|ESPN.com: SportsNation||[Print without images]|
Last year's rank: 46
Title track: (T)8
Fan relations: 7
Stadium experience: 1
Bang for the buck: 88
O ye San Fran fans of little faith. Despite a 2012 title, the fans ranked the Giants behind St. Louis and the New York Yankees in baseball's title track category (we're quite certain the team won't mind as long as the Giants get to keep their actual title on the books). But Bruce Bochy did get some love from our participants: Despite a third-place finish in manager of the year voting, he scored the highest of all NL managers in our standings. The players also were named best in MLB in categories such as "likability" and "always giving their best effort" (maybe the two best descriptors ever of Buster Posey?), which led to a huge jump in the players category –- from ninth to first in baseball.
In all, the coaching, players and ownership rankings each jumped more than 30 spots from last year, which even a first-to-last skid this year won't completely erase. And even when the Giants aren't winning, AT&T Park continues to be a popular destination: Fans named the stadium the best in baseball this year, and, with ticket prices just 10 percent higher than the league average, it doesn't cost all that much to watch the World Series champs in the most fan-friendly stadium in baseball. Sure, the team's collapse this year means there will be no repeat ring, but the Giants milked that title all year with a glut of themed promotions: a cap, beach towel, umbrella and more. You never knew you needed a Giants championship snow globe, did you?