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Sunday, October 06, 2013


Was that week the peak?
I know 08 was "the top of the mountain" but was the sweep of the Reds in 2010 the Phillies at the height of their powers?
Did it all slowly come undone after that? The Giants series. Utley's knees. Roy O's back. Howard coming apart. The loss to StL. And the years that followed.

I don't like Braves or the Dodgers, but I think I'd rather see the Dodgers lose in the first round to discredit Free_AEC's premise that spending "Dodger Dollars" is how you get the the World Series.

gobay, the Phillies went 102-60 the following season. I would probably call that the "height of their prowess".

Cliff Lee 4 runs blowup

The Owner of an Art Gallery sells you a fake Van Gogh, it's FRAUD.

David Montgomery says buy tickets the PHILLIES are a World Series team, it's OK.



SHIN-SOO CHOO 112 walks




61 MILLION unspent




Watching the highlights of that game brought a tear to my eye. I miss that Halladay.

It was twenty years ago today
Sgt Pepper taught the band to play

If you can muster any ill will towards Halladay after he provided us with this moment, you're a miserable human being and a detriment to society.

Zero ill will...just sad to realize he's a shell of his former greatness.

Iceman: so you are Free AEC basically?

The difference between the quality of play on that team versus the past two years' iterations is staggering.

Also, respect to Wilson Valdez.

Three things that stand out in that video:

1) Halladay's seems like forever since we saw it. But it was really a joy to watch a pitcher that could command all his pitches like that.

2) Some fortunate bounces that were they were lucky didn't turn into infield/seeing-eye hits.

3) It's really, really obvious how much the defense has slipped when, after 162 games of the crap we were just subjected to, you watch a video like this and how sure-handed and quick they were at every position. Arguably, the defense has fallen off as much as (or more than) the offense.

Defense tends to go fast once you hit 30...not really a surprise to see that dropoff considering.

Great game. I was fortunate to see it in person. I'm certainly grateful to Halladay for his achievements as a Phillie, but that doesn't mean that we need to bring him back in 2014.

How can you go from that to this is he really toast?

Getting old sucks...If I were a betting man, I would say he's finished. Two solid years of mediocre performance by him. Sometimes, guys simply dont recover from injuries/wear and tear. Shoulder issues and some mysterious chronic illness plus his age dont bode well for him.

Personally, for me, I hope he signs with someone like San Diego where he'd have a low pressure situation and a friendly ballpark to have a few final decent years as a SP where he can pick up some more counting stats as a 4th starter. I'd hate to see him get signed by say an AL East team and get bludgeoned on his way out. He deserves better.

"Arguably, the defense has fallen off as much as (or more than) the offense."


2007 2nd out of 30 teams

2008 8th out of 30 teams

2009 4th out of 30 teams

2013 27th out of 30 teams


His posts are getting increasingly nonsensical, but I'm still enjoying the 'picture' signature with Montgomery/Jeff Goldblum scowling in the background.

It was twenty years ago today
Sgt Pepper taught the band to play

Posted by: NEPP | Sunday, October 06, 2013 at 10:08 PM


Just perfect how this song segues into "With a Little Help from My Friends"...

That video left a smile on my face and nostalgia tugging at my heart.

Most of the balls didn't leave the infield. Raul Ibanez had not one play the entire game.

Hey Mikkke, how is SHIN-SOO CHOO sufficiently "White" to meet your approval? When "Mouse" was selected 2007 NL MVP, how did that go over in the cell block?

Hey Mikkke, how about this classic from August 3, 2003?

"Greg Reynolds

"Mike Crotta

"Blair Erickson

"Ryan Tabor

"School starts in a couple weeks and then these studs can't be signed.

"Why have their names not been mentioned at all this summer by the "news"paper guys at the Inquirer and Daily News who never miss an opportunity to brainwash the public about the Phils farm system?

