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Angels voted the best franchise in Major League Baseball

Jun 15, 2011, 1:32 PM EDT

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweeted a few minutes ago that according to an ESPN poll (which he didn’t link but which I don’t think we’re missing), the Anaheim Angels have been voted the best franchise in Major League Baseball and the fourth best in all of professional sports.

Lots of unknowns here, but any definition of “best franchise”  that still allows for a trade for Vernon Wells and all of the money owed him has to be flawed, no?  I mean, what are we really voting on here? Nicest letterhead?  Best Christmas party?

What possible metrics could be in play that would rate the Angels ahead of, say, the Yankees? Or the Red Sox?

  1. halladaysbicepts - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    It does not suprise me. Most of the people that go on ESPN are mindless drones. They don’t know anything and ESPN indoctrinates them.

    Boston, New York Yankees and Phillies are superior organizations in all aspects….

    • thomas2727 - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      Funny you are calling somebody else a mindless drone when you say the teams with the three highest payrolls are superior in all aspects?


      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:54 PM

        Not just payroll-wise. Boston, New York and Philly have the greatest sports fans both passion-wise and knowlege-wise. They also have (3) great ballpark to watch games in. They also have VERY strong minor league systems. I can go on and on and on.

        This is indisputable and everyone knows it.

      • kopy - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:47 PM

        Please do go on, because they only thing I’ve read so far are subjective opinions, and not objective facts as to why we should believe that those three teams are the best franchises in MLB.

      • scatterbrian - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:19 PM

        But why don’t Phillies fans have spellcheck?

    • b7p19 - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      I think it’s funny how you snuck the Phillies in there with the Yankees and Red Sox. Doesn’t matter what the subject of the post is; you will always include the Phillies somehow. I will give you one thing though, if most losses in history is one of the criteria then the Phils are right up there.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:49 PM

        I don’t need to sneak the Phillies in there because they ARE there in the top 3. Ask anybody that knows a lick about baseball economics and logistics, simpleton.

        The Phillies have the most losses in history because they have existed since 1883. One of the oldest franchises in all of sports. If you are around for 128 years, those losses tend to mount up.

        What else do you got? Best you can do?

      • kopy - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        If you are around for 128 years, those World Series titles must really add up too. Wait, 2? Only 2? The same amount the Marlins have in 18 years? Never mind.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:58 PM


        Yeah, a lot can be said about those Marlins and their “supportative” fan base. I’m assuming you are a Marlins fan. What do you gus get again, 8,000 people a game? Yeah.

        I’d rather have only (2) titles in 128 years and be part of one of the best fan bases in the world then be a front-runner like the city of Miami that only supports their teams when they are decent.

        Even then, when the Marlins were good, they did not even come close to selling out their games.

        What a joke!

      • kopy - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        I’m not a Marlins fan. I’m a fan of a different team, the Twins (who also have 2 World Series titles in less time). I just know when to call BS. Saying the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies are superior to all over franchises in all aspects of the game is a complete lie. There are many more teams that have been much more successful. The Phillies just happen to be riding a peak.

      • b7p19 - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        I remember being able to go to the old Vet 20 minutes before game time and buy a $7 dollar ticket for a double header and have an entire section to myself. I agree that Phillies fans are good fans, but not anymore than most teams.

        When the Phillies are bad the fans don’t go, just like any other city.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:28 PM


        You’re wrong again. Even when the Phillies were bad, they still drew over 23,000 people a night and around the 2.0 to 2.5 million mark for the season. And those were the numbers even playing in a dump like the Vet.

        Look it up and come back to me.

      • b7p19 - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        First of all the Vet was great. Don’t you dare say otherwise. Second, see below:

        ’93-’94 (Phillies Good) – 39,290
        ’96-’02 (Phillies Bad) – 21,014
        ’03-’09 (Phillies Good/New Ballpark) – 37,351

        It’s not a knock on Phillies fans. It’s just the way it is.

      • buddaley - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:15 PM

        Halladaysbicepts, I will not quarrel with your interpretations although I think they are silly, but I think it worthwhile not to mislead. Of the 7 teams that began their existence in 1883 or before, only the Phillies have over 10,000 losses. In fact, of all current non-expansion teams, the Phillies have the worst franchise winning % at .472. Only 3 expansion teams (Padres, Rays and Mariners) are worse with the Rangers the same.

