As they say in the baseball world, extreme Phillies fan Susan Finkelstein has been designated for reassignment.
The West Philadelphia woman, arrested in the fall for trying to trade sex for World Series tickets, was demoted Thursday from the media limelight to the stern scrutiny of a probation officer.
Finkelstein, 44, was sentenced to one year of probation for her attempted prostitution by a Bucks County judge who called her actions "incredibly stupid."
In perhaps even bigger news, Finkelstein had no comment afterward. Her husband, John LaVoy, said probation "is no surprise and sort of brings some closure."
A Bucks County jury convicted Finkelstein in March of the third-degree misdemeanor. Last fall, she placed a racy online ad seeking tickets to the Phillies-Yankees series, touting herself as a "gorgeous tall buxom blonde," her price as "negotiable," and her approach as "creative."
The ad caught the eyes of Bensalem undercover vice officers. They answered it, received three photos from Finkelstein showing her topless as a follow-up, and set up a sting in which they said she offered sex acts for tickets.
The episode became an international media romp after Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran called a news conference to announce the arrest.
Finkelstein, a now-unemployed public-relations specialist, responded with a media barrage of her own. She questioned police priorities, swore she had only tried to flirt her way to a decent discount, wound up scoring free Series tickets from a local radio host, and later paraded in a leopard suit at the Wing Bowl in Philadelphia.
"It was an effort to defend myself," she told Judge Albert J. Cepparulo in court Thursday morning. "I hope that it is not held against me."
She also availed herself fully of the legal system, hiring a spirited defense lawyer who took the case to trial and filed post-verdict motions.
All of which was her right, Cepparulo noted, even though he considered the case a "minor misdemeanor."
What worried him, he said, was what could have happened had someone other than police answered her ad.
"What you did in this case was incredibly stupid," Cepparulo said, calling the Internet "a dangerous place to go."
After posting such a provocative ad, e-mailing nude photos to a stranger, and venturing out alone to a bar in search of tickets, "you were lucky to have met a police officer at the other end," the judge told her, "rather than someone who really could have hurt you."
In addition to probation, Cepparulo ordered Finkelstein to perform 100 hours of community service. He said she might consider speaking to groups about the dangers of the Internet.
"Better that her time be spent doing that than talking to the media," prosecutor Steven Jones said afterward. Finkelstein "turned to the police and pointed out that they lit this fire," he said, "but she dumped gasoline all over it."
Finkelstein's attorney, William J. Brennan, had argued for probation, calling her actions "aberrational behavior." Afterward, he said he doubted that she would be much of a future presence in the media.
"I really think that all that could possibly be said or blogged about this case has been done," Brennan said. "It should be over with at this point."
LaVoy said Finkelstein hadn't looked for work yet because she was not sure whether she would be sentenced to jail.
"Frankly, right now, her greatest area of interest is in researching and writing about 15th-century Venice," he said. "But that doesn't make for good TV."