MLB Rankings: Baseball's Most Fortunate, Dare I Say Spoiled Fans

Jared FeldmanContributor IIIJune 16, 2011

MLB Rankings: Baseball's Most Fortunate, Dare I Say Spoiled Fans

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    ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 24:  Baseball fans watch a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    This list comes from an argument I had with a friend of mine, who was bemoaning something about his favorite team that may have just won the World Series last season.

    It got me thinking.

    Which fan groups have had it the toughest and the easiest? Which fans have been most fortunate to be fans of their teams? Which fans get the best experience, and the best performance from their respective clubs from year to year?

    For arguments sake, I decided to look at teams success and stadiums from the last 20 years. Which fans must be forced to watch poor games in great stadiums, and which must watch great teams play in barely inhabited monoliths?

    Let us find out. 

30. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    PITTSBURGH - APRIL 07:  Fans sit in the outfield bleachers prior to the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Colorado Rockies on April 7, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    I think the photo says it all.

    OK, so this wasn't taken during the game, but the sentiment remains the same. The Pirates and their fans haven't had too much to cheer about the last few decades. When every player with a shred of talent is shipped off at a moments notice, fans really don't have too much to cheer for.

    PNC park is nice, but there's sadly no reason for anyone to fill it.

29. Kansas City Royals

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 05: Fans of the Kansas City Royals watch the fountains as the Detroit Tigers take batting practice prior to the season-opener against the Kansas City Royals on April 5, 2010 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by G
    G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

    The Royals recently got a new renovation and Kaufman Stadium looks shiny and polished.

    Royals fans haven't had it easy since the eighties, and it looks like it might be two or three more years before they are in a position to make an impact in September and beyond.

28. Washington Nationals

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    WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 17:  Fans watch from the upper deck during a game between the Washington Nationals and the Milwaukee Brewers during the second game of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on April 17, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty I
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    The last time the Nationals/Expos were in contention was 1994.

    If you don't recall, there was a strike that year. The Expos were in first place when the season prematurely ended and the franchise hasn't looked competitive since.

    At least they finally got to leave Olympic Stadium in Montreal. RFK wasn't much better, but now things have got to get better, right? I mean the only way it could get worse for Nats fans would be if Bryce Harper suddenly decided to join the clergy. Right?

27. Baltimore Orioles

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    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 26:  Fans go after a ball thrown into the outfield after the third out of the sixth inning during the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 26, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob C
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Camden Yards was the first of this new generation of classic styled stadia.

    Orioles fans should be proud of that. What's not to be proud of? Not being competitive practically at all over the past two decades.

26. Milwaukee Brewers

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    MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 04: Members of the 'racing sausages' walk out to greet fans before the home opener between the Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 4, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Miller Park is a welcome upgrade from Milwaukee County Stadium. The sausage races are second to none. As for the ball playing, it's coming along.

    It's not there yet, but fans are ready and deserving of something better in the coming years.

25. Florida Marlins

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    MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JUNE 11:  Fans watch the Arizona Diamondbacks play against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium on June 11, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Sun Life Stadium is a beautiful place to watch a game. The crowds are always massive and the games exciting to the last second. Okay, it's true if you are at a Dolphins game.

    The Marlins have two championships in the past 14 years, something most fans would be proud of. The problem is that those two teams no longer exist. Both were dismantled the year after winning and any hopes of a repeat were quickly dashed.

    Fans can take solace in the fact they have more World Series titles than the Indians, Cubs and Giants combined over fifty years. Unfortunately, the stadium in baseball configuration leaves much to be desired and corresponding low attendance seems to support that.

24. San Diego Padres

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 10:  San Diego Padres fans hold up a banner during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Petco Park on June 10, 2011 in San Diego, California.  The Nationals won 2-1.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Ima
    Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    San Diego is a beautiful city, and Petco Park is a beautiful ball yard.

