No. 56: Los Angeles Dodgers

2013 Ultimate Standings

Updated: September 23, 2013, 12:07 PM ET
By Anthony Olivieri | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 61
Title track: 59
Ownership: 43
Coaching: 87
Players: 86
Fan relations: 53
Affordability: 77
Stadium experience: 61
Bang for the buck: 52

The Dodgers have always been classic Hollywood. From broadcaster Vin Scully, the team's venerable 85-year-old living legend, to baseball's third-oldest ballpark, Dodger baseball has always seemed like a time capsule from 1962. (Is Sandy Koufax pitching today, or Clayton Kershaw?) But this is a new era for Dodger blue, which has been canvased by a new free-spending ownership group publicly fronted by LA legend Magic Johnson. Ownership spent $100 million on improvements to the ballpark prior to this season -- from new video boards to better food options -- without taking away the venue's charm. But fans haven't had to be persuaded to show up, what with the team running away with the NL West crown on the strength of an otherworldly 42-8 run from June 22 to Aug. 17. Manager Don Mattingly, once on the hot seat, is the toast of the town. Fans pack in to watch Cuban sensation Yasiel Puig and, if you're actor Danny DeVito, utility infielder Nick Punto. Since 2011, the Dodgers have seen a meteoric rise in our standings in the categories of ownership (65 spots) and fan relations (48), which can be attributed directly to the departure of financially downtrodden ex-owner Frank McCourt. Though the new group is more Showtime than old time, it's all done on a ticket price ($22.37) below the MLB average. These are the good old days.

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