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Thursday, September 12, 2013
Updated: September 23, 12:08 PM ET
No. 98: Seattle Mariners

By Rachel Ullrich
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 99
Title track: 121
Ownership: 100
Coaching: 101
Players: 99
Fan relations: 99
Affordability: 99
Stadium experience: 39
Bang for the buck: 70

As long as the Mariners keep losing on the field, they'll keep hanging around the bottom quarter of our standings too. (It's the third straight year they've ranked in the lowest quartile.) In fan surveys on wins and losses and commitment to winning, the M's placed among the worst teams in baseball -- ahead of only the division bottom-dwelling Astros and Marlins. Thankfully, the Astros' arrival to the division allowed the M's to escape the AL West basement for the first time in four seasons.

Despite a just-below-average cost per game and respectable scores for Safeco Field -- in our surveys, "great stadium" and "fan-friendly environment" were the only two questions on which the M's scored above the MLB average -- the Mariners likely won't climb back up in our standings until the wins start coming. And not even a Beard Hat promotion can speed up that process. Cy Young hopeful Felix Hernandez and steadily improving slugger Kyle Seager on the other hand? In the not-too-distant future, they just might lead this team up the AL West ladder.