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Title track: 62
Fan relations: 89
Stadium experience: 118
Bang for the buck: 39
Change from last year: -45
Three straight playoff appearances, one after a 96-win season -- and a ranking of 95 in these standings?! Well, to be fair, voting was done in July, when it was clear that the A's would not make a fourth straight postseason trip in 2015. Oakland's huge fall was the second-worst tumble in baseball, and fans' frustrations are about more than one bad season.
The A's did finish in the top half of the standings in players, coaching and, as usual, the affordability categories (24th overall). Tickets cost several dollars below the league average (they usually can be found even cheaper on the secondary market), and merch and concessions are among the less expensive finds in MLB. Those low prices, plus several winning seasons in a row, saw the team ranked 39th in bang for your buck -- which, hey, could also be the motto of Billy Beane's front office. Most years, the Athletics are competitive despite the payroll ... there was even a movie made about it!
Look no further than the "122" next to ownership. Athletics co-owner Lew Wolff has long refused to spend on the players or the stadium, which has led to situations like Scott Hatteberg at first base and sewage in the dugout. And fans are, quite frankly, tired of the concrete bunker that is the Coliseum -- ranked worst in all of sports in stadium quality and fan-friendliness. Local transportation problems have contributed, and the stadium doesn't sit in a part of Oakland that might attract foot traffic. This year, the appeal of schlepping to a '70's era combo football/baseball stadium to eat bad food and drink mediocre beer while watching second-tier baseball players boot the ball around has led to, not surprisingly, terrible attendance.
A 32-place drop in players (from fifth last year) might have a little something to do with a last-place finish in "willingness to keep its core players" -- and, ahem, Josh Donaldson's MVP-worthy season for the Blue Jays. Bob Melvin fell 23 places in the coaching category, no doubt a result of this year's disappointing season. And the biggest fall came in fan relations, a massive 55-point plunge. Funny how an owner who doesn't seem to care about staying in Oakland (voted worse than every team but the Rams in "commitment to the community"), a disappointing stadium and an even worse team combine to alienate fans, huh?