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Thursday, July 08, 2010

BP Unfiltered:  The Suggestion Box Is Open


I'd like to know what you think of BP just past the midpoint of 2010. I'd like to know what you like, what you don't like, what you would like to see more of, what you would like to see less of. I can't promise I'll be able to respond to each comment but I will read them all. What I can promise is that I and the rest of us here will take your feedback into great consideration as we continue to strive to make BP the type of site that baseball fans feel they absolutely must visit every day.



BP staff member Joe Sheehan

That, more or less, is why forums are basically a non-starter. All cost, no revenue.

TangoTiger

Fangraphs has forums, and they don't charge their readers. Primer has forums, and they don't charge their readers. You've got to have a better reason for not having a forum considering that you are already charging readers.

BP staff member Joe Sheehan

How about this?

I've done sports content as a business for 15 years. By any standard I'm one of a small number of people to do it successfully outside the mainstream, I've played most of the roles one can play and holy god I'm sick of listening to you act as if you've had 1% of the success the people you criticize have had. How about you grant that I might know what I'm talking about, given that sports content has been my career, without me having to make a business case to someone with no standing to ask for one?

Fangraphs, as far as I can tell, is financed by a rich grandpa. Primer/BTF/Newsstand/Brand of the Day isn't a business in any real sense of the word, it's r.s.b ported to the Web and stripped of its spark. That you would make these comparisons shows just how little you understand of Prospectus, how little you've ever understood.

Stick to being an academic, Thomas. Stick to your sycophant-laden fora and your above-it-all mien. Stop jumping in here and cheap-shotting a business that you've never comprehended on your best day.
Dan Szymborski Posted: July 08, 2010 at 07:51 PM | 799 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. BWV 1129 Posted: July 08, 2010 at 10:37 PM (#3582554)
As to my main point, it seems that in recent months it has not taken much to close a thread (or threads are being closed in essence for being political discussions). If that's a change in policy, such would ideally be announced, or at least acknowledged, so that people can decide whether it's worth it to begin participating in a thread that is likely to shut down.

Suffice to say that any thread that you might have interest in posting in without mentioning baseball has a better-than-average shot at being shut down. I don't know what impact that has on your calculus as to whether or not it's worth it to begin participating in such threads.
   102. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 08, 2010 at 10:37 PM (#3582555)

Wait, what? What are we talking about here?


I assume he's referring to this.
   103. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: July 08, 2010 at 10:40 PM (#3582562)
That was so predictable.
   104. Danny Posted: July 08, 2010 at 10:41 PM (#3582565)
A lot of new traffic has come in from ESPN and we really don't want people who visit here as a result from ESPN.com articles or references in the magazine to have the first thing they see being a bunch of guys all accusing each other of not being sensitive about rape.

So the problem was people accusing others of being insensitive about rape, and not the people being insensitive about rape? I guess that makes sense if you're competing with the ESPN message boards.
   105. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: July 08, 2010 at 10:41 PM (#3582566)
Plus Albright is fair game. ####, if I was going to get in trouble for that I would have been banned years ago.
   106. BWV 1129 Posted: July 08, 2010 at 10:45 PM (#3582572)
- Wait, what? What are we talking about here?

I assume he's referring to this.


It was more complicated than that.
   107. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 08, 2010 at 10:58 PM (#3582599)
The lounge, with a few exceptions, is completely laissez-faire.


Really? Would you let Kevin in?
   108. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:02 PM (#3582607)
Isn't Football Outsiders associated with BPro? They have forums. And Bill Barnwell!
   109. BWV 1129 Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:02 PM (#3582608)
kevin is welcome to use his military training to infiltrate The Lounge.
   110. Zipperholes Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:05 PM (#3582611)
I did talk about being stricter about nastiness, especially in political threads, back in February. A lot of new traffic has come in from ESPN and we really don't want people who visit here as a result from ESPN.com articles or references in the magazine to have the first thing they see being a bunch of guys all accusing each other of not being sensitive about rape.
How about keeping OT threads, but putting them behind the log-in wall? And if the concern is the Hot Topics bar getting muddied with OT threads, a further step could be to have them in a separate "Off Topic" bar below the regular one.
I rather close down threads than have to discipline otherwise well-behaved posters. Keeping discussion areas compelling and interesting on a highly-trafficked website is a lot more than simply banning someone once in a while and letting the rest run on autopilot.
I haven't been here long, but from what I've seen, it's usually a troll jumping into the discussion for the first time on the 8th page or something. There are a few recognizable ones, and they're not people who contribute much to other discussions.