        No need to catelog all the low points in the Phillies sad history, the consecutive last place finishes, the 100 loss seasons, the sub .300 winning % seasons (in fact, 4 sub .300 winning % seasons) and more ignominy. In terms of on-field success, the Phillies have been the worst franchise in the sport over the long haul.

        As for your claims about attendance, I think they are also false. Look at the figures as the Phillies moved further from their World Series appearance in 1993. By 1995, they were 5th in attendance in the majors. In 1996, they were 17th. In 1997 they were 24th, and they stabilized around that as they moved up a notch to 23rd in 1998. Like most teams, failure led to fewer customers.

        It makes sense that Phillies fans are enthusiastic about the team the last few years. It has been a terrific team with some great players and exciting pennant races in which the Phillies were among the favorites to prevail. I don’t know the criteria for best franchise, so I can’t comment on that, but I do think fans should be aware of the history of their clubs when making blanket statements. I know you are talking present tense, but responding that their losses accrued because of their long existence is misleading, and the implying that the fans support the team regardless of on field success is wishful thinking.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM


        First of all, I can knock the Vet all I want. I had several years with both the Phillies and Eagles where I held season tickets. Went to games there since the late 70’s. And I will tell you the place was a DUMP. Period. I could write a book on why it was a dump, but I think you know why.

        Second, the attendance was still between 2 to 2.5 milion average over all those bad years.

        So, you can’t refute that. There are teams this year that will stuggle to reach even a million. You can call it bad economy all you want like most people have said. I call it bad and unsupportive fans.

      • b7p19 - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:41 PM

        I can’t beleive i’m getting into this with you, but you are just flat wrong. I just gave you the #’s and they don’t = 2million fans. In the bad years between 96 and 2002 they averaged 21,000 fans. Thats 1.7 million. As far as teams not reaching 1 million, i’ll take that bet right now. Even the Marlins are on pace for 1.3 mil.

        As far as the Vet goes, the rats and vomit were part of what made the place great. It saddens me that you remember it so negatively.

    • buddaley - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      I thought the prevailing view was that ESPN has an east coast bias and pimps for Boston and NY.

      • buddaley - Jun 15, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        From 1996-2002 the Phillies never reached 2 million fans. The attendance ranged from 1,490,638 to 1,825,337 with most years a figure between 1.6 and 1.7 million.

    • aceshigh11 - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:37 PM

      Do you TRY to be the most obnoxious person on this site, or does it just come naturally to you?

      ESPN is widley-known as the “Yankees/Red Sox” channel when it comes to baseball, so when do they ever find time to indoctrinate the viewers with pro-Angels propaganda.

      Please, stop. In the immortal words of Duke from Rocky IV: “Throw the damned towel.”

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:46 PM

        Call me obnoxious if you will. I state facts based on both perception and opinion. Like I’ve said before, usually my opinions are facts.

        If you want to say that it comes natural to me, I would say that pretty much sums it up.

        I don’t apologize for it. If you read most of my posts, I will even critisize my own team when it’s necessary. I call it like I see it and don’t kiss ass.

        I will continue to call it like I see it.

      • scatterbrian - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:56 PM


        You have a project. You are to look up the following words in a dictionary:

        1. fact
        2. perception
        3. opinion
        4. biceps

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:02 PM


        1. fact – anything that the Bicepts says.
        2. perception – what the Bicepts sees with his own eyes.
        3. opinion – what the Bicepts thinks, which is usually fact.
        4. biceps – what Roy Halladay shows to the Bicepts when he pitches.

        Project complete.

      • scatterbrian - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        ….and he wondered why no one took him seriously.

  2. pkiguy22 - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    Stadium? No
    Championships? No
    Fans? Maybe
    Finances? No
    Manager? Maybe
    Front Office? See finances

    You got me. I can’t think of anything that would make me even put them in the top 10

    • bigharold - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      Clearly you are being a bit myopic.

      You are neglecting the all important “Best Pile of Rocks Beyond Center Field” criteria. Not to mention their proximity to Disney Land.

