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Los Angeles Angels
Title track: 33
Fan relations: 63
Stadium experience: 74
Bang for the buck: 73
Change from last year: -28
Angels fans are among the most underrated in sports -- the club has drawn 3 million in 14 consecutive seasons -- but a sub-.500 season, despite having the best player in baseball, has created some frustration. Two years ago, the Angels ranked 15th in the Ultimate Standings. Last year, they fell to 28th. This year, they've fallen to 56th. Mike Trout was MVP-caliber yet again, but starting pitchers Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano combined for just 20 starts after suffering season-ending injuries, and the team was never in the playoff hunt.
Well, the fans love Trout, and he helped the Angels finish 41st in players, though that's a drop of 10 spots from last year. But Los Angeles is a star-driven city, and the Angels lack stars; even Albert Pujols, who drove in more than 100 runs, is a shell of the superstar performer he was with the Cardinals. He had an OPS over 1.000 eight times with St. Louis but has been under .800 each of the past four seasons with the Angels. The Angels continue to score well in affordability (even in L.A., their average ticket is less than $2 more than league average), but that still dropped 26 spots.
Has Mike Scioscia worn out his welcome? He's the longest-tenured manager in the majors, having been with the team since 2000 (the second-longest is Bruce Bochy, who took over the Giants seven years later). But Scioscia ranks just 73rd this year, down 32 spots. However, he isn't going anywhere. He's signed through 2018, and after he won a power struggle with former GM Jerry Dipoto last year, owner Arte Moreno (who had the Angels' worst ranking, ownership at 80th) will stick with him.
The Angels dropped 45 spots in stadium experience, with a similar drop in bang for the buck, but fans might be taking their frustrations about on-field performance out on the stadium. Not only was it the franchise's worst season since 1999, but it just wasn't an interesting team. Yes, the Angels draw from a large population base, but it would seem the 3 million attendance figure speaks to a pretty good stadium experience, complete with reasonable prices ($10 parking in L.A.!). The fans want to see a winning team.
Next: Houston Astros | Full rankings