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Last year's ranking: 61
Title track: 36
Fan relations: 34
Stadium experience: 119
Bang for the buck: 34
"Just win, baby." That iconic phrase coined by the late Al Davis fits Oakland's baseball team much better than its football franchise. Billy Beane has the A's serious about advancing past the divisional round for the first time since 2006 (see: Lester, Jon). Even before pulling off two blockbuster trades, the A's were on the rise in the eyes of their fans. Oakland has jumped 48 spots in the past two years.
They'd rank even higher if not for the fourth-worst stadium experience score in sports. At least they can put talk of a move to San Jose, or anywhere else, to bed for the foreseeable future: A 10-year lease extension on O.co Coliseum -- which is 48 years old and occasionally spews sewage into team showers -- was finally inked in late July. The team will spend at least $10 million to upgrade the scoreboards and will address the sewage issue with an additional $1 million a year for structural work. However, A's co-owner Lew Wolff (the third-worst owner in sports, per our rankings) had to strong-arm the city with help from commissioner Bud Selig after Oakland tried to change the terms of the deal, a move that will surely add to the animosity. Fans may hate Wolff, but they love their blue-collar, low-budget bunch of "gamers," as newcomer Jeff Samardzija put it (players ranked No. 5, up 18 spots from last year). What else keeps fans happy? Ticket prices 19 percent lower than the league average and beers $1 cheaper than the league norm. Now it's World Series or bust. If only the Coliseum were ready for its close-up.