No matter how annoying or inane most people find the political threads, a neverending DiPerna-Andy debate is pretty harmless. It's a shame that a couple people who aren't capable of being civil, and who otherwise contribute little, are able to single-handedly kill threads.
   111. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:09 PM (#3582615)
a neverending DiPerna-Andy debate is pretty harmless.


and sometimes quite humorous,
the old Kevin-DMN "debates" OTOH had the old "slow motion train wreck" quality to them
   112. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:14 PM (#3582618)
kevin is welcome to use his military training to infiltrate The Lounge.

kevin, you know I love you, man, but this is a primey!

Also, what the hell are we arguing about here?
   113. McCoy Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:14 PM (#3582619)
Who contributes more than a little? MAybe eight years ago but now we're all just a bunch snarky smurfs running around snarking the snark out of each other.
   114. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:17 PM (#3582623)
Whatever happened to Jim Baker over at B-Pro? Is he still writing? He seemed like a good buy. He's still the only baseball writer I ever e-mailed.

Who contributes more than a little? MAybe eight years ago but now we're all just a bunch snarky smurfs running around snarking the snark out of each other.

True, but don't forget our project to codify gratuity standards!
   115. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:26 PM (#3582633)
The essence of Sheehan's response is that a higher-cost model for forums is not a good business proposition for them because the revenue won't support it. The fact that other businesses, with a different business model, are able to do it doesn't mean squat.


Perhaps this is what he means, but it's still incredibly short-sighted. True, allowing reader comments doesn't directly give BPro revenue. What it does give them, however, is feedback into (a) what their customers are thinking and the types of things they may want, and (b) ways their content can be improved/amended/corrected so as to improve their product.
   116. McCoy Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:31 PM (#3582634)
Plus it creates a loyal community that will continue to pay them for their goods. The tighter the bond the more likely they are to continue to keep paying you for your goods. To me it would be like a coffee house telling people they can only buy coffee and then have to immediately leave the store. Part of the reason some people will frequent your store and purchase your goods is because of your fellow customers and the atmosphere inside the store.
   117. Tim Marchman Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:47 PM (#3582642)
Gosh, worrying about the business side of actual sports teams is silly enough, but worrying about the business side of sports web sites is pretty out there.

That said, if BTF isn't a business in any real sense of the word that's probably why it doesn't suck. Bring money into things and your sportswriters start turning pro, and pro sportswriters are the last thing the world needs.
   118. Greg K Posted: July 08, 2010 at 11:49 PM (#3582645)
Plus it creates a loyal community that will continue to pay them for their goods. The tighter the bond the more likely they are to continue to keep paying you for your goods.

This is very true, I'm just lucky BBTF doesn't have novelty t-shirts, hats and coffee mugs for sale here. (And I don't even drink coffee!)
   119. zenbitz Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:04 AM (#3582653)
Also, is it just me, or has the BBTF Newsblog been kind of dead lately?


Never saw it blog.
   120. zenbitz Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:08 AM (#3582654)
srsly, I liked their stuff when the website was free. I even have all their books from 1996-2004 or so. (yes, even the one where they forgot the Cardinals!)

But really... not worth any subscription price.
   121. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:10 AM (#3582655)
Who contributes more than a little? MAybe eight years ago but now we're all just a bunch snarky smurfs running around snarking the snark out of each other.


I'm just self-centered enough to assume this is about me.
   122. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:19 AM (#3582662)
I count eight:

Done and done.
   123. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:27 AM (#3582666)
This is very true, I'm just lucky BBTF doesn't have novelty t-shirts, hats and coffee mugs for sale here. (And I don't even drink coffee!)

Uh...
   124. Greg K Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:30 AM (#3582671)
Uh...

Thanks a lot, there goes my beer budget for the week
   125. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:38 AM (#3582683)
I use my Baseball Primer coffee mug at least three times per week.
   126. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:41 AM (#3582684)
My wife has the thong.
   127. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:41 AM (#3582685)
I recall receiving a fair amount of grief for several years ago writing an unflattering characterization of Mr. Sheehan on this very forum.

Good to know the Wallbanger radar is still somewhat functional.
   128. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:45 AM (#3582692)
Since we are driving off the cliff here with respect to baseball the notion that someone like Marisa Tomei would be with a doofus like PSHoffman in a "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead" is pretty ridiculous. And I really didn't need to see them going at it like hogs in the feedlot.
   129. The District Attorney Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:46 AM (#3582693)
the notion that someone like Marisa Tomei would be with a doofus like PSHoffman in a "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead" is pretty ridiculous
Hey, she went for Costanza.
   130. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:46 AM (#3582694)
I also have a t-shirt that, 10 years or so into it, has been moved to the workout/yardwork drawer. The boxers have long been retired.
   131. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:49 AM (#3582698)
You have seen me and my wife. It is not out of the range of possibilities.
   132. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:53 AM (#3582705)
You have seen me and my wife. It is not out of the range of possibilities.

