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Report: Your Best Cole Hamels Offer is Due Tomorrow, Ruben Will Have them Graded by Friday

Photo Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

According to Jayson Stark, Ruben Amaro is setting mid-week deadlines like that tenth grade teacher you never liked.

“The Philadelphia Phillies have told several teams interested in acquiring Cole Hamels that they’d like to get their ‘best’ offers by Wednesday,” Stark reported. “The team would then make a decision about where — and whether — to trade him.” The teams involved include the Dodgers, Rangers, Cubs, Giants, Astros, Diamondbacks, Yankees, and Red Sox. Sounds great, right? Well: “In the case of about half of that group, the Phillies initiated those talks in an attempt to reopen discussion about players whom those clubs had said previously they’d be unwilling to trade.” Classic Ruben. That no-hitter premium has been inserted back into the price.

A surefire deadline is a good thing though. If teams get their best offer into the Phils by, say 4 PM tomorrow, that only gives Amaro and his compatriots 48 hours to totally muff it.


Philly’s Got #99ProblemsAndThePopeIs1


With every day that inches closer to the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia, it seems like a dozen more problems pop up. We’re still two months out, but there has been no reason for optimism yet. First we had SEPTA issues, and then a #PopeFence mini controversy, and that was just the start.

In a press conference yesterday, Mayor Nutter attempted to clear the air on the whole Pope Map thing, saying none of the maps that are floating around out there are completely accurate because it’s not even done yet.

“There has been some media speculation over the weekend regarding some maps that allegedly show a security perimeter for the visit of Pope Francis during the World Meeting of Families. I want to be very, very clear with all of you. No official security perimeter has been announced or fully and finally determined.”

Also yesterday, SEPTA was planning on making an announcement regarding the sale of the Pope Pass, after last week’s attempt to sell them went … not well. So how did yesterday’s announcement go? It didn’t:

SEPTA appeared ready Monday to announce the resumption of the sale of rail passes for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia in September, but then suddenly canceled a news conference to spell out the details.

The agency canceled the announcement an hour before its 3 p.m. scheduled time.

No explanation was given and SEPTA said it would reschedule the announcement for later this weekend … Only 201 of 350,000 passes – 175,000 for each day – were sold when the operation was suspended while fixes were made.

The expected number of rail travelers has also led one Bucks County township to declare a preemptive State of Emergency. According to the AP, “Middletown Township’s board of supervisors recently voted to declare a state of emergency” for the weekend of the Pope visit. The AP continues, “The town is expecting 10,000 people to descend on its Woodbourne train station. It’s only one of five Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority platforms north of the city that will serve passengers heading to see the pope on Sept. 26-27.” Continue reading


RADIO WARS: Explaining The Possibly Bogus Ratings System


Who sits here?

Our RADIO WARS coverage exists because of ratings. Don’t let anyone fool you: when there are two major players, in a major market, competing for a major demographic – WIP and 97.5, Philadelphia, sports fans (men 25-54) – being the top-rated station is über important. Sure, there’s enough audience to go around for both, and maybe even a third station (oh God please no), but being the perceived top dog (in any media battle) comes with all sorts of perks, such as getting better interviews and access, which of course leads to bigger advertisers and more lucrative sponsorships.

As you know if you read this site with any frequency, and as we discussed at length with Tony Bruno late last year, ratings are based on data collected by Portable People Meters, or PPMs. Instead of having panelists record their listening habits on a card (which is what used to happen), PPMs given to a small – very small – set of paid participants listen for signals encoded in the audio playing through radio speakers. The signals are imperceptible to listeners, but the PPMs hear them (ostensibly– more on that in a second). The data from that small group of people – again, really small – is used by Nielson to determine the ratings.

Now, there are two obvious potential problems with this system:

1) While small sample sizes are usually more than adequate to extrapolate data from, there’s always a margin of error, especially for something like estimating radio audiences, where there are so many varied options listened to by such a wide range of people. But let’s assume Nielson accounts for this and doles out PPMs to a diverse and almost random group. Even so, when station X or bloviating host Y declares that it or they have Z rating and G listeners, it’s all an estimate based on the small group of people with PPMs. This, to me, is one of the reasons why advertisers on radio, or TV, or even in the newspapers (which uses different but also fuzzy math to estimate daily readership), often pay a phony premium based on trumped-up numbers– because there’s no way to give advertisers an actual, measurable audience size. It’s also why advertising on the Internet, or a podcast, or even YouTube, is much more efficient– advertisers can see almost exactly how many views, clicks or conversions they get based on their ad spend. There’s more fragmentation online, but advertisers can drill down to a super granular, and almost exact, level, which they simply can’t do with older mediums.

