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Monday, April 14, 2014

Calcaterra: “An embarrassing mishmash of fringe ranting and ill-informed, shrill bomb-throwing”

Thank heavens for BBTF/Primer.

My baseball blog has a comments section and always has. When it was small it was really great, but as it has gotten more popular and well-trafficked It’s become about 80-90% garbage. This used to bother me, but I’ve come to accept that, with comments, ######## are a feature, not a bug. A pretty important feature, actually.

I like having a comments section. For all the jerks, there are still people who will point out my errors in respectful fashion and challenge me to rethink things on a regular basis. That, in my view, is the whole purpose and promise of the Internet in general and blogging specifically. My blog is called HardballTalk, not HardballListenToMeDictateToYou.

The antiquated and obsolete quarters of the baseball writing community got that way because they were ensconced in cushy columnist gigs, mostly immune from criticism and interaction with readers. They became ossified in their thinking because they were never challenged. They have reacted sharply and negatively to criticism because, well, how dare one criticize?

Comments sections (and social media) are not polite or comfortable places at times. But interaction with readers is essential if you want to learn anything as a writer. Unlike the way it was 20 years ago, readers — even the dickheads — have access to a lot of information. En masse, they have more than you do. It helps to listen to them, even if they’re rude about telling you when you’re wrong. It helps to be challenged from time to time rather than assume that, because you got the job, you are an unquestioned authority.

Get your hands dirty. Argue what you believe. But don’t be afraid to defend your positions or to change your mind if you can’t. And don’t expect that the strongest challenges you’ll get are from your fan club or from polite people.

In other words, suck it up, read your comments, interact with people on Twitter and quit being so damned sensitive.

Repoz Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:36 AM | 99 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: eli from weschester, jerome from manhattan

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4685809)
FIRST!
   2. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4685813)
Fails to distinguish between narration, opinionating, and analysis.

Yet again.

Not every writer out there is an "analyst" or even wants to be.
   3. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4685818)
Appeaser!
   4. Jack Keefe Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4685821)
Well Al this Craig Cacciatore has a point. It is only on Primer that you can read the most intellgent Comments with good Speling. Anywhere else you go on the Inner Net it is a bunch of Numb Nuts saying things like Hey Doofus You must have a TV up your Colon because that is the only way youd get to see a Ball Game. And that is Hurtful Al.
   5. DA Baracus Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4685825)
He's missing the point. Comments aren't shut down because of people being dickheads towards the writer, but because of people being dickheads to each other, and off topic. The comments become a wasteland.
   6. Jack Keefe Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4685833)
Hey what the Heck are you talking about #5. It is because they is Offensive to the Writer not to each Other. If you do not agree with me I am coming strait over to rearrange some Features of your Detestable Mug. You Prune Face Milksop.
   7. Flynn Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4685835)
I don't know why we should be appeasing the Angry White Males of the world.
   8. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4685837)
From the OTP thread:

There really wasn't much Chamberlain and the British could do besides appeasement and if Hitler was any other kind of dictator the ceding of territory should have bought more time than it did. The British simply could not impose their will on mainland Europe in the 1930's and were facing mounting pressures and stresses on their colonial empire. The British were an even worse position back before the Polish invasion so declaring war before then would have been just as ineffectual. The British by late 1930's were an upright corpse that didn't know they were dead yet. Plain and simple
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4685838)
The Facebookization of comments sections in newspapers and magazines I read seems to have toned down the obnoxiousness of commenters. If people have a name and face attached to what they say, the civility goes up a bit.
   10. Fist Pumping Maniac Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4685848)
No out there more mean-spirited than Calcaterra.
   11. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:53 AM (#4685849)
I've got to admit, this is one of the most brilliant and creative ways of pimping one's blog I've seen yet.
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4685856)
The Facebookization of comments sections in newspapers and magazines I read seems to have toned down the obnoxiousness of commenters. If people have a name and face attached to what they say, the civility goes up a bit.

There are two distinct ways to make the comments sections more civil and coherent, but you get huge blowback from one, and the second takes away much of the spontaneity among commentators.

You can require a certifiable name, address and phone number upon registration, and real names attached to the comments. I'd favor that solution as a check against anonymous personal attacks and other related BS, except that people who post from work might face retaliation from their employers.