Any response would reflect on the spouse. And I don't go there. Not wives. Not girlfriends. Not grandmothers.

As a long-time wiseguy I learned early on that this is ground not to be tread.
   133. BWV 1129 Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:55 AM (#3582708)
Take a look at Christina Hendricks' husband some time.

But I will also not countenance Philip Seymour Hoffman being called a doofus. He is one of Our Greatest Actors. And a celebrity.
   134. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:57 AM (#3582710)
BWV:

Sure he can act. I enjoy all his roles.

But he looks like a doofus. He personifies the doofus look.

The two are not incompatible.
   135. BWV 1129 Posted: July 09, 2010 at 12:58 AM (#3582714)
Harvey, if a guy at a wedding asked your wife if she liked smoking big cigars, would you immediately pummel him, or would you give him an opportunity to retract first? (Bear in mind that this is a stranger, and he might not know that your wife is anyone's wife, much less yours.)
   136. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:01 AM (#3582725)
If only there was some part of this site specifically set up for off topic threads.

A Walt Davis suggestion circa ... god ... a very long time ago when, for some secret reason unknown even to me, I was on the internal primer mailing list! (Of course they let Don Malcolm in too so I shouldn't feel too honored. :-)

someone like Marisa Tomei would be with a doofus like PSHoffman in a "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead" is pretty ridiculous.

A world in which Megan Fox marries Brian Austin Green (really?) reportedly because she wants to have children (with Brian Austin Green? Really?) is a world I simply don't understand.

How much you want to bet that all their kids have names that start with B?
   137. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:05 AM (#3582738)
kevin is welcome to use his military training to infiltrate The Lounge.


kevin, you know I love you, man, but this is a primey!

Speaking of El Diablo, I just got back from dinner with him after not having seen him since the 2008 meetup. He sends his greetings to friend and foe (with one obvious exception), and was as cheerful as ever. He takes himself a lot less seriously than a lot of you seem to think.

--------------------

Plus it creates a loyal community that will continue to pay them for their goods. The tighter the bond the more likely they are to continue to keep paying you for your goods. To me it would be like a coffee house telling people they can only buy coffee and then have to immediately leave the store. Part of the reason some people will frequent your store and purchase your goods is because of your fellow customers and the atmosphere inside the store.

I don't know what it's like in general for most businesses, but I know that when I had my book shop if I'd acted towards my customers like Sheehan does, I would have lasted about 23 days instead of 23 years.

------------------

the notion that someone like Marisa Tomei would be with a doofus like PSHoffman in a "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead" is pretty ridiculous


Hey, she went for Costanza.

Until she found out he was "sort of engaged."
   138. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:05 AM (#3582740)
BMV:

Some of this is body language. There are obvious tells associated with someone being a deviant. Also, the wife's reaction woudl be key as women are far more attuned as to when a man is being a deviant jerk.

Assuming I heard only the remark followed by the wife responding, "Excuse me" I would position myself at equal plane of eye contact be it seated or standing and ask him to repeat the question while making direct contact. This would almost certainly direct in one of two directions. Either the obvious tell that someone was intending to be a cad or a light-hearted question.

Only if the individual is clear about being a cad and willing to press the matter do I engage in escalated confrontation.

While comfortable with confrontation it makes others uncomfortable and particularly at a wedding would detract from the moment. I would work very hard to defend the wife's honor with minimal disruption to the event.
   139. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:07 AM (#3582749)
Hey, she went for Costanza.

She also went for both Gavin brothers and a short Frenchman who doesn't wear shoes.
   140. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:13 AM (#3582767)
Harvey, if a guy at a wedding asked your wife if she liked smoking big cigars, would you immediately pummel him, or would you give him an opportunity to retract first?

I'd save Harvey the trouble and pummel the guy myself. What kind of question is that to ask?
   141. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:15 AM (#3582773)
A world in which Megan Fox marries Brian Austin Green (really?) reportedly because she wants to have children (with Brian Austin Green? Really?) is a world I simply don't understand.

I almost felt good about myself because for a moment I thought I didn't know who BAG was but then as I got to the bottom of his IMDB page I see that he was on 90210 and it all came flooding back.

Megan Fox marrying someone who is almost 40 doesn't really bother me since she simply cannot act and cannot do anything besides look good in a photo. At some point she is destined to hit the Tara Reid-Paris Hilton-Lindsey Lohan level of fame where they are only famous for being famous and you know longer have to worry about seeing them in a movie or TV show.

