For Pete's Sake

Royals ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s baseball ‘2016 Ultimate Standings’

Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain was greeted by Salvador Perez after Cain scored on a double by Eric Hosmer during a game this season.
Kansas City Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain was greeted by Salvador Perez after Cain scored on a double by Eric Hosmer during a game this season. jsleezer@kcstar.com

OK, so there won’t be a parade this fall. Nor will there be any new Royals’ World Series swag to buy.

We all know that the Royals missed the playoffs, but here’s a consolation prize: they took over the top spot in ESPN’s Ultimate Standings for baseball teams.

ESPN writes that the rankings “combine fan opinions and how well teams turn your dollars into wins. Ultimately, it all counts.” There is a more detailed breakdown here.

All 122 sports franchises from the Big Four leagues (MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL) were ranked, and the Royals ranked No. 9 on that list.

Royals manager Ned Yost discusses final game of 2016 season 

“The Royals scored high once again in the ballpark experience (sixth overall) and fan relations, and the team received the best affordability score in MLB (both 10th overall),” wrote ESPN’s David Schoenfield.

He added: “The Royals climbed 23 spots in bang for the buck, which is a good sign that fans are leaving the ballpark happy.”

The Texas Rangers ranked second among baseball teams and 10th overall, followed by the Baltimore Orioles (15th overall), St. Louis Cardinals (16th) and San Francisco Giants (18th).

On the NFL side, the Chiefs ranked seventh (and 20th overall), one spot behind the Denver Broncos.

“A huge 47-spot jump in bang for the buck shows where the playoff victory may be paying off for the Chiefs: It’s much easier for fans to feel they get their money’s worth when the team reaches the postseason (and does more than go one and out),” wrote ESPN’s Adam Teicher.

The Carolina Panthers were No. 1 in the NFL rankings and third overall. The Green Bay Packers were second (fourth overall), followed by the Arizona Cardinals (fifth overall), Seattle Seahawks (12th), New England Patriots (17th) and the Broncos (19th).

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Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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