The Oklahoma City Thunder made a 59-spot jump to No. 57 in ESPN The Magazine’s seventh annual Ultimate Standings of all 122 North American major-league teams. The magazine rated the Los Angeles Angels as best when it comes to paying fans back for their investment of time, money and passion and the Los Angeles Clippers the worst. Results are determined using analysis of team financial data and fan feedback. A breakdown of the Thunder’s rankings in eight categories: affordability: 8; players: 24; fan relations: 38; coaching: 48; ownership: 65; title track: 86; stadium experience: 86; bang for the buck: 103.
Short takesBlake Griffin discusses his dream of playing football at OU for a feature today on ESPN’s "SportsCenter.” As part of the daily series, athletes talk about their favorite events (other than their respective sports) to play in or to watch. ... For the sixth consecutive year, ESPN will televise the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest from Coney Island, N.Y., at 11 a.m. Saturday ... KOKH-25 will air the Dodgers-Padres game at 3 p.m. Saturday. It will be Manny Ramirez’s second game with the Dodgers following a 50-game drug suspension. ... TBS will announce the lineups for the All-Star Game at noon Sunday ...... Bob Costas’ interview with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. will air at 7 p.m. Sunday on MLB Network. ... Versus begins its extensive coverage of the Tour de France at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. ... ESPN Radio’s "Mike & Mike in the Morning,” celebrates the 1980s with a special "80’s Day” broadcast 5 to 9 a.m. Tuesday. Guests will include Larry Bird, Joe Montana, Jim McMahon, Kirk Gibson, Jerry Rice and Mike Eruzione. ... ESPN2 will begin simulcasting ESPN Radio’s "The Scott Van Pelt Show” from 2 to 3 p.m. ... CNBC examines NASCAR, reeling from the impolding car business and loss of corporate dollars, in "Inside Track: Refueling the Business of NASCAR,” 8 p.m. Thursday.