Now then Katie Holmes marrying Tom Cruise and Jessica Alba marrying some unknown guy and both having kids bothers me far more than Fox getting married even though neither one of them can act either. Perhaps it is the tattoos. Thankfully Eliza Dushku is still not married so I still have a chance.
   142. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:16 AM (#3582775)
Walt:

People in that setting have been drinking, particularly amateur drinkers. It's akin to New Year's Eve.

I have learned to demonstrate restraint.
   143. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:16 AM (#3582779)
I'd save Harvey the trouble and pummel the guy myself. What kind of question is that to ask?

What if the wedding is at a cigar bar?
   144. base ball chick Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:22 AM (#3582799)
harveys is teh kewl. mrs harveys has most DEFINITELY had a VERY interesting life - nevah bored that is fer SHER....

joe sheehan is teh sukc and one of the many reasons why i wouldn't spend one penny on bpro ( i site i spent an hour at every day before they went for pay) even if i had the extra $$$ lying around. if i wanna hear unpleasant assh*les piss on people i can get plenty of that for free

- and andy
do tell dat debbil ah miss his cantankerous redsux luvvin ass and hope he and the wife doing fine

and that kevin F dog is also doing well and sez YAPYAPYAP
   145. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:22 AM (#3582802)
What if the wedding is at a cigar bar?

Ah! A Massachusetts wedding.
   146. hokieneer Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:26 AM (#3582814)
How expensive is internet forum software in 2010? In a weekend I can crank out everything from the DB to the web interface that would be at least comparable to the kind of forums Football outsiders have. B-Pro already runs a majority of it's operations via the web, so it's not like there would be major up front hardware costs either. Is it really that hard to get/pay a college internet a few dollars an hour to monitor the posts for whatever level of decency you establish? Joe, you do know you can sell & place advertisements on forum pages, and they get a lot of hit counters because people are constantly refreshing/revisiting.

I mean this in all seriousness: I think a baseball fan could learn more about the game, from a statistical & empirical point of view, from a combination of fangraphs and BTF's discussions than B-Pro.
   147. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:28 AM (#3582825)
Lisa:

Well, I don't know about that. There is the feed salesman episode about 15 years back. I lost my temper in that situation.

However, he did make the Mrs. uncomfortable having put his hand on her knee. So that was a breach of etiquette of an egregious nature.
   148. Greg K Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:29 AM (#3582834)
I don't know what it's like in general for most businesses, but I know that when I had my book shop if I'd acted towards my customers like Sheehan does, I would have lasted about 23 days instead of 23 years.

But John Cusack's record store in High Fidelity seemed to get by ok.
Or are you claiming that movies can be somewhat misleading?
   149. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:46 AM (#3582883)
By the way, if you put wire-rimmed glasses on him a young Gary Sinise looks like a dead ringer for Harry Potter.
   150. base ball chick Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:51 AM (#3582899)
harveys

gotta say that your missus must be EXTREMELY teh HOTTTTTTT if she had some guy who is not you putting his hand on her knee when she was like 60

i should be so lucky. i mean, to be teh HOTTT at age 60 not that i want some icky guy putting his hands where they don't belong especially in front of my Husband who i really REALLY do not want to have to visit in jail you know what i'm sayin

and theres a WHOLE lot of 60 year old guys tell their wife - gf if some man wants to put his hand on you i'll pass the viagra maybe it work for him
   151. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:52 AM (#3582904)
Stick to being an academic, Thomas. Stick to your sycophant-laden fora and your above-it-all mien.


Man, I just love that line. Isn't Tango working for an MLB team now? Doesn't that mean that his work is probably being applied more directly to actual baseball games than BP and their precious revenue gleaned from sweaty basement-dwellers? Which actually makes Tango the opposite of an academic - so what does that make Sheehan and his cute little website?
   152. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 01:59 AM (#3582926)
Lisa:

The Mrs. was diagnosed with high blood pressure in her mid 30's so she has been very careful about her weight. That and she didn't start getting any gray hairs until about five years ago. And all her sisters have held up well. So I guess it's good genes.
   153. Eddo Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:01 AM (#3582931)
But John Cusack's record store in High Fidelity seemed to get by ok.

Eh, I have a feeling the Wicker Park hipsters in Cusack's store would be more turned off if he was friendly. His behavior is really just good business. (I'm only partially joking.)
   154. RJ in TO Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:08 AM (#3582946)
Man, I just love that line. Isn't Tango working for an MLB team now?