"Who will be pitching at Lakewood next year? How about half season Batavia? The Phillies have added nothing to their system. The above kids are the Phillies prospects four years from now, guys who may be needed to fill a spot in the pen or in the 5th spot in the rotation, or (assuming we get a new GM) traded for a stud to put the Phillies over the top at the deadline.

"If these kids aren't signed now then the Phillies are in big trouble four years from now."

Mikkke, you so crazy!

I had the most incredible experience watching this...I flew down to my girlfriend's place in Florida and my flight was during this game. I asked my gf to DVR the game and I would watch it the next day while she was in class.

I vowed not to check the score on my phone, go on facebook, text my friends, answer phone calls, etc...I would be dead to the sports world. I did get a text from a friend telling me to turn the game on. Instead, I turned off my phone.

The next day, still without any knowledge of the game what-so-ever , I woke up early and turned the game on. As I watched I started to realize around the 7th inning what I was about to witness...I watched the rest of the game and called my dad laughing and crying about what I just saw.

It was one of my favorite sports moments ever.

Thanks Doc!

i also watched that game on tape. in the middle of that night. as i started watching i happened to see a story on huffington post with a pic of halladay and the headline smth like "only the 20th pitcher."
so i knew it would be special. it didn't spoil my enjoyment at all.

btw, great story, Outta Here.

It got worse, Doc. Didn't it?

The Phillies won the World Series in 2008

Free AEC is so fvcking dumb he doesn't remember it

2008 Payroll- 98 million

2009 Payroll- 113 million

2010- Payroll- 141 million

2011 Payroll- 172 million

It's not the money a$$hole


Image macros are cruise control for cool.

This was a great game. My 11 year old still talks about seeing it.

Paul Holmgren and whoever was a part of the Laviolette decision here has now leapfrogged Amaro for worst GM in Philly sports.

To be fair, Lavi stuck around a lot longer than most head coaches in the league - despite not winning with some serious talent (although no goalies).

However, I get the feeling Homer's feeling Hexy breathing down his neck, and is impatient for some results to force the owners' hands and not replace him.

Also, the article on CSN wouldn't be chuckle-worthy, save for the "We Recommend" section after the article body that includes another story with the header: "Why the Flyers Won't Fire Peter Laviolette."

The problem is: Holmgren has run the franchise into the ground the past few years (in a worse job than Amaro), and all summer this clearly wasn't working, so you play 3 games than fire him? It's silly.

Hopefully the 11am press conference is announcing a full housecleaning

Still kind of pissed I missed a chance to go to this game because I missed a VM at work. Oh well.

It was only 3 years ago but it seems a lot longer after the last 2 seasons.

TTI: I'm not saying it was a smart move (although plenty of people have been calling for it, and his style of O-centric hockey is somewhat ill-suited to our below-average D and sub-par goalkeeping), but it's definitely an understandable one.

Of course, one could argue it's the GM's job to make smart moves in the face of unpopularity...

Wow, and that's also a crazy (if unimportant) point. Chip Kelly is now the longest-tenured head coach on any major Philly sports team.

As badly as Amaro gets ripped, Billy King was a worse GM and you could argue Holmgren too.

Jury's still out on the Eagles wonderboy too (Howie Roseman). Still at least 2 years away from being able to really judge him.

So how would we rank the current GM's in Philly?


That's not exactly a murderer's row of GM's.

norbertods - 'Tallest Midget' list.

Correction: Hackworth is the longest-tenured. Although not everyone considers MLS one of the "major" sports.

Chase Utley probably doesn't make it to the HOF because of his counting stats.

By contrast, Cano's counting stats are already a little better than Utley's, and Cano is four years younger. If he keeps it up for another five years, when he will only be 35, Cano should gain admission easily.

I think it goes:


The distance between Hinkie and Amaro though is greater than the distance from Amaro to Holmgren.

I know people are pissed about what the Sixers did this off-season but they are not seeing the forest for the trees.

The Sixers were not going to win anything this year with Jrue Holliday. Jrue is a great player and will be a stud in the league at the point guard position but the team itself is at least 4 years away from being a contender. So they packaged him for Noel who will be an inside presence that the team has sorely lacked for a long time. Michael Carter Williams is going to be a fine point guard even with his inability to shoot.