    The Padres are still trying to live up to their surroundings. Fans haven't had too much to celebrate since their 1998 pennant-winning season. We'll ignore Ken Caminiti's 1996 MVP due to performance enhancing reasons.

    Trevor Hoffman used to be fun to watch, and so it was to watch Adrian Gonzalez. Is Edgar Gonzalez still around?

23. Oakland Athletics

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 27:  Hideki Matsui fans of the Oakland Athletics cheer against the Baltimore Orioles during a Major League Baseball game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 27, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    In what use to be a passable stadium, Al Davis graced the A's with the mountain that is center field in Oakland.

    The A's haven't sniffed the World Series since 1990 and the playoffs since 2006. The team is in a downward spiral, and fans aren't likely to be showing up in droves until they are granted a new stadium or find a way to win.

    I'm not sure how long it will take for either of those to happen.

22. Houston Astros

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    HOUSTON - APRIL 12:  Fans wave an Astros flag in center field at Minute Maid Park on April 12, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    It's ironic that the Astros needed to rename their stadium after that whole Enron thing. Minute Maid just doesn't have that ring to it. The Astros are also still without a ring, and despite the heat they've only had one really good postseason.

    Too bad all it did was net Carlos Beltran an undeserved mega contract, while Astros fans are stuck with that weird hill in center field.

21. Toronto Blue Jays

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    TORONTO,CANADA - APRIL 1:  Rogers Centre staff await fans prior to the home opener for the Toronto Blue Jays as they face the Minnesota Twins during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre April 1, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Gett
    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    The Sky Dome, or rather Rogers Centre, used to be cutting edge. Now it's kinda floundering, just like the Jays.

    It's not their fault. Being stuck behind the financial behemoths of the Yankees and Red Sox can't be fun for the players or the fans.

20.Tampa Bay Rays

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    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 12:  Fans of the Tampa Bay Rays clap during their game against the Texas Rangers during Game 5 of the ALDS at Tropicana Field on October 12, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    To be fair, the Rays haven't been around for two decades, but in their limited history they have only given their fans brief glimpses of success and a reason to watch.

    Better times are ahead for the Rays, but until they get into their new stadium, their finances aren't likely to allow them to match up with those many mentioned financial titans.

19. Chicago Cubs

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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 20: Fans of the Chicago Cubs watch from the right field bleachers as the Cubs take on the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field on April 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Padres 2-1 in 11 innings. (Photo by Jonathan Dani
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Chicago Dogs are awesome. Wrigley Field is a historical monument.

    The Cubs are kinda like the Washington Generals: Whomever the Cubs face in the regular season or playoffs always manages to play like the Harlem Globetrotters, and while the Cubs make it close, they never can seem to pull off a win.

    This is year 103 since a championship. I'm so proud that so many fans still show up.

18. Cleveland Indians

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    CLEVELAND - APRIL 01:  Fans walk into Progressive Field stadium prior to the Opening Day game between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox on April 1, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    The Indians had a multiyear sellout streak back when Jacobs Field, ahem Progressive field, opened up. Fans continue to come but certainly in lesser numbers in recent years.

    I guess being the Chicago Cubs of the American League doesn't inspire too much confidence in potential fair weather fans.

17. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 03: A fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks holds up a sign reading 'We Believe' during the Major League Baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Chase Field on June 3, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the National
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Another team with a short history. It's a surprisingly rich one with an improbable championship in 2001. Since then, little has gone right for the Diamondbacks and their fans.

    They are in contention this year, but when the home team fans are outnumbered by visiting fans, it kinda makes you think something might be a bit off.

16. Seattle Mariners

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    SEATTLE - APRIL 14:   Fans enter the stadium before the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play on Opening Day on April 14, 2009 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    The Ichiroll is past its prime—so is Ichiro evidently.

    Even when the Mariners won an astonishing 116 games in 2001, they couldn't even make it to the World Series, let alone win it.

