they are tied for seventh with three other teams at 3 percent.

The survey also found a continued erosion of the sport's popularity. When asked, "Do you follow major league baseball or not?" the response was "yes" from 36 percent of those questioned. That's down from 41 percent in 2009 and is the lowest total since the Harris Poll first asked the question in 2004.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482