This deal gave us multiple first round picks in a strong 2014 NBA Draft and a lot more cash under the salary cap. Add that to the focus on analytics and they seem to at least have a solid plan going forward.

TTI: I don't disagree about the team's long-term prospects, but it's a serious matter for a team like the Sixers, because nobody wants to watch a perennial loser, and attendance has been an issue since Iverson left.

Couple that with a new ownership group, and a team that slipped from taking the Celtics to 7 (after beating the Bulls) in the playoffs to not even sniffing the playoffs, and you've got major revenue problems.

If this keeps up, Flea_AEC is going to start posting about his hatred for the ownership groups of the other Philly sports teams.

I was at Disney World with my ex-gf. All day we saw tons of people in Phils gear and we'd give each other knowing nods. We left Epcot center at 5pm to go watch Phils-reds at the ESPN zone at the Disney boardwalk. By the 5th inning the place was electric, almost all phils fans in the place. Nobody from cincy can afford a flight to Orlando or else just they just prefer hotel tv's, which is how I'd watched mcnabb's return to Philly just a day earlier and the eagles lost so obviously it was a bad way to go. After Roy sealed the deal, many of us stray phils fans in the espn zone got drunk and made friends with each other. A few of us headed down to magic hours at the kingdom for some celebratory Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin rides.

Gf wasn't a baseball fan, and we broke up a year later, but she's still a phillies fan now because of that moment. Thanks Roy!

Laviolette should have been fired last season. Pointless to let him coach three games this season. What are you going to learn about a guy in three games that you didn't learn in the prior four years?

Of course the Flyers have larger problems very similar to those of the Phillies: the GM is a stooge who also should have been fired, & the organization as a whole is fixated on the past to the extreme detriment of their present. Ed Snider is Al Davis redux. There won't be a Stanley Cup parade in Philadelphia until he dies, &/or the franchise is sold.

Firing a coach 3 games into a season (basically less than 5% of the season) is a sign of management incompetence unless the manager committed a fire able offense.

"unless the manager committed a fire able offense."

Like splitting up vorachek and giroux again

gtown: "Of course the Flyers have larger problems very similar to those of the Phillies: the GM is a stooge who also should have been fired, & the organization as a whole is fixated on the past to the extreme detriment of their present."

Pretty good comparison. I would add another major one, that both Amaro and Holmgren came through their respective franchises as players too. Also seem to be prone at making huge splashes, but hardly ever for the better.

Holmgren's biggest problem is he still wants to sign every defensemen that is known to be a bruiser. You can't do that in today's NHL. We need defensemen that can move the puck from the blue line and help create offensive rushes.

Think Timmonen in his hey day.

NHL?: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

NBA?: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

WGAS who the worst (or best) GM is in Philly. The plain facts of the case are that all four major sports teams stink right now, and perhaps only the football (jury's still out but I don't have a lot of confidence and I won't watch until Vick is gone) and basketball (I think the NBA is f88888g boring anyway) have GM's that can turn things around. The NHL is a zzzzzzz sport, especially since they moved into the new arena which is sterile and removed from the ice.

So that leaves baseball, and we've all been blessed with r00b and the FOols, who have demonstrated that they can improve the regular season performance of an already championship team by bringing in already proven good players, but have not demonstrated they have the ability to judge the talent of unproven or lesser (role) players.

Thus, the jury is still out on the r00b regime, but I am becoming more skeptical by the day, especially when I hear some of the things that come out of his mouth like "Production™", etc. If this group of FOols doesn't understand basic things like the value of OBP, then we are in for a very long drought.

It doesn't sound like you really believe "the jury is still out," what with your every-post nickname usage.

So, the Chief is now the chief? Flyers never lack for headlines at least.

awh: Well obviously a few of us do.

Having now lived outside of Philly for about 11 years, it definitely takes a supreme effort of memory to recall that WGAS isn't the call-sign for the Philly ABC affiliate.