Or you can do what the NY Times does, and screen all comments for posting later in the day. This makes their section probably the most substantive of all the general comments pages, but it takes away a lot of the spontaneous back-and-forth that we get on sites like this.

The bottom line is that BTF's somewhat monitored forums is probably about the best you're ever going to find for mixing civility with spontaneity and occasional humor. It ain't perfect, but I've yet to see any other open forums that are better.
   13. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4685863)
#11, it is better than this. My blog was on life support so long, that I forgot that I made some posts last year.

Any other deadbloggers here? IIRC, Zeth was one. I was disappointed with the lack of feedback, but what really killed DS was lack of time as my life got busier.
   14. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4685864)
If BTF got the same volume as say Yahoo or a magazine or a newspaper it would become a wasteland of troll comments and spam just like most of those sites' comment sections are. We aren't doing anything unique or differently here. The thing that "saves" us from that kind of crappy comment section is that we're much much smaller in size.
   15. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4685870)
I remember back when the old MLB team forums used to have about the same or smaller traffic than BTF does nowadays and the forum were civil and entertaining. When the forums started to catch on in popularity the quality went downhill very quickly. The sites were getting spammed constantly, trolled constantly, and porned all the time. They had to bring in moderators and drop the hammer a ton. I don't know about other sites but practically the entire old guard of the Cubs forum left at around that time and never came back.

From what I've seen the forums have rebounded but I don't really know if they ever really recovered and I think the forums are still heavily moderated though I'm not 100% sure on that.
   16. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4685873)
When the forums started to catch on in popularity the quality when downhill very quickly. The sites were getting ... porned all the time.

You say that like it's a bad thing.
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4685881)
I remember back when the old MLB team forums used to have about the same or smaller traffic than BTF does nowadays and the forum were civil and entertaining. When the forums started to catch on in popularity the quality went downhill very quickly. The sites were getting spammed constantly, trolled constantly, and porned all the time. They had to bring in moderators and drop the hammer a ton. I don't know about other sites but practically the entire old guard of the Cubs forum left at around that time and never came back.

From what I've seen the forums have rebounded but I don't really know if they ever really recovered and I think the forums are still heavily moderated though I'm not 100% sure on that.


A friend of mine who's on the Cardinals forums every day is always complaining about the brain dead level stupidity of the comments there.
   18. kthejoker Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4685886)
Just like the old spam solution: Charge people $1 to comment on your site. Every comment they make, you deduct 2 cents. Pass the comments to an anonymous reviewing system. If it get three strikes, we keep your 2 cents. Otherwise you get it back.
   19. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4685892)
As big a problem as the people who ruin online chat rooms are the people who *aren't* posting that crap... but as soon as the banhammer drops on someone who *is*, are shouting "CENSORSHIP!"
   20. Greg K Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4685907)
Any other deadbloggers here? IIRC, Zeth was one. I was disappointed with the lack of feedback, but what really killed DS was lack of time as my life got busier.

I probably don't fit the bill exactly.

I have a site entitled "The Tony Batista Apology Tour", but it's not really intended as a thing for other humans to visit. Just my annual assessments of every cohort of retiring players starting in 2004*. I think of it more as cloud storage for the stuff since I keep moving from computer to computer and was paranoid about losing it, I'm not sure anyone else on the planet is even aware it exists.

*Bobby Abreu is being a real jerk in that not playing for all of 2013 got him on last year's entry, but now he's in danger of being called up.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4685914)
Greg, we discussed this before and I bookmarked it :-P
   22. Greg K Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4685930)
Greg, we discussed this before and I bookmarked it :-P

Ah right, I think I remember that!

I suppose BTF is quite good for getting publicity. My friend who did the fox painting of me says the posts of it have accounted for about 95% of the views on her whole catalogue.

EDIT: Be sure to check in soon (ie. in December 2014) for the next post on my site!
   23. King Berenger Posted: April 14, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4685935)
While we're talking about comments, and I'm sure this has been talked about before, but is it reeeeally necessary to censor swearwords as BBTF does? Surely THAT is not a reason, or at least a negligible one, as to why the quality of comments are so high around here.
   24. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4685943)
While we're talking about comments, and I'm sure this has been talked about before, but is it reeeeally necessary to censor swearwords as BBTF does? Surely THAT is not a reason, or at least a negligible one, as to why the quality of comments are so high around here.