    Times are better with Safeco than they were with the god awful kingdom, but without a potential Ken Griffey Jr. or Alex Rodriguez on their foreseeable horizon, their fans might have to put up with a max of three runs per game.

15. Detroit Tigers

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    DETROIT, MI - APRIL 08:  Fans pose for a photo prior to the Detroit Tigers playing the Kansas City Royals during Opening Day at Comerica Park on April 8, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 5-2.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Any team that has a recently opened stadium is going to rank decently high. Problem is, nearly every team has a stadium built over the past two decades.

    The Tigers have not had great success other than a pennant in 2006. They looked on the verge of turning their franchise around after so many years of record-breaking failure.

    I feel for Tigers fans and Detroit in general. I'm just going to say that something will fall the Tigers' way sooner than later.

14. Minnesota Twins

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    BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 18:  Jim Thome #25 of the Minnesota Twins talks with fans before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 18, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    1991 World Series, Kirby Puckett, Paul Molitor—these are a few of my favorite Twins things.

    Also, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. A lot of stuff to be proud of and to watch for.

    Just not this season. Yes, they hunkered down in their hefty bag bunker for a number of years, but it did give them a good home-field advantage and it let fans not sit in 40 degree weather. Definitely something to consider yourself fortunate for in Minnesota.

    Target Field looks immaculate, and hopefully the talent will bounce back soon enough.

13. New York Mets

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    ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 14:  A young New York Mets fan holds up a sign with the words 'Don't Trade Reyes' during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 14, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The man holding the sign is on to something.

    A team in New York shouldn't be in financial trouble. A new stadium is supposed to usher an era of success and prosperity, not a fire sale.

    Even before the whole Bernie Madoff, Mets go broke thing. It can't be great to be a second class team in the nation's biggest sports market.

    The Mets had the chance to hold NY bragging rights in 2000, only to see it quickly snatched away. How many more years must the Flushing Meadows faithful wait for the Big Apple to be theirs?

12. Colorado Rockies

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    DENVER - APRIL 09:  Players and fans observe the national anthem as the stars and stripes is presented by members of the US military as the Colorado Rockies host the San Diego Padres during MLB action on Opening Day at Coors Field on April 9, 2010 in Denv
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Maybe a bit high on the list, but the Rockies have a beautiful stadium, a good number of fans and tons of hitting.

    Even when they weren't good, it was always fun to go to a Rockies game, as long as you don't like pitching. Prior to the humidor era, so many balls left the yard every single game.

    Now although home runs are down, the team is exciting and worth watching. Now for that elusive championship.

11. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 14:  Los Angels Dodger fans ask for direction from a Los Angeles Police Department officer at Dodger Stadium prior to the start of the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game on April 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, Cali
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    I might be carrying a bit of their 1988 championship into this ranking. The Dodgers have always had a good deal of talent, many colorful characters and world class management.

    Most of that has disappeared as of late, and Chavez Ravine has really lost its panache in recent years.

    The Dodgers would be much lower if this were only the past few years.

    Dodger Dogs, I knew I forgot something.

10. Chicago White Sox

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    CHICAGO, IL - MAY 01: Fans of the Chicago White Sox scramble for a home run ball hit by Adam Dunn in the 8th inning against the Baltimore Orioles at U.S. Cellular Field on May 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Orioles defeated the White Sox 6-4. (Photo by
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    These guys would be way lower if not for their recent championship. Probably way lower.

    The White Sox know what it's like to be second-class citizens. The south side is always ruled inferior to the north side in each facet.

    The Sox have a recent championship, and they also have a decently new stadium. It's a shame the top level is too steep to safely sit in.

    Anyway, there's not that much for fans other than the occasional Ozzie Guillen rant.

9. Texas Rangers

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    ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 01:  Former U.S. President George W. Bush waves to a fan on Opening Day at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on April 1, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Rangers superfan pictured above.

