The poor trades, the bad contracts, the ticket price hikes, the season collapses--everyone knows it can be hard to be a New York Mets fans. ESPN quantified it.
Every year the sports network releases its Ultimate Team Standings, which measures how much a sports franchise rewards its fans for their support, and this year--for the second year in a row--the Mets are last among baseball teams.
Teams are measured in eight categories: bang for the buck (wins over the last three years measured against revenue provided directly by fans), fan relations, ownership honesty and loyalty, affordability of a stadium visit, stadium experience, likeability of the players, coaching, and championships won or expected in the lifetime of current fans. The Mets scored particularly poorly out of the 122 professional baseball, football, basketball, and hockey teams in the categories of affordability (117), player likeability (115), and fan relations (118). They scored highest in championship expectancy (81) and stadium experience (88).
It's true fans seemed to abhor second baseman Luis Castillo because of his huge contract. Ditto on the utterly erratic pitcher Oliver Perez. But crowd favorites like David Wright and Jose Reyes easily balance things out. This criterion is questionable.
When the Mets moved into Citi Field two years ago, the prices went way up...and so did the stadium experience. This is reflected in the grades, although it's hard to see how Citi Field ranks lower than Anaheim Stadium, which is older than Trevor Hoffman.
The only baseball team in ESPN's Ultimate Team Standings' top ten is the Los Angeles Angels. The Yankees are ranked 75th, hurt in the affordability category (119th, with the average ticket costing $51.83) and bolstered immensely by--you guessed it--championship expectancy (6th).
The New Jersey Devils ranked the highest among New York metropolitan sports teams at 50th place, and the Jets (76th) edged the Giants (81st) in local football teams.
The best franchise overall was the Green Bay Packers. This isn't surprising, considering the fans literally own the team, and the team won the Super Bowl in January.
The worst sports team overall was the Cincinnati Bengals, who were pilloried by their fans in ESPN surveys. ESPN said, Here's one way to define hopelessness: Over the past decade, the Bengals have gone 68-91-1, making just two playoff appearances (both first-round losses). Throw in the Carson Palmer situation, and you have a bleak situation indeed.
The complete rankings are here.