No. 112: Chicago Cubs

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 7, 2012, 11:09 AM ET
By Anna Katherine Clemmons | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 112
Title track: 112
Ownership: 68
Coaching: 94
Players: 110
Fan relations: 102
Affordability: 114
Stadium experience: 63
Bang for the buck: 119

Chicago's Theo Epstein era has begun with a long road to rebuilding. Owning the second-worst record in the NL (and MLB) through August, the Chicago Cubs didn't earn extra points with the Wrigley faithful by dealing away beloved veteran pitcher Ryan Dempster. The Cubs also charge more for a ticket than any other NL team ($46.30), and parking is a hefty $25. Coupled with the team's losing record, it's no surprise the Cubbies own the worst ranking in MLB for bang for the buck and worst in the NL for affordability. Still, Cubs fans are a patient bunch. Through the first 64 home games this season, Chicago averaged 36,527 fans per home date, the fifth-highest average among NL clubs. Some of the credit goes to storied Wrigley Field, where this season the Cubs debuted a 75-foot long LED board above the rightfield fence. The rightfield bleachers were transformed into the Budweiser Patio with an all-inclusive food and drink package for up to 150 fans (even if the team isn't winning, no reason not to enjoy yourself, right?). And the club offered up a slew of giveaways, including a nod to another famous Chicago icon by handing out limited edition American Girl doll-sized Cubs apparel on Aug. 1. Still, there's no way to dress up a club that can't crack the top 60 in any category.

Anna Katherine Clemmons is a contributing writer for ESPN The Magazine.