      The Angel’s are clearly the best baseball franchise, …. in Anaheim CA

      • Brian Murphy - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        I forgot to mention the Angels’ fans. I am not sure if attendance spirit is involved in the criteria, but I’ve noticed that the Angels have the quietest, most unenthusiastic fans in the game. It’s really sad to watch them on TV. That crowd only makes noise solely when the stadium tells them to do so with those stupid electronic banners — “Make Some Noise!” “I Can’t Hear You!” “Get Loud!”

      • bigharold - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        Don’t confuse their Southern California politeness and composure with being “unenthusiastic” On the outside they’re quiet and reserved but on the inside they’re a Yankees/Boston/Phillies fan Frankenstein monster of a fan heckling the opposing players, rudely demanding better from the Angel’s and threatening the umpires .

        It pretty scary but decorum and southern California culture demand they hide that side of them. I’m glad I was able to clear the up for you.

      • jimbo1949 - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:18 PM

        I watched an Angels game a couple weeks ago and the fans were very enthusiastic. Yelling for their team, chanting the players’ names, very into the game.
        Seems that the avid, vocal fans were on hand to cheer on the visiting Yankees.

      • pauleee - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:48 PM

        That would be “Best Pile of FAKE (Disney) Rocks Beyond Center Field”, thank you very much.

        And Brian, you’re right on the money. Our fans are horribly unenthusiastic. They do have to be prompted to “Make Some Noise!”, and then it dies down as soon as the sign goes away. Another thing that kills me is when the starter is taken out, pitched well and he walks to the dugout to an underwhelming applause. Geez people, stand up and give some appreciation.

        You know what gets a great response though? Beach balls! Just sayin’.

      • Brian Murphy - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        I would just like to say that I don’t speak just from what I see on TV, even though I know I mentioned that in the post.
        I live in Southern California. I have for about 20 years now. I’ve been to a couple hundred Angel games.
        It used to be different. Back when I was in high school, I went to a lot more games and I just remember that crowd being a lot more into the action. Now, about 10 years later, I’m not sure what it is — maybe the fans have grown tired of all of the division titles with nothing more grand to show for them — but those people are dead.
        The loudest that stadium gets is when the Yankees or the Red Sox come into town. And yes, at least half of that noise come from visiting fans.
        I know So. Cal. is supposed to have this “too cool to care” persona, but if you paid the price to come to the game, you might as well stop acting like you’re at a library.
        I went to their game against the Rays last Wednesday, and two moments stand out: Just after Abreu’s three-run double tied the game at 3-3 in the eighth, the Angels had the go-ahead run on second with no out.
        Then with two outs in the ninth and down by a run, Erick Aybar was on second, and Howie Kendrick came to the plate, representing the winning run.
        In both situations, you would have thought the Angels were trailing 8-1 in the fourth.
        Full disclosure: I don’t like the Angels because I am a Yankees fan and it always seems as if the Angels play up to their ability for only them. Plus, the Physioc-Hudler announcing era REALLY pissed me off.
        But what’s happening on game night in that stadium now is sad.

  3. Brian Murphy - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:40 PM

    All you need to know is that the Tampa Bay Lightning finished second behind the Green Bay Packers in this poll.

    So, the Packers were first this year, and the Saints, who were first last year, dropped to third. Basically, if you win the Super Bowl, you’re the best franchise in sports.

    Ticket prices are part of the criteria, and I must say that the Angels aren’t exactly cheap. I don’t know how they got to be No. 1 in baseball, and I pretty much don’t care because I can’t seem to understand anything ESPN is doing to measure teams for such a list.

    But we love lists, so I’m sure it’ll be popular chat fodder.

    • kopy - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:40 PM

      It’s not a coincidence that the Packers won both this poll and the Super Bowl, but there are a lot of real things that make the Packers one of the best sports franchises. Being owned by a city, instead of a rich guy, and that city having 100,000 people in it being the main ones.

      • Brian Murphy - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:16 PM

        Yeah, I get that. This list just makes me bitter. I’ve got nothing against the Pack. I can’t say who definitely should be No. 1, but they are among the deserving.

