Because the Leafs were ranked dead last, you very likely have already heard that recently ESPN posted the results of their annual little fan satisfaction exercise, also known as the Ultimate Team Rankings. Turns out that– if you feel like taking these things at all seriously– there were some Jays-related nuggets to be found in them as well.
Yeah, it’s a week old, but… fuck it, let’s have a look.
Evaluating franchises on a variety of factors in the realm of fan satisfaction, the Jays ranked 20th in baseball, dragged down mostly by an accurately low standing in “Stadium Experience”– third-worst in baseball and eleventh-worst among the three major North American sports and hockey.
Overall, the Jays are 79th of 122, down from last year’s 63.
“Affordability is where the team fell the most, dropping 19 spots and ranking 21st in the majors despite the average ticket price, $24.81, being 8 percent cheaper than the major league average,” we’re told in the team-specific write-up. “Fans also voted the Blue Jays below average in their willingness to pay to attract quality players and coaches, which resulted in a stadium ranking of 112, the team’s worst rating and the fourth consecutive year the Rogers Centre has received a 100-plus mark.”
Yes, these numbers come mostly down to fan voting, which hardly makes them uber-scientific– I mean, seriously, the Jays are tenth least affordable MLB experience going? Are we only counting the grotesque beer prices here?– but it’s still kind of interesting to see things like the fact that that Jays fans ranked the club’s ownership 17th.
Given all the insufferable fucking hand-wringing from so much of the fan base, Rogers being held in such “esteem” seems a bit off… but seeing the actual list gives you some perspective. Would we really rather have the owners of clubs like the Twins, Rockies, Astros, Marlins, Clevelands, Orioles, Royals, Padres or A’s? Some, perhaps, but it definitely could be worse– and what a fucking inspiring club motto that is: the Rogers-owned Blue Jays: Hey, it could be worse!
Also interesting, given the hand-wringing and the disastrous season the Jays have had, is that fans still put them in the middle of the MLB pack in terms of “title track”– “Championships already won or expected in the lifetime of current fans.”
Sure, their 15th place rank is down from 12th, where they were last year– and is a far cry from some of the surprising Ricciardi-era ranks (5th in 2004!!?!, and always between 8th and 11th from 2005 to 2008)– but that the bottom hasn’t completely fallen out when it comes to optimism around this club is a pretty remarkable thing.
Now, give us another year like this one and we’ll see how long that fucking lasts. And, shit, it says nowhere in the explanation of the methodology when this voting actually took place, so it’s possible sentiment has cratered further since fans chimed in.
And– double shit!– the explanation comes from Peter Keating, who we’ll all remember has a rather tenuous grasp on how to weigh the importance of certain numbers appropriately. That said, the Jays with mediocrity across the board and a shitty stadium experience? Yeah, I suppose that sounds about perfectly right.
Image via giants-rings.com.