Having now lived outside of Philly for about 11 years, it definitely takes a supreme effort of memory to recall that WGAS isn't the call-sign for the Philly ABC affiliate.

Give r00b another year & WGAS will serve as the call for the flagship station of the Phillies Radio Networks.

tti: "Well obviously a few of us do."

Can we make sure to copy/paste that comment everytime tti's scolds people for posting stuff he deems no one cares about?

"We" need other people to do your dirty work lorecore?

And talking about the GM's of the franchises in town ties to the blog more than hey we aren't going to win because Vegas says so.

Eh... GTown, was it you the other day who was talking about how repeating the joke enough times makes it funny again - but in a different way? I can't remember who it was, and I didn't respond then, but...

Eventually you do cross a line from absurdity (existentialist or otherwise) into message fatigue. Maybe you can regain some of the spark by not using it for a while, but multiple times daily just gets tired. Even when used ironically.

I feel like the whole "double-zeroes" has reached that level and then some, given that it's been going on for... What, 3 months now? AEC gets there faster by virtue of lack of engagement and increased repetition (plus image macro), though.

Phillibuster: The "repeating the joke" post wasn't mine. At any rate, I've been referring to the GM as "r00b" pretty much from the time of his hire, so 3 mos. is very conservative estimate ... & I feel the same way about that as I feel about all of my posts: if you like it, fine. If you don't, that's also fine. I'm not trying to change minds or gain support, merely expressing my own opinion. I'm continually amused by the notion -- & I'm not accusing you of sharing it -- that internet blogs are the equivalent of a formal debate club, where arguments are "won", or "lost". It's people sharing opinions, & opinions (& the ways in which they're expressed) can be taken or left.

'buster, the nickname is purposely disparaging, yes, but I will not yet dismiss the possibility that they could turn it around. But to do so it seems that they would have to, a) actually learn and apply something new, or b) get very lucky.

My skepticism stems from the observation that they don't seem to think they actually need to learn anything, that their traditional way of scouting will yield the benefits that it has in the past. The problem is that many of the people who did the scouting that yielded those benefits, and one in particular, Mike Arbuckle, are no longer working for the Phillies. Therefore, there is a huge question as to whether the remaining people possess the judgment to succeed that Arbuckle and his group had. After all, they brought Looper in, and his contribution was his supposed insider knowledge of the Mariners farm system. We've seen the benefits of his judgment in Aumont, Ramirez and Gillies.

Recently, however, r00b made reference to the fact that they may actually start using some advanced metrics to help make decisions. Personally, I think that statement was an outright lie that was spoken to placate an angry and skeptical fan base, and that we'll see no evidence of that going forward. The traditional scouting method they feel has worked so well for them is so institutionalized within the organization that I don't think they would pay attention to Bill James (other than lip service) if they hired him. Mind you, there's nothing wrong with that method, but, as I stated, many of the key people who were most recently successful applying that method within the organization are no longer there.

I will not dismiss possibility that they could, again, get lucky. They have already, and his name is Ryan Howard. 5th round draft picks aren't "supposed" to do what he did from 2006 - 2010. They got lucky and won a WS because of it. Say all you want, but no Howard = no WFC, because without him they wouldn't have even won the division. And their luck hasn't completely run out. Darin Ruf is an indication of that. 20th round picks aren't "supposed" to do what he's done either (that's not to put him at Howard levels, just to state that they didn't expect much of him when they drafted him).

So, r00b and the FOols could get lucky again, but I'm not holding my breath.

The problem is that if they do it will be bad for the franchise in the long run.

TTI, you and I don't agree on much baseball-wise, but your assessment of the Sixers is spot on.

The NBA is a league where you have to get a lot worse before you can get better. The Sixers have a an actual shot at having the #1 and #6 pick in next year's packed draft, to go along with the #6 and #11 picks from this year's draft (and remember, that #6 was projected by many to be good enough to go #1, were he healthy). That's a lot of high upside players that will all be young and developing together. If we do get our hands on Andrew Wiggins, and 2 of those 3 guys develop into good, if not great players, we could have a nice run of good basketball in this city for the first time since AI was in his heyday.