    They finally were able to get over the hump against the Yanks last year. They've finally got a competent manager and real pitching, not just the Kenny Rogers variety.

    They've got fans now too, because they are worth watching. The stadium is great, and with the Mavs NBA championship, maybe some of that luck will rub off on the Rangers as well.

8. Cincinnati Reds

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    CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 14: Fans cheer as Brandon Phillips #4 of the Cincinnati Reds returns to the dugout after hitting a home run in the second inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on May 14, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Big Red Machine is not quite back, but they put on a show every game.

    The new stadium is a definite upgrade, and they've got that something about them that makes them worth watching every single day.

7. Atlanta Braves

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    ATLANTA, GA - MAY 01:  Fans look on during the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on May 1, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Bobby Cox was arguably the best manager of the past two decades. Although he's moved on, the Braves have given their fans plenty to be proud of in recent times.

    Although they probably deserve more than the one championship, year after year they compete no matter who is on the field. The talismanic Chipper Jones is nearing the end of his career, but his spirit will live on in one way or another.

6. Los Angeles Angels

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 10:  Fans wear wrestling masks given away as a promotion as they set a Guinness World Record for 'largest gathering of people wearing costume masks' during the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on M
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    No matter what city the Angels are located in, they give their fans more than enough to cheer about. Competent ownership is so important these days and surprisingly hard to come by.

    Besides the rally monkey World Series in 2002, fans pay 50 percent less for beer than they do on average in other stadiums.

    That's something to be thankful for.

5. San Francisco Giants

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 06:  Fans cheer Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants after pitching his 1000th career strikeout against the Washington Nationals during an MLB game at AT&T Park on June 6, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Torture was and still is the mantra of the Giants. Maybe it's modesty, maybe it's hubris. Either way fans have had plenty to smile about.

    The 90s were dark times, stuck in the cellar in the abominable Candlestick Park. Now at AT&T, the Giants and their fans are in for something special every trip to the yard. 

    Whether it's the perpetual one-run games, the view of the bay or the haute cuisine, San Francisco is baseball's town these days.

4. St. Louis Cardinals

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 2: Fans clamor to catch a a home run ball hit by Aubrey Huff #17 of the San Francisco Giants against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on June 2, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    I've heard from multiple sources that the Cardinals have the best fans in baseball. I can understand why.

    New stadium, great talent and a world-class manager. A World Series despite having an 83-78 record. Sellouts nearly every single game. Yeah, those are lucky fans.

3. Philadelphia Phillies

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    PITTSBURGH - JUNE 03:  Philadelphia Phillies fans root for their team against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on June 3, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pirates defeated the Phillies 2-1 in extra innings.  (Photo by Justin K. Alle
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Five years ago, this would be a different story. Now it's good to be a Phillies fan. Domination of NL East. A ridiculous roster. Only injuries are going to keep this team down over the next few years.

    You couldn't be luckier to be a fan of an NL team.

    But you still are behind...

2. Boston Red Sox

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    BOSTON - AUGUST 01:  Fans enjoy the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox from the bleacher seats on August 1, 2010 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Red Sox and lucky, who would have thought it?

    Two championships in four years tends to do that. Nearly unlimited monies allows the acquisition of practically any player imaginable.

    Their farm system is top five nearly every year, and their prospects produce immediately. It's tough to argue against their fans as the luckiest, but there is always one trump card.

1. New York Yankees

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    BOSTON, MA - APRIL 8:  A New York Yankees fan uis senn on Opening Day before the game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on April 8, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    The Yankees.

    Yankees fans are the luckiest most fortunate. The past 15 years, the Yanks have seen so much prosperity, it's kinda embarrassing for a Yankees fan to ever complain about anything—though they still do for some reason.

    Championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. Pennants in 2001 and 2003. A $200 million annual payroll.

    Three surefire Hall of Famers on their roster. A brand new stadium and the largest media market in the country. I think this picture kinda says it all.