  4. shawnuel - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    You can’t look rationally at the Yankees last few amateur drafts and conclude they are ‘currently’ one of the sport’s best franchises. Anyone who leaves out the Tampa Bay Rays risks serious hits to their credibility. I have them and Boston at 1 and 2 and Philadelphia at 3.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      True enough about the Yankees recent draft history. But, even if they have a bad couple of drafts, they can more than make up with their wallets. Tampa Bay can’t. They HAVE to draft well to compete.

      Tampa Bay also has other negatives: weak fan base, crappy ballpark, etc.

      In my opinion, the Rays are in the bottom 1/4 of this list at best.

      • scatterbrian - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:28 PM

        “But, even if they have a bad couple of drafts, they can more than make up with their wallets.”

        That’s just wasting money, which should be a knock against them. How can they be considered great when they have so much room for error?

    • yankeesfanlen - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:52 PM

      Key word “amateur” draft. We tend to hire professionls.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:56 PM

        True enough. I stand corrected, Len.

        But, I think you would agree that Tampa is not even in the top 20 organizations.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:02 PM

        Do you mean that team that plays in the Florida swamps near Xanadu with the stadium that has that calliope-and-merry-go-round motif over the moat that civilization lives beyond?

    • dan1111 - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      I may hate the Yankees, but it’s hard to argue against them as the best franchise in baseball. The farm system is one small component–and even in that area they have developed some excellent home-grown talent.

      The Rays have some bright spots. I think they would be a fun team to root for. I would take them over the Angels any day, but they have a way to go before they could be considered the best.

    • shawnuel - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:59 PM

      I agree with you, Scatterbrain. Spending extra money to make up for poor drafts does count as a strike against. Just as Bicept’s contention that the Rays are in the bottom 1/4th of such a list because of weak fan base and a crappy ballpark makes no sense as those factors should count as a plus for Tampa Bay’s front office, being so successful recently despite those handicaps.

  5. yankeesfanlen - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    I got it- ESPN loves cowboy music, and Gene Autry was spotted with Elvis in an In ‘n Out Burger in Rancho Cuchamonga.

  6. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    I dont know how a franchise with the worst name in baseball is #1. LA Angels of Anaheim? That is a retarded name. Oh, but wait this was done by espn if there was no retardation involved it wouldnt really make sense!

  7. Jonny 5 - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    The Angels need the good press?

  8. adowding3 - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    I by no means agree with this selection, however i find it kind of amusing. Where did all you “ESPN HATES THE WEST COAST!!” people go? Yea.. wow. East-Coast bias really shining through now….

  9. Justin - Jun 15, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    While I don’t agree with the choice either, I think they have some over simplified equation that determines it. Something like overall record in the last few years, team salary, stadium experience, and price of tickets.

  10. angelsandaimee - Jun 15, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Some perspective from a Halo fan:

    The poll mentioned doesn’t use the best methodology to designate the “best franchise” in they way most avid sports fans (i.e. people that read HBT) would define “best franchise.” The Angels won this honor in 2009 as well, and as I understood it, it was more focused on the best “fan experience.”

    So while front office (in)competence and minor league health may be the way *we* judge “best franchise,” I suspect that this poll gives the Halos big points in:
    (1) Affordability – Prices were raised this season, but there are still good values around the stadium and it sure beats the prices at Fenway & Yankee Stadium.
    (2) Arte’s reputation – I like Arte as an owner, but he’s still reaping the rewards of lowering beer prices years ago. His “fan-friendly” + approachable reputation is probably a big plus in this poll. Furthermore, he’s showed that he’s willing to spend money, even if the money is foolishly spent.
    (3) Stadium experience – It’s known that Arte also made a huge push to make the stadium cleaner and more family-friendly. Angels fans might not be the most vocal or intense, (I bristle at those commentors that suggest that Halo fans are bad fans or any less devoted to their team), but that also means families don’t have to worry as much about those drunken louts who spew profanity or embarrass themselves.

    If you add in the fact that the Halos have been winning for the greater part of the decade, it adds up to this honor. But really, other fans shouldn’t get their panties in a bunch. I’d rather the Halos be a team in first place than have the meaningless title of “best franchise” bestowed by meaningless ESPN.

  11. dirtyharry1971 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    gotta love philly fan’s thinking their team is up there with the big boys, got some bad news for ya phil fans. Nobody cares about your team outside of PA!!! NOBODY!!

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