I think he's doing consulting for both the Jays and the Mariners.
   155. base ball chick Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:12 AM (#3582953)
harveys

and we know VERY well what you think about fat

and yeh, good genes helps fer SHER. and if you don't have that, miss clairol is your bff. i sure do wish that my mama had given me some of those tall and beautiful genes though. hope your wife gave your grrrls some of her HOTTTTTT genes.

but me i learned to cook to kind of make up for it and with MY husband the way to his heart is most DEFINITELY thru his stomach

but you ain't foolin me none - if your wife is teh HOTTTTT and she done stuck with you all these years, it is because you make life, uh, interesting fer SHER
   156. PerroX Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:20 AM (#3582963)
However, he did make the Mrs. uncomfortable having put his hand on her knee. So that was a breach of etiquette of an egregious nature.

Good thing Leo Durocher never met your wife.
   157. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:23 AM (#3582966)
Lisa:

I live in Wisconsin. If I was 'anti-fat' I would not have any friends. (cue snide comments from the masses)

Of course I find my wife beautiful. She relishes telling a moment from a LOOONNNGGGG time ago when she wasn't wearing her glasses (the black horn-rims that looked ten times bigger than they actually were) and had her hair down versus it pulled back like I saw it all the time at school and a dash of makeup which she couldn't afford to wear all the time and upon being startled by all that she had the opportunity to reach over and lift my chin up to close my mouth while commenting that she didn't want me to catch any flies.

She enjoys telling that story very much.
   158. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:25 AM (#3582967)
Skinny people freeze to death in Wisconsin.
   159. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:27 AM (#3582969)
Everything freezes to death in Wisconsin.
   160. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:28 AM (#3582971)
Post 160:

Careful. I don't remark on loved ones and expect the same. You can mock me all day long and then some.
   161. steagles Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:28 AM (#3582972)
Skinny people freeze to death in Wisconsin.
or get eaten. cannibal capital of the world, dude.
   162. Ron J Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:31 AM (#3582974)
#140 I made the internal BP list briefly because of some kind of weird user error by Derek Zumsteg. (At least I assume it was Derek -- he was the person I was interacting with) Didn't last long, but it was a tad amusing.
   163. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:34 AM (#3582979)
Reminds me of when my ex was sending me emails because I was still on her list of contacts and so when she would click on all I would get some amber alert email from her or some stupid viral link to some cute kitten dancing.
   164. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:35 AM (#3582982)
What is the deal with these odd vertical ads? Goodness, I need to donate again if Jim is having to make this type of deal with Satan.
   165. PerroX Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:40 AM (#3582988)
Sorry, Harvey. The guy responsible for those ads made me do it.
   166. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:43 AM (#3582993)
Post 169:

Understood. And thanks for the follow up.

These vertical ads accomplish what exactly? We have software gurus among us I am sure. What's the skinny?
   167. Shredder Posted: July 09, 2010 at 02:54 AM (#3583010)
Dear Joe,

Despite all of your experience, believe it or not, sometimes you aren't very good at what you do.

Sincerely,

Your 2002 AL West Preview(s)
   168. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:04 AM (#3583018)
And the 2005 White Sox
   169. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:08 AM (#3583023)
And probably 5,000 different player predictions over the last 12 years or so.

Making predictions and acting like you know with certainty that they will happen simply makes you look like a fool.
   170. PreservedFish Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:17 AM (#3583027)
BP was once a daily stop for me. I haven't really read anything since they became a pay site. I also stopped buying the books at the same time. I'm not sure what I'm missing.
   171. Don Malcolm Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:18 AM (#3583029)
Tango's teams' combined W-L record thus far in '10: 76-93.

Which is better than the on-topic ratio of this thread, which is now flirting with .400 after a hot start. Harvey's post at 168 dropped us below .400, but we've had a little flurry of late. Still, the overall performance arc here is strongly reminiscent of the 1975 Brewers (take note, Harvey!).

All that might explain/support the notion that we are somehow "stripped of spark." But Sheehan wasn't part of rsb during its "sparky/snarky" days, so he's simply polishing up the mythos of the BPro spittoon, basking in what is a seriously faded afterglow.

Bottom line: who would really want to stay on-topic on this subject, anyway??

Marisa Tomei shares a birthday with Cornell Woolrich, Dennis Wilson, Jeff Bridges and yours truly. It's sad to note that I'd be #4 on her "birthday buddy" hookup list, especially when one considers that two of these guys are dead...
   172. Shredder Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:19 AM (#3583031)
He sends his greetings to friend and foe (with one obvious exception
I realize he probably wasn't speaking about me, and the feelings have numbed a bit over the years, but I've been on a lot of message boards over the years, and in my fair share of feuds. That said, if I were to meet all of those people in person, kevin is the only one who I really want to punch in the face. Maybe RossCW, but I would probably just pity him.
Which is better than the on-topic ratio of this thread, which is now flirting with .400 after a hot start.
Don, I'm not sure this controls for era, considering that about eight years ago, the average thread would have drawn about 10% of the comments of any current thread. Remember when the Chris Singleton thread was enormous?! C'mon, man, Petco changed everything!
   173. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:23 AM (#3583033)
Who's the obvious exception? I think that diverse voices really keep the debate here fresh; I remember when runningbyrd left, there was quite a bit of talk about that.
   174. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:23 AM (#3583034)
I'll have to try harder.
   175. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:28 AM (#3583038)
Who's the obvious exception? I think that diverse voices really keep the debate here fresh; I remember when runningbyrd left, there was quite a bit of talk about that.