And to awh, I will admit to you right now, that even with the World Series victory in 2008, the return trip in 2009 and the 102 win season in 2011, no Philadelphia sports season has captivated me as much as watching a 5'11" guard out of Georgetown, single-handedly carry a team on his back, and take them to the Finals and actually compete against the vaunted Lakers, all the way back in 2001. I can not wait for Philadelphia basketball to be relevant once again.

I remember watching this game at Yards brewery during a stupid networking event. They were kind enough to play it on the projection screen once the PowerPoint presentations were over. By the 7th inning, everyone in the brewery had ceased networking and was actively in Phillies Playoff mode, drinking beer and high fiving with every out.

Man, feels like a lot longer than three years.

awh: Do you really think that the average baseball fan cares about advanced metrics? And I mean more than in just a "huh, that's interesting" kind of way?

OPS and its components, ERA, maybe WHIP, K/9 and BB/9? Yeah, I think those matter to the average baseball fan - the type that composes 25-30K of the would-be 45K CBP sellout. Another 5-10K are likely composed of people who are only there because of the other 35-40K who attend.

But for all that SABRmetrics have the potential to grant greater insight into player efficacy (potential that isn't realized nearly as often as SABRmetricians would prefer, I'm sure), a majority of baseball fans really couldn't care less.

Yes, there was Moneyball to romanticize advanced statistics, but there was also Trouble With The Curve to romanticize traditional scouting - and "old-school" baseball in general.

Thus, while Amaro very well may have been blowing smoke about using advanced metrics, I really don't think that his public statement about it was meant to placate a significant portion of the fanbase. It just wouldn't have a big enough effect.

This was linked by beat reporter Chris Branch, and it's worth a read, IMO. It's about Latino players' passion v. old-school baseball stoicism.

Fatti, I will admit that even I watched during THAT season, but not much since.

Why? Well, the reason I think the NBA is boring is that it's become a bunch of big-bodied guys who have outgrown the dimensions of the court (and height of the basket) running up and down playing one-on-one when they get to each end. There's very little "team" involved anymore.

The reason 2001 was interesting is that AI was the aberration - the small guy who succeeded, and even dominated, among the behemoths.

I love basketball, and I watch NCAA hoops all the time. There's a lot of variety in teams - size, skill levels, and coaching systems - and it makes for a far more interesting and enjoyable spectacle. March Madness is IMO one of the two best sporting spectacles on the planet.

MLS isn't a major pro league...its basically the equivalent of AAA baseball if one were to consider leagues like EPL, Bundesliga, etc as "the Majors". Ratings wise, they're getting about 1/2 to 1/3 the ratings that the NHL gets...while EPL soccer has gotten nearly double what the average NHL game gets so far since the new NBC tv contract.

But yes, its ironic that Hackworth is the longest tenured manager in the city somehow...given that he's been in charge since way, way back in 2012.

MLS isn't a major pro league...its basically the equivalent of AAA baseball ...

Watching Bayern-Munich make Man City look like an MLS club has been the sporting highlight of the past several months or more for me.

awh, I have no desire to get you to become a NBA fan, but I have a couple rejoinders to your last post:

1) The reason I don't watch the NCAA is the same reason I don't have much interest in watching minor league baseball or college football. While the games can be exciting at times, these just aren't the best players in the world, and in fact, the vast majority of them are not nearly good enough to make it at the highest levels (as clearly evidenced by the vast majority not making it, obviously).

2) There's a lot of isolation play in the NBA for a very clear reason. The gap in talent between a LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Durant and the average NBA player is likely just as, if not larger than the gap in talent between the average NBA player and a college player. When you have a guy on your team as good as LeBron James, why the hell would you not optimize his chances on the floor as much as possible? This is not to say James runs nothing but isolation plays, but his usage rate is incredibly high for a reason: if it were lower, the Heat would be a worse team. You don't think the Tigers wouldn't send up Miguel Cabrera to bat every time if they could?

