Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Stats, again 

Here are the Phils stats, as of July 31, 2004, starting with GPA & ISO:

Thome: .338 / .344
Abreu: .334 / .260
Burrell: .287 / .203
Bell: .270 / .173
Rollins: .248 / .115
Lieberthal: .252 / .170
Polanco: .234 / .085

Micheals: .257 / .087
Glanville: .187 / .039

Bench / Scranton:
Perez: .246 / .210
Utley: .266 / .236
Byrd: .210 / .079
Pratt: .219 / .037

Thome: 8.87
Abreu: 9.62
Burrell: 6.40
Bell: 5.44
Rollins: 4.99
Lieberthal: 4.46
Polanco: 3.79

Micheals: 4.89
Glanville: 2.24

Bench / Scranton:
Perez: 4.72
Utley: 5.36
Byrd: 2.84
Pratt: 2.73

What the stats mean:
GPA (Gross Productive Average): (1.8 * .OBP + .SLG) / 4 = .GPA
ISO (Isolated Power): .SLG - .BA = .ISO
RC27 (Runs Created per 27 Outs): ESPN’s formula for Runs Created is simply too complex for me to replicate easily here. This is their stat based on what a hypothetical team of nine of the same player would score.

Of note: Thome is in a big decline. Since July 22, 2004 he’s gone from .349 GPA to .338 (-.011) … .369 ISO to .344 (-.025) … 9.37 RC27 to 8.87 (-0.50) … I’m thrilled to see Chase Utley pick up his play this last week. He’s upped his GPA about twenty points. If the Phils do deal Placido Polanco to the A’s today, as rumored, I think he’ll finish the season well for the Phils … Scarily, Jason Micheals GPA stats have declined a little and Doug Glanville’s have gone up. You know that this means: Glanville in center …

Team Stats: GPA
1. Colorado: .272
2. St. Louis: .269
3. Philadelphia: .263
4. San Francisco: .264
5. Chicago: .261
6. Los Angeles: .259
7. Houston: .259
8. Atlanta: .257
9. Cincinnati: .256
10. New York: .251
11. Florida: .251
12. San Diego: .250
13. Pittsburgh: .249
14. Milwaukee: .243
15. Arizona: .243
16. Montreal: .233

As I complained about in one of my last posts, the Phils offense has been going into a slow and steady decline for the month of July …

July 2: .269 / .183
July 16: .266 / .176
July 21: .264 / .172
July 31: .263 / .169

But still the Phils are doing well offensively overall. They are one of the elite teams …

1. St. Louis: 5.50
2. Colorado: 5.49
3. Philadelphia: 5.23
4. San Francisco: 5.08
5. Chicago: 5.08

And they continue to hit for power …

1. Colorado: .189
2. Chicago: .189
3. St. Louis: .183
4. Philadelphia: .169
5. Cincinnati: .168

And they keep getting on base …

BB / PA:
1. San Francisco: .109
2. Philadelphia: .105
3. Cincinnati: .099
4. Colorado: .093
5. Houston: .090

The Phils pitching, however, has been getting worse and worse …

WHIP (Walks plus hits by innings pitched): (BB + H) / IP = WHIP
1. St. Louis: 1.27
2. Milwaukee: 1.28
3. Chicago: 1.28
4. Los Angeles: 1.30
5. San Diego: 1.30
10. Philadelphia: 1.41

ERA (Earned Run Average): (ER * 9) / IP = ERA
1. Atlanta: 3.69
2. Chicago: 3.71
3. St. Louis: 3.83
4. New York: 3.87
5. San Diego: 3.90
13. Philadelphia: 4.55

Notes: I’d be stunned if St. Louis isn’t in the World Series. These guys look like a runaway juggernaut. At their current pace they should finish with a record of 105-57. Their Pythagorean win-loss puts them at 102-60, which is what I think they’ll probably finish at. I don’t think there is a team in the NL that can touch them … Out in the West the Dodgers and Padres are really coming up fast. Both teams have hit better of late and continue to play stifling pitching and defense. I don’t know which team will win the NL West, but they will be formidable in the playoffs.

Bar exam: in case anyone is curious about the ordeal I’ve been suffering through for the last three or so months, let me say a few words … the bar exam is a little hoop that the Pennsylvania Bar makes all law school graduates jump through after we graduate. What is the test like? Day One is full of essays: there is a one hour and thirty minute “performance test” designed to test our analytical skills where the bar examiners give us information and direct us to do some task lawyers do (draft a letter to a client, analyze a legal issue for a partner at your firm, etc), then there are six essay exams with four sub-parts covering about 14 major topics. You get an hour and a half for the first two essays right after the PT, and then after lunch the last four in three hours. Day Two is the Multi-State Bar Exam. The MBE is administered on the same day in 48 states (a little like the SAT). It is 200 multiple-choice questions on six topics (Contracts, Property, Evidence, Criminal Law, Torts and Constitutional Law), 100 in the morning in the first three hours and 100 in the evening for the final three hours. I took the exam at the Monroeville Expomart, a convention center in suburban Pittsburgh. Probably 600-700 people took the exam, but I suspect I am grossly under-estimating the actual number.

It was not the most enjoyable few days I’ve had. There are something like 10,000 pieces of information you have to know to take the exam, so you are desperately studying, trying to cram as much as you can into your head. It is difficult because you simply don’t have a clue what is going to be on the exam. My fiancée and I studied Pennsylvania and Federal Civil Procedure for an entire day and a half because there is always a question on one or both on the bar, but this time there was nothing. You have to try and remember those 10,000 pieces of information for the essays, even though you only need to know 24 of them.

Sitting for three hours twice a day for two days is draining. I was so exhausted after Day One that instead of studying for 2-3 hours for the MBE as planned, I ended up eating dinner at the Olive Garden with my fiancée and a friend of ours (all three of us took the bar) and then watching Malibu’s Most Wanted (funny movie, btw) on HBO and getting to bed at ten o’clock. It was the most grueling and nerve-wracking experience of my life. I’ve basically spent the last three months doing little more than studying for this exam, so now that it is all over I feel very weird. I won’t find out the results until mid-October, and if I fail (and 29% of first-timers do), I can’t re-take it until mid-February. The problem for me is that there are few jobs I can get until I get a law license. So if I don’t pass I am basically kissing away any shot at getting a job to actually pay my bills until next April. (Not to be too self-pitying, but the stakes are high for this thing ...)

Now, hopefully there aren’t any Pennsylvania Bar Examiners reading this but these are my thoughts on the exam … allegedly, the test is a “minimum competency” exam designed to weed out the unqualified graduates. I dissent: by graduating law school a person possess the minimum level of capacity to represent clients and be a member of the profession. In reality, the bar exam is a tool the state uses to regulate the number of lawyers entering the profession. Because Pennsylvania’s population is shrinking and there are seven major law schools in the Commonwealth churning out legions of new J.D.’s every year, there are too many lawyers in Pennsylvania and the PA bar wants to make it as challenging as possible to enter the workforce. It all makes me depressed and burned-out because I’m committed to staying in Pennsylvania because my fiancee’s family is here, my family is here and all of our friends are here, but the daunting prospect of entering such a brutal job market and the imminent approach of a bone-chilling winter makes me wonder … how tough can the Arizona bar be?

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