In the old days you had Tango, Voros, MGL, and about a million other guys that would move on to either teams or other business ventures debating baseball and baseball numbers. Now we have maybe a tenth of that going on and and about a million more off-topic debates going on. I'm not saying that is good or bad just noting that while the debates are "fresh" and the voices are diverse we simply are not talking about baseball the way we used too. Some of it is for valid reasons, how many times can Treder rehash the 1950's?, how many times can we argue DIPS?, and some are not so valid.
   176. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:33 AM (#3583042)
Today we have Dial and AROM talking about their research and Dag contributing in academic ways. I've been an almost daily visitor since 2003, and I haven't noticed a notable decline in the baseball-relatedness of the site as a whole. I'm not swayed by your "back in the old days" argument, Mac.
   177. Srul Itza Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:36 AM (#3583045)
You know, I could almost understand Sheehan's insulting attack if he was responding to, say, MGL. But to Tom?

I mean, I sometimes disagree strongly with him and his (and others') "we know everything, you can't argue with us" airs, but the man has always been unfailingly polite unless pushed to excess.
   178. Don Malcolm Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:39 AM (#3583049)
Don, I'm not sure this controls for era, considering that about eight years ago, the average thread would have drawn about 10% of the comments of any current thread. Remember when the Chris Singleton thread was enormous?! C'mon, man, Petco changed everything!

Actually, it was when Jim started paying Repoz by the number of posts per thread. It was like going from sea level to a home park in Nepal.

how many times can Treder rehash the 1950's?

Never underestimate this man's tenacity. He has 600 more essays already written just in case he has a boating accident in McCovey Cove.
   179. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:41 AM (#3583051)
We had Dial back then as well.

I'm not saying that today's stuff is totally devoid of good baseball content. What I am saying is that BTF, or I should say BPrimer, at one point was THE place, and very close to the only place, for hardcore baseball discussions. The MLB sites were lowbrow, BPro and other sites didn't have discussion forums, ESPN boards were either non-existant, too new, or trolled by neanderthals, which also applies to a bunch of sites that are out there nowadays and thriving. But like TV we have splintered off into different channels/internet sites. At one time we were NBC with Cosby, Cheers, Night Court, Family Ties and everything else. Now we are the USA network and we have competition on the digital dial.
   180. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:42 AM (#3583053)
I realize he probably wasn't speaking about me, and the feelings have numbed a bit over the years, but I've been on a lot of message boards over the years, and in my fair share of feuds. That said, if I were to meet all of those people in person, kevin is the only one who I really want to punch in the face.

Ditto. If I made one contribution to BBTF, it was the thread where kevin accidentally outed himself and my quick googling revealed that most of his online persona was fabricated, especially this "I'M A WEIGHTLIFTER I WOULD DESTROY YOU IRL" schtick. It's a shame that I can't find that thread anymore.

In the old days you had Tango, Voros, MGL, and about a million other guys that would move on to either teams or other business ventures debating baseball and baseball numbers. Now we have maybe a tenth of that going on and and about a million more off-topic debates going on.

I agree with this. Though I think part of it is simply that sabermetrics, and baseball in general, is less compelling than it was in, say, 2004. Back then you had the peak of the great Yanks-Sox rivalry, and you had substantive insights into baseball being made on the board. Nowadays there's no great rivalry and the only people making sabermetric advances are the coding monkeys that can make heads and tails out of the PitchFX databases. Part of what made sabermetrics cool- that you could sit at home with a spreadsheet and figure out stuff that no one else knew about the game- is lost. And that's made Primer less cool too, I guess. How many times can you discuss the latest incremental improvement in the defensive metrics before your head explodes?
   181. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:45 AM (#3583056)
C'mon, man, Petco changed everything!

Granted I was one of the people that was involved in the PETCO thread but was it really PETCO that changed everything? Perhaps I have the time line wrong but I seem to recall the Iraq war and the months leading up to it to be a huge factor in thread length. Plus when was the Giambi trade? Before or after the PETCO thread? I believe it was before the PETCO thread.

