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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Updated: September 23, 12:12 PM ET
No. 22: Detroit Tigers

By Rachel Ullrich
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 52
Title track (T): 32
Ownership: 5
Coaching :40
Players :19
Fan relations: 26
Affordability: 32
Stadium experience: 23
Bang for the buck: 48

Huh, who knew? An AL title does wonders for a team's franchise ranking. Up 30 spots overall from last year, the Tigers rose in the standings in every category but one (affordability, where they stayed exactly the same). Some of the increases aren't shocking, based on the season. Fans' confidence in both coaching and ownership continues to grow as the team keeps winning. One of the biggest jumps, however, came in the players ranking, up to 19 from 65. No doubt Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown and MVP-winning season helped, as did the November pickup of five-time All-Star Torii Hunter. Fans also ranked the Tigers tops in MLB in being "willing to pay to attract quality players and coaches," and the team proved it with a five-year, $180 million extension to ace Justin Verlander, keeping him with the club until at least 2019. Perhaps that's why, despite a slightly above-average cost per game, Detroit fans continue to rank owner Mike Ilitch among the best in baseball: They see exactly where their money is going and the results it leads to on the field. And they do have those deep-fried peanuts.