Maese Space

The Kickoff

April 05, 2007|By RICK MAESE

The latest issue of ESPN The Magazine includes the annual "Ultimate standings," in which it ranks the franchises of the major sports. Baltimore, I have good news and bad news to share:

The good: The Ravens, ranked No. 54 last year, moved up to No. 32. Here's what the magazine said: Ozzie drafts All-Pros in his sleep. And the D could start you and blank Cleveland. ...

OK, now the bad: The Orioles, ranked No. 80 last year, slid to No. 105. To put that into perspective, there are only 122 teams. And the Orioles were the last baseball team in the rankings. Here's what the magazine said: Peter Angelos (ownership rank: 113) says it's tough to compete in the AL East. O's fans say it's tough to watch a loser (attendance is down 41 percent since 1993).

[Sigh.] It gets worse if you visit the Web site. Comments there include this little gem: And with the Nationals' getting a new park next year and the O's showing little sign of improvement, remaining Charm City loyalists should continue to be less loyal.

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