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This Philadelphia Inquirer Q&A with Phillies Assistant GM Mike Arbuckle should be required reading for anyone who buys a ticket at OFJOAB: 

Q: Some teams like the Tigers and Yankees seem to ignore MLB's slotting system for signing draft picks. It seems the Phillies follow MLB's slot recommendations more closely. How will you approach this issue in the upcoming draft?

- Brian H., Howell, N.J.

 

A: I think generally we have been a club and are a club that tries to do what's best for the industry. Every club has to make their own decisions as to how they're going to go about doing their business, but I do think that there is something to be said for trying to do what's best for the industry.

So despite playing in a division with a team that trades most of its farm system for Johan Santana, chooses to sign him for six years, $137 million, and then will reload the farm by going "over-slot," the Phillies--with six picks in the first 100 selections--will play by Bud Selig's rules again this June. Good old family entertainment, says Mr. Giles, and one lonely championship flag flying in 126 seasons. 

They're suckers for unilaterally disarming in the face of better-resourced and smarter competitors. And we--you and I and everyone else who helplessly loves this team--are suckers for supporting them with our dollars and time and passion.