2) But there’s perhaps an even bigger issue with the system: Continue reading


CB Store Summer Sale: 15% off EVERYTHING

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Everything in the store. Literally everything. Use code SUMMER at checkout to save 15%.

Show now

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Including Phire Ruben.

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Including Culture Wins Football (now available in grey again!).

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Including Take A Knee.

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Including Sauce Castillo.

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Including S-8.

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Including Philly Ducks.

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Including Big Shot.

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Including The Wolf of Broad Street.

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Including G.

EVERYTHING. Now through July 31. Use code SUMMER at checkout. And yes, we do accept PayPal.

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DeMarco Murray and Jason Peters Crack Top-5 Madden Rankings

murray madden

In last year’s Madden, the Eagles boasted the best rating in the NFC East, the second-rated running back and top rated tackle. This year, Madden gives the Eagles the third-rated running back and the top-rated tackle.

DeMarco Murray’s 94 overall ties him for third with Jamaal Charles, and he and Le’Veon Bell jumped up into the top-five from outside the ranks last year. Last year’s second-rated back, LeSean McCoy (97), falls out of the top-five. And what of the tackle? Same, dude:

peters madden

Jason Peters’ 96 overall is up three points from last year, keeping him in the number one tackle spot (and number three overall offensive lineman). Additionally, Evan Mathis notches a 95-overall, even as he isn’t on a roster. So far, EA Sports has also revealed the top ten rookies, and top five tight ends, wide receivers, quarterbacks, and middle linebackers. No Eagles made those lists. And also, they just had to get in that dig on Bradford didn’t they? Can’t wait to see his injury rating.


#PhillyChase: Dude in Giants Jersey Completely Shakes Philly Police D Crossing Over Broad

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From NBC 10:

Officials say the suspects are wanted for armed robbery in Oaklyn, New Jersey. The suspects, who are in a white van, led police on a chase from I-95 in Philadelphia to I-295 in New Jersey before heading into Deptford Township.

At one point the suspects drove into the parking lot of the Deptford Mall before continuing on Route 42 North. They then drove on I-676 into Camden before heading onto the Ben Franklin Bridge back into Philadelphia. After continuing through Old City they then went back onto I-95 south.

And it was on 95 South, by the stadiums, that he absolutely shook police with this incredible stutter step-juke combo– that’s R1 and right stick on your PS 4 controller. This, THIS is how you cross Broad: Continue reading


Mexico’s Head Coach May Have Punched a Journalist at Philly International Airport Today


Would you mess with this dude?

According to Mexican journalist David Medrano, Mexican national team head coach Miguel Herrera punched TV Azteca’s Christian Martinoli in the neck at the airport today and challenged him to a fight. Mexico was headed back home after winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup over Jamaica at Lincoln Financial Field yesterday, but that doesn’t mean Herrera was cheery. As writes, Martinoli had been critical of Herrera during the team’s Gold Cup run, and “he ran into the Mexico national team when he got past security at the airport.” Once around the team, he says Herrera punched him in the neck and another source said that “Herrera told Martinoli they should leave the terminal and head to the street to ‘fix this like it should be fixed.'”

After every big international event, especially those in which the U.S. does well, the question is always “Is soccer becoming more popular in the United States?” I don’t know the answer to that, but if there were more airport neck-punchings, I’d certainly pay more attention.


The #PopeFence Is Probably Going to Destroy Philly for a Couple of Days


This map up there is better than this map down here:

not popefence

Over the weekend, the latter map, which supposedly showed the non-vehicle zone and security checkpoints for the Pope’s late-September visit to Philly, began circulating around the Internet, originating on Reddit. Billy Penn just ran the top image, actually sourced, as a more accurate representation of what the planned borders are, for now.

According to Billy Penn, the red area is the actual #PopeFence and the black area represents “full security boundaries,” while “it’s still being worked out what those boundaries might mean for residents.” The ID checkpoints seem to be bunk, as only “staffer[s] heading into a secure area” should have to show one. BP’s source said that black boundary is going to be a vehicle-free zone. “Basically, ‘no vehicles in greater center city/ucity,’ the source said. ‘That’s why we’ve been calling it the traffic box. No traffic.'”

In other words, if you live anywhere near this general area, or might want to venture into that general area, you’re screwed.

I’ll say this though: It’s smart to keep Devil’s Pocket outside the border. But what’s inside? A Gold Club, Condom Kingdom, the entire Gayborhood. You win some, you lose some, Catholic Church. And we can complain about the lack of info (and the whole thing really) with the city, but it’s the Secret Service who is in charge here. So really, thanks Obama.

Kyle: No cars in that entire area? Haha. I’m all for big events, but tell me why again this is a good idea? New York is laughing at us right now. We have one dignitary visit for, like, a day, and the whole goddamn city is literally shutting down.

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