top baseball franchise and second in all of sports by ESPN The Magazine. My first was reaction was mild surprise. I don't think I would have thought as them as the best, but they have been a contender for years with little ownership drama and good attendance.
What shocked me is where the New York Yankees landed: 75th. Really? I despise the Evil Empire as much as the next non-Yanks' fan, but this doesn't seem possible.
The three most important things as owner needs to do are field a competitive team; give fans a positive experience at the game; and make money. It's hard to see where the Yankees fail at that.
For 90 years, or nearly the double the time the Angels have existed, the Bronx Bombers have won more World Series than any other team. And it's not close. They play in the most famous stadium; the newest version of Yankee Stadium has great sight lines, amenities, a Hall of Fame and, of course, the famous monuments (including the garish ode to George Steinbrenner).
Yes, the best seats require a mortgage for most fans. But there are plenty of tickets at more reasonable prices. And the team is second in the league at the gate (the Angels are 5th). So they must be doing something right, despite the sky-high prices.
It's hard to understand how you could design criteria that would place the Yankees so low on the list. I can see why the Green Bay Packers would top the rankings. (Full disclosure: I bleed green and gold.) But then, they are often called the New York Yankees of football.
I never thought I'd write about the Yankees being treated unfairly, but these rankings are silly. It makes me think the books were cooked just to draw attention to ESPN The Magazine.
I guess it worked.