3) All that being said, Tom Thibodeau and other defensively minded coaches have been making great strides in limiting the opportunities for superstar players, and thus the amount of 20 point scorers in the NBA has been dropping over the past 5-6 years because team defense has evolved in the NBA, and is causing a sea change in the NBA. This, in turn, is causing offensively minded coaches to create new offensive sets that utilize all their players in beautiful synchronicity just to overcome the new defenses in the league. I just don't understand where people act like there's no team play in the NBA these days. There's a lot of it, and watching the most athletic players in the world do what they do on a nightly basis is a lot of fun to me.

Man City is better than they played but yeah, Bayern-Munich simply played on a different level. Pretty much like watching Real Madrid. Watching Bayern Munich play Real Madrid is like watching an all-star game where the results matter...the talent level on both sides is just so ridiculously high.

MLS isn't even close to that level...its not a surprise that their ratings have dropped off now that EPL games are broadcast everywhere in the US thanks to NBC Sports.

NEPP, good post. It's amazing how far the NHL has fallen in terms of TV ratings, that even a foreign "football" league can get better ratings.

Hockey also suffers from the same problems that the NBA does, in this respect: The players have outgrown the dimensions of the rink. IIRC there was some discussion a while ago about going to international dimensions (wider rink) to open up the game more, but that would cost them seats. Hockey has other institutionalized problems, most notably all of the stoppages. "Icing" and "offsides" (a bad rule in soccer, too) are two of the most obvious ones. Icing needlessly stops play when the opposing team has the opportunity to bring the puck up the ice and attack again, and the subsequent "faceoff" give the team that committed the icing penalty a chance to gain control of the puck. In short - it's stupid because it doesn't necessarily penalize the offending team. As to offsides, suppose they took away the fast break in basketball? Wouldn't that limit the game? Isn't that all a player breaking behind the defense in any sport is - a fast break? Eliminating the "offsides" penalty in hockey would open up the game more, lessen bore inducing stoppages, and re-emphasize skating and speed, something the NHL desperately needs.

Hockey is absolutely awesome to watch in person...its just not the same on television. Add in a couple of major work stoppages in the past 10 years, an atrociously bad Commissioner and you get the dropoff you see now.

Also, approximately 950 million American kids are playing soccer right now since all it costs is a set of cleats and a ball whereas playing hockey costs a veritable fortune in equipment plus ice time costs which are significant.

Not exactly ideal going forward for sports like hockey (and to a lesser extent baseball and football)

Hockey is absolutely awesome to watch in person...its just not the same on television.

Absolutely true, although the advent of HD helps televised hockey quite a bit.

"You don't think the Tigers wouldn't send up Miguel Cabrera to bat every time if they could?"

Fatti, sure, but wouldn't it cease to be a "team" game if they could? With that question you just damaged your own argument, no?

"...whereas playing hockey costs a veritable fortune in equipment plus ice time costs which are significant."

And is Canada they don't have the same problem. Remember Lindros' father digging a rink in the back yard and filling it with water so the kids could skate every day? I was in Montreal a few times in February and watched all kinds of skating going on - on a frozen river - on which they use a Zamboni! No way American kids can compete with that, not when, as you say, there are much less expensive alternatives for Mom and Dad.

Hockey is not identified as an American sport and thus it will never have full traction here in the US. The same can be said for Goodell's stupid fascination with getting the NFL into Europe.

awh, no damage. I answered that in my third point. Also, even with his high usage rate, LeBron doesn't have a 100% usage rate. He's undoubtedly enjoyed more success with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers and Erik Spoelstra than he ever did with Mo Williams, Anderson Varejao Zydrunis Ilgauskas and Mike Brown.

Would seem to support the "team" aspect a little bit, no?

Hockey is the least TV friendly of the 4 major sports (soccer is so ridiculously TV unfriendly in an American market, I'll be surprised if it ever makes any headway over here).