Has anyone really figured out what it was that caused the huge shift in BPrimer's traffic? Was their article or something?
   182. steagles Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:48 AM (#3583058)


I'm not saying that today's stuff is totally devoid of good baseball content. What I am saying is that BTF, or I should say BPrimer, at one point was THE place, and very close to the only place, for hardcore baseball discussions. The MLB sites were lowbrow, BPro and other sites didn't have discussion forums, ESPN boards were either non-existant, too new, or trolled by neanderthals, which also applies to a bunch of sites that are out there nowadays and thriving. But like TV we have splintered off into different channels/internet sites. At one time we were NBC with Cosby, Cheers, Night Court, Family Ties and everything else. Now we are the USA network and we have competition on the digital dial.
i tried to help out with this a few times over the offseason, but apparently my lack of capitalization was too big a sin against primer etiquette.
   183. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:49 AM (#3583060)
How many times can you discuss the latest incremental improvement in the defensive metrics before your head explodes?


Not that many. Perhaps it's me, but I'm a lot less turned on by advances in the "academic" side of sabermetrics than of the application of it to today's action. I'm a lot less interested in the importance of peripherals than I am interested in what they tell us about the Red Sox pitching going forward.
   184. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:51 AM (#3583063)
Part of what made sabermetrics cool- that you could sit at home with a spreadsheet and figure out stuff that no one else knew about the game- is lost. And that's made Primer less cool too, I guess. How many times can you discuss the latest incremental improvement in the defensive metrics before your head explodes?

I can agree with this. I remember around 2002 when I was really getting into sabermetrics and had delusions of making it a living. I sat down one day and seriously considered what it would take to do it and it was then that I realized that where sabermetrics was heading I had little to no knowledge or experience with. I mean I can play with a spreadsheet and can do spreadsheet formulas but even back then it was quickly moving away from basic math and informational gathering and into hard science territory. I decided to not quit my day job.
   185. McCoy Posted: July 09, 2010 at 03:55 AM (#3583067)

Not that many. Perhaps it's me, but I'm a lot less turned on by advances in the "academic" side of sabermetrics than of the application of it to today's action. I'm a lot less interested in the importance of peripherals than I am interested in what they tell us about the Red Sox pitching going forward.


Same here. I pretty much burned out from ubermetrics and every latest little improvement that produces a r=.965 instead of .963 like the old metric simply makes me yawn. And people can yell "REGRESS, REGRESS, REGRESS" all they want but simply taking SLOB and eyeballing it will take you a long way in terms of future predictions.
   186. Shredder Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:07 AM (#3583083)
Plus when was the Giambi trade? Before or after the PETCO thread?
Giambi was before Petco, but it was also like 700 posts, while Petco was over 2,000. And Giambi, while joke laden, was still ostensibly about baseball. Petco devolved from the very start.

I don't think there was a watershed moment that increased traffic, though the mods may disagree. The internet just grew, and places like this grew with it. For what it's worth, there are still, in raw numbers, just as many good baseball posts here as there used to be. There's just more posts in general, and the really, really long threads typically aren't baseball related (then again, they rarely were). The lounge started as a place for off topic threads, but then it got unwieldy on the main site, moved to the forums, and now there's kind of a bifurcation. People who used to populate the main site are almost strictly lounge denizens now. Scotto and Jack Vincennes, to name a couple, are rarely here anymore, and I can't remember the last time I saw Dan Werr on this side of the wall.

For me, this place is now a place to troll headlines for news and interesting articles, occasionally post some snarky or funny (in my own head) comment, and even less occasionally post something of any value. Part of that is because anything worth saying has probably already been said. There are a lot of smart people here. It's still a worthwhile visit. It's not any worse than it used to be. It's just different.
   187. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:11 AM (#3583090)
Didn't Primer get mentioned in a Sports Illustrated article at one point? I think I remember a dramatic uptick in traffic right after it.
   188. dirk Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:11 AM (#3583092)
daily lurking for many years has created caricatures in my mind of all you regulars. a thread like this makes me smile.
   189. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:15 AM (#3583097)
It isn't really baseball-related, but this place has taught me a great deal about constructing an argument and not wading into a discussion unless I have a few facts at hand.
   190. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:21 AM (#3583102)
srsly, I liked their stuff when the website was free. I even have all their books from 1996-2004 or so. (yes, even the one where they forgot the Cardinals!)
That reminds me - I have what would be the 1995 annual (posts on rsb) sitting around in a box. Would that potentially be of interest to anyone or should I just chuck it?
   191. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:23 AM (#3583106)
I pretty much burned out from ubermetrics and every latest little improvement that produces a r=.965 instead of .963 like the old metric simply makes me yawn.


