CINCINNATI -- Reds fans are pretty ready to move on and forget the 2015 season ever happened. But ESPN's latest ultimate franchise rankings suggest that this year's season will continue to haunt the Reds for years to come.
In the ESPN rankings, the Cincinnati Reds dropped a massive 25 places in the 122-team list.
The Reds have stayed in the top 30 of the list for the last four years, ESPN reports. Two years ago, the Reds had the second highest ranking of any MLB franchise -- No. 11 overall.
Now, the Reds are ranked 53 on the list.
The biggest flaws, in ESPN's eyes, with the Reds are an inability to win NL Central games, expensive players with inconsistent results (players ranked at 93), and manager Bryan Price, whose losing record earned him the lowest ranking (119) of any MLB coach who is still employed. In the ownership category, Bob Castellini's ranking dropped 38 places from 2014 to 2015, attributed mostly to trading Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Marlon Byrd for essentially no-name players.
"The division is too competitive for the Reds to thrive with minor tweaks to the roster," ESPN's Jerry Crasnick wrote regarding the Red ranking. "Rather than cross their fingers and hope, Cincinnati's decision-makers are finally coming to grips with reality. For this franchise, that's good news."
However, ESPN still gave the Reds credit in a few areas. The average ticket price for games at Great American Ballpark makes the Reds the third most affordable MLB team to watch at home. ESPN also tipped its hat to Cincinnati's rich baseball history, preserved in the nearby Reds Hall of Fame and loyal fans who still reminisce over the Big Red Machine and the Nasty Boys. Marty Brennaman even got a shoutout as a contributor to the Reds tradition.
The Bengals fared a little better than the Reds -- ranked 87 overall and No. 20 of NFL franchises -- and rose 12 spots from last year. ESPN's Coley Harvey wrote that the Bengals need to "improve an aging facility -- and maybe win a playoff game or two" to climb higher in the rankings.
You can view the entire list here.