By most respect, I don’t mean the franchise you most want to win, or the one with the most wins and losses, or the one with the most World Series titles, but the franchise that you think is the best overall model for the other 29 franchises to follow. Maybe you respect the Yankees, not just because of their 27 World Series titles, but because they’re always willing to spend the money needed to remain competitive and give their fans playoff teams to root for. Or the Cardinals for having a solid organizational plan, being consistently competitive, and honoring their former greats. Or the A’s for continuing to field very good teams despite their low budgets, playing in a second-tier stadium, and being the less-glamorous team in their market. Or the Rays for simply surviving in Tampa. Four examples of why a team might have the most respect, and obviously there are other reasons and other criteria available. This idea could apply to both a franchise’s history and to its current operation.
I think the Giants deserve the most respect, mostly because they didn’t take taxpayer money to build their new stadium, yet don’t have enormous prices for their tickets. The Giants also went through their decades of title-less seasons before 2010 without creating an identity based on that streak, and have some of the best hitters ever and honor those hitters. They’re not the team I root for the most, but they’re interesting, they’re one of the founding West Coast franchises, and their overall personality right now is one of the best fits for their city you’ll find in MLB.