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Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: September 23, 12:05 PM ET
No. 35: Milwaukee Brewers

By Hallie Grossman
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 29
Title track: 95
Ownership: 26
Coaching: 69
Players: 46
Fan relations: 39
Affordability: 8
Stadium experience: 3
Bang for the buck: 53

This is not Milwaukee's Best. Brew Crew fans have heard time and again (but not bought) Ryan Braun's too-little-too-late apology. It's just too bad they couldn't drown out their former MVP's off-the-field noise with a worthy on-the-field product. No, gone are the days of 96 wins. Here to stay? Sub-.500 baseball and likely the team's worst record in nearly a decade. Wrote one distraught Milwaukee die-hard: "We once again held our collective breath and prayed that the starting pitching would be just good enough to keep them in it. All the while the offense, led by Braun and Gomez, would dominate the stat sheets. I don't think I need to mention the definition of insanity."

Still, despite this one bleak outlook, most Brewers fans are a study in resilience. In the face of myriad headaches, the club really didn't lose ground in this year's rankings -- and in fact gained some, climbing 11 spots to No. 46 for player effort and likability (go figure). It doesn't hurt that Milwaukee has some seriously devoted followers: Just last year, they catapulted a 24-seed Miller Park to win ESPN's Battle of the Ballparks. They clearly still love the place; it ranked third overall for stadium experience. Plus, the club didn't rest on its Braun-induced laurels, offering all fans who attended August home games a $10 voucher as a way to "give back" after the left fielder's season-ending suspension. For our money (and really, the devoted fan base's), that's pretty classy. Now, that's your best, Milwaukee.