Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bonds Indicted

Over at Athletics Nation, Blez nails it in his post on this topic, Bonds Indicted: "...perhaps this takes a lot of options for the Angels off the table."

The A's offseason plans seemed to be resting on the Angels. If the Angels got Bonds and/or A-Rod, the A's would unload major leaguers for prospects and rebuild. If the Angels got neither, a possibility which is looking more and more likely, the A's would re-load, hope for a healthy 2008 and make another run at the AL West.

With Bonds out of the picture (as either a convict or a pariah) and A-Rod likely re-signing with the Yankees, things are shaping up for the A's to have a decent chance at the division title. With a little old-fashioned Billy Beane magic, an improved training regimen to keep players healthy and a little luck, the A's could be a frisky team next year.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What is the Piedmont A-11 Offense?

My high old school's football team unveiled a new offense this season called the Piedmont A-11 Offense. The idea is to have 11 potentially eligible receivers on the field.

Here's how it works:
-Three guys line up wide left
-Three guys line up wide right
-Three guys line up in the middle
-Two guys available to receive the snap behind the middle three
-Everyone reports as an eligible receiver
-Players shift up or back to have the seven players required on the line.

By spreading the potentially eligible receivers across the entire field, it forces the defense to account for every possible receiver on each play. Of course, on any given play, only 5 of those players can go downfield to catch a pass, and the rest remain ineligible to catch a downfield pass on that particular play.

I love this innovation. I only wish the coaches had come up with it 15 years ago. I would have had a blast playing in this system.

How about results? The team lost its first two games this year before running off seven straight wins. They ended up losing in a league championship game last Friday, but they made the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) NCS - 2A East Bay playoffs anyway. They play Las Lomas this weekend. Go Highlanders!

UPDATE: Piedmont lost to Las Lomas on 11/16. Maybe another year of experience in the system will make the team that much better next year...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Venture Capital History

Fred Wilson's got an interesting series going over at A VC, covering the history of venture capital fund performance. First, a look at VC returns from the late sixties through 1997. And this morning he's included the last ten years of data as well.

He's "surprised that the 2001, 2002, and 2003 vintage years aren't showing better numbers." So am I. After the big drop in the very late 90's, VC's should have been able to buy low and earn better returns than they're showing. Fred's probably right when he argues that the "chart will look at lot differently in three or four years".

I'm looking forward to his next installment.