No. 75: Kansas City Royals

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 6, 2012, 5:59 PM ET
By Doug Mittler | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 60
Title track: 104
Ownership: 110
Coaching: 109
Players: 70
Fan relations: 83
Affordability: 24
Stadium experience: 24
Bang for the buck: 71

The Kansas City Royals teased their fans last season with the promotions of highly touted rookies Mike Moustoukos and Eric Hosmer, raising hope that a quarter-century playoff drought could soon end. When Kansas City finished 20 games under .500 and stumbled out of the gate again this year, the fault was placed squarely on manager Ned Yost (a whopping 37-point plunge in coaching). "With an out-of-touch owner in David Glass, GM Dayton Moore seems to slip under the radar. This leaves Yost as the natural scapegoat," blogged Jeremy Sickel of PopFlyBoys.com. Royals fans still support their players (13-spot rise to 70th), as evidenced in July when the locals mercilessly booed Yankee Robinson Cano for leaving hometown hero Billy Butler out of the home run derby. The franchise once again received its highest marks in affordability and stadium experience (24th in both categories). An average ticket price of $21.84 is a full $5 below the major league average. And now beautiful Kauffman Stadium is more environmentally friendly, having had 120 solar panels installed before this season as part of MLB's green effort. Royals fans, however, are still waiting for that power surge up the Central Division standings.

Doug Mittler

Rumor Central