I agree with this, and I think the primary problem is those ubermetrics, or what Bill James called great statistics, that pretend to encapsulate a player's entire worth in a single number. WAR, VORP, xFIP, the Fangraphs dollar values, that's the whole point of it. It's all completely opaque, not very interesting, and not really useful at all. And they serve to end discussions rather than foster them. The defensive stuff is a lot fresher, but it's of the same ilk, all purporting to show a player's entire defensive value, and even these stats' creators seem to realize they're nothing but estimates.

You know what I'd like to see? A study of whether there's much defensive variation among shortstops making relay throws from the outfield to the plate. You'd think there would, wouldn't you? These are plays that are the difference between a run and an out, so it wouldn't take more than a couple of them to make a real difference between shortstops.

My point is, there are hundreds of things still worth studying in baseball that would be of much more interest than "let's rate the MVP candidates." The last thing I remember reading on here that really opened my eyes was when MGL demonstrated that platoon splits for right-handed batters were universal, and didn't vary in any meaningful ways. That's really cool, and really helpful to know. I think sabermetrics needs to turn more in that direction to get its mojo back. Not, of course, that I'm going to be doing any of these studies myself.
   192. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:26 AM (#3583109)
BP was once a daily stop for me. I haven't really read anything since they became a pay site. I also stopped buying the books at the same time. I'm not sure what I'm missing.

Same here. Once the wall went up, I turned off completely. There's nothing there that I can't get in a bunch of free sites on the web.
   193. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:27 AM (#3583111)
Didn't Primer get mentioned in a Sports Illustrated article at one point? I think I remember a dramatic uptick in traffic right after it.


Around 2003-4, I think. It got listed in some article and for about three months was the Animal Collective of baseball sites. Then I stopped contributing regularly and it devolved into the debacle you see today. Sad, really.

The BPro crowd's claim to fame, as far as I can tell, is that they saw the crowd-source chaos of rsbb and the asb.* hierarchy and were the first to think "you know, if we could just limit this, downsize it and cheapen it enough to collapse into a product offering of significant simplicity* we could churn out units and sell it to the masses." If that's a headstone etching they're proud of, well, the world needs all kinds I suppose.

*the Big Bad Baseball Annuals never quite grasped the "make it stupid enough for normal people to read" bit.
   194. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:35 AM (#3583118)
the old Kevin-DMN "debates" OTOH had the old "slow motion train wreck" quality to them
Slow?
   195. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:36 AM (#3583119)
Once the wall went up, I turned off completely.


Aye. I bought the first book, realized it was nothing more than a few predictions packaged with snark and never went back. I liked Wolverton's pitching stats, but when they put the pay wall up there was no way I was paying for crap that I could write myself.
   196. An Athletic in Powderhorn™ Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:41 AM (#3583122)
Didn't Primer get mentioned in a Sports Illustrated article at one point? I think I remember a dramatic uptick in traffic right after it."


That article was where I first heard of this place. So there's another thing you can blame SI for. I got hooked by one of the superthreads on Frank Francisco and the chair toss, back when 200-post threads were still relatively rare. That same SI article mentioned BPro as well, saying it and Primer were the two smartest baseball sites around. I glanced at BPro's stuff a few times. Nothing about either the style or the substance of their writing grabbed me. I haven't read anything of theirs in quite a while.

I wouldn't say it was better, exactly, but in the days of Werr, Buford J. Sharkley, Meatwad and UCCF this was a much more whimsical place. And of course Brattain is still missed. I think of him every time I hear a horrible, horrible pun.
   197. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:44 AM (#3583127)
Wow, Sheehan.

Wouldn't have been easier to say something like 'We've looked into it, and decided that the cost and hassle of forums is just not something that we want to do, especially since this is a market already served by other websites, like the ones you mentioned. We do look into it from time to time, and if we the situation changes, we will re-evaluate at that time.'

And I'm not even in PR.
   198. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:47 AM (#3583131)
Aye. I bought the first book, realized it was nothing more than a few predictions packaged with snark and never went back. I liked Wolverton's pitching stats, but when they put the pay wall up there was no way I was paying for crap that I could write myself.
What everyone else is saying: I read BP when it was free, but when it went to pay, I stopped. (Not because I'm cheap, but because I just didn't see the value added; I did buy the book for many years thereafter.) So this raises a question for me: who the hell does subscribe to BP?
   199. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:51 AM (#3583135)
I've subscribed to BP for three years, and continue to do so. I'm not sure why, though. Goldstein's prospect lists and daily updates, probably.
   200. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 09, 2010 at 04:54 AM (#3583137)
How much do they charge per year, Primey?
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