Last week, ESPN ranked the Toronto Maple Leafs as the worst of 122 pro franchises in the four major sports leagues, using eight largely subjective categories. Bloomberg BusinessWeek Magazine weighs in this week, ranking the Leafs 118th out of 122 with a data-based survey called Smartest Spenders in Sports.
Based on payroll data, BusinessWeek calculated the cost per win over the past five seasons, factored in league averages and derived an efficiency index. Bonuses were awarded for every win over .500, playoff victories and championships. Due to the bonuses, the scores were heavily weighted to playoff appearances, and the Leafs last appeared in the postseason in 2004.
The Tampa Bay Rays ranked No. 1 overall with an average payroll of $50.2-million (all currency U.S.), weighted wins of 123.5 and an efficiency index of minus 1.82 (the lower the score, the better the mark). The Leafs had an average payroll of $59.1-million, weighted wins of 34.4 and efficiency score of plus 2.08.
The Vancouver Canucks scored best of the seven Canadian-based franchises, ranking 31st, followed by the Montreal Canadiens at 41, Calgary Flames at 83, Ottawa Senators at 93, Edmonton Oilers at 103 and Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets at 114.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment owns the Leafs and the Toronto Raptors of the NBA. BusinessWeek ranked the Raptors 107th.
The Toronto Blue Jays ranked 75th.
The bottom-rated franchise, St. Louis Rams, had average payroll of $110-million, three weighted wins and a 4.07 score.
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