Football is incredibly TV friendly, as is baseball and basketball. It's no wonder that those 3 sports do so well in America.

True, in the north, making a rink in winter is a non-issue. Hell, several of my neighbors do that every winter but ice time for a league costs serious cash. I played hockey growing up (in PA of course) and that was a serious cost). Same with the cost of sticks, skates, etc...its a serious cost investment for kids and parents. Especially compared to soccer.

Same with Basketball...all you need is sneakers and for 1 kid in the neighborhood to own a ball.

Soccer isn't tv friendly either...the complete lack of commercials has always made it a hard sell for the networks. That and it's inherent "Europeanness" is the major reasons it hasn't become a major US sport up to this point...IMHO.

NEPP, if it were all about cheapness, my favorite sport (ultimate frisbee) would be cleaning up. All you need is a frisbee!!

Sadly, it's not.... :(

I played soccer for 13 years so I watch it with a different appreciation than most and can enjoy the hell out of a 1-0 barnburner.

It's not all about cheapness but when a parent is pushing (ahem, encouraging) a 5 year old to play a sport, you'd better believe that the inherent cost of hockey turns some parents off.

Phillibuster - Roseman/Amaro hirings and the parallels stuck me as being very similar with the only real difference being that the Eagles' made their move at their nadir.

Eagles' FO basically said it was basically Joe Banner's fault (later Reid) & that Roseman played no key role in player personnel decisions up even though he held the title of general manager while being the key person in the organization for providing intel on players in the draft.

"awh, no damage."

Fatti, we're just going to have to disagree.

awh, no problem. Like I said, I'm not trying to convert. I just love the NBA.

And I take naps during NBA games. :)

"I played soccer for 13 years so I watch it with a different appreciation than most and can enjoy the hell out of a 1-0 barnburner."

The last time the topic of soccer came up on Beerleaguer, I broke out my view that the off-sides rule is the ruin of soccer. To date, I've never encountered a single person -- on Beerleaguer or otherwise -- who agrees with me. But I am quite adamant about the point & will remain so until the day I die.

BTW, I was the person who opined that, if you repeat a joke ad nauseam, the humor is in the repetition, not the underlying joke.

Am I the only one who's been tuned in to the A's v. Tigers?

Is this not the greatest swing in baseball history?

Vicente? Is that you?

BAP: In relation to preventing scoring? I don't know. I feel with the offsides rule waived off you would see more teams sit back defensively and even less of an offensive push.

I always advocated instituting a rule of some kind either designed to act like a shot clock in basketball where the ball has to cross mid field within so many seconds of possession. Or (the one I like better) once the ball is advanced into the offensive side of the field it can not be brought back into your defensive side. It would create more turnovers around midfield and some odd man chances.

GBrett, at work and don't have access to MLB Network anyhow.

Pulling hard for the A's, though.

The A's were winning 3-0, but the Tigers just scored 3 in the bottom of the 4th, Fata.

GBrett: I'm working but I have the A's on Gameday -- though I'm not exactly following pitch by pitch.

TTI: Yeah, those ideas might work too; I hadn't thought about them.

My gripe in soccer is not with the lack of scoring per se. It's with the lack of exciting plays -- especially in men's soccer, where it just feels like an endless sequence of one team bringing the ball up the field, only to have a defensive player blast the ball clear down the length of the field, thereby starting the process anew. And it seems like every time a breakaway happens, a whistle blows, penalizing the guy for being off sides. I find it very frustrating to watch.

Brandon Moss hit a solo shot. 4-3 A's.

I feel the problem with the offside rule is, unlike in baseball how a tie goes to the runner, it always seems the linesman is too eager to raise his flag. Far too often I see an offside called where literally the player's arm is the only part ahead of the defender. For a sport where scoring is at a premium, this one rule prevents "exciting" plays far too often.

"Half back passes to center, back to wing, back to center! Center holds it! Holds it! Holds it!!"

Too bad the Phillies don't have a guy like Brandon Moss in their organization...

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