I know it's crazy, but Jon Weisman had a strict no swearing policy at Dodger Thoughts (along with other rules) and I really think it contributed to a higher level of commentary; Likewise, I think BBTF has done pretty well with restricting curses. If you can't restrain yourself, it's more on you than the forum,

//funny side note.. So a couplish years back, my parents sent us a quart of chocolate milk from a local dairy (Broguire's for anyone in so cal - best chocolate milk ever). Problem is, the milk comes in glass bottles and I dropped one on the garage floor. When my wife came out, I told her "I dropped the dang milk" (dang is honestly what I said, my boys were in the car). For a few weeks after that, I heard "daddy dropped the dang milk" from my oldest. It was the best example of "watch your mouth" that I have ever had. My boys have rarely heard a swear word out of my mouth FWIW after that incident.
   25. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4685944)
While we're talking about comments, and I'm sure this has been talked about before, but is it reeeeally necessary to censor swearwords as BBTF does? Surely THAT is not a reason, or at least a negligible one, as to why the quality of comments are so high around here.


I'm glad it happens. I have nothing against swearing, I do it plenty, but there is something nice about not having to read those words.
   26. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:10 PM (#4685946)
The purpose of the nanny is to keep BTF pages from showing up in search results for the very words that are censored. It's not for us so much as to keep the riff-raff from finding our quiet little fishing hole. SHHHHHH!

This also affects which context-sensitive ads are seen by those of you without ad blockers.
   27. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4685947)
While we're talking about comments, and I'm sure this has been talked about before, but is it reeeeally necessary to censor swearwords as BBTF does? Surely THAT is not a reason, or at least a negligible one, as to why the quality of comments are so high around here.

As long as it's not enforced every time someone overrides the system to emphasize a certain point, the no-swearing policy probably does contribute somewhat to a certain level of civility. I've never seen any f-bombs or mf-bombs directed at any Primate, and I'd like to think that's the primary purpose behind the ban, to stop the occasional flame wars from going over the edge.
   28. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4685953)
The purpose of the nanny is to keep BTF pages from showing up in search results for the very words that are censored. It's not for us so much as to keep the riff-raff from finding our quiet little fishing hole. SHHHHHH!

Given the many millions of uncensored websites with traffic higher than this little outpost of baseball fans, I doubt if that would ever be much of a problem.

This also affects which context-sensitive ads are seen by those of you without ad blockers.

I don't have ad-blockers, and I've never clicked on a single internet ad in my life, but that still doesn't stop those "male gamer" ads from showing up on my screen. Not to mention all those ads we used to see for steroids and other bogus "nutritional supplements".
   29. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4685957)
As long as it's not enforced every time someone overrides the system to emphasize a certain point,


When you put it that way, it almost sounds as if your deliberate circumvention of the site creator's explicit wishes is heroic behavior, rather than kind of crappy.
   30. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4685961)
When you put it that way, it almost sounds as if your deliberate circumvention of the site creator's explicit wishes is heroic behavior, rather than kind of crappy.


The times profanity is really necessary to a piece of written expression are virtually zero.(*) Typically, it's a "look at me," quasi-poseur device in which the writer tries to express his deep concern about the topic he's commenting on.

(*) The Vietnam era \"#### THE DRAFT" t-shirts that became the subject matter of Cohen v. California might be one.
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4685969)
When you put it that way, it almost sounds as if your deliberate circumvention of the site creator's explicit wishes is heroic behavior, rather than kind of crappy.

Oh, please. As if I override it more than once a week or so, and as if I'm the only one who ever does it. Hell, even Jim himself had to have overridden it a week or two ago when he posted an article that the nanny ordinarily would have zapped.

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

The times profanity is really necessary to a piece of written expression are virtually zero.(*) Typically, it's a "look at me," quasi-poseur device in which the writer tries to express his deep concern about the topic he's commenting on.

Whereas using "modern liberals" with the metronomic predictability of a disco beat is a sign of the highest literary expression.
   32. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4685971)
The purpose of the nanny is to keep BTF pages from showing up in search results for the very words that are censored.


What? Where are you getting this from? There is no chance of this site ever showing up in a Google search for \"####."

As if I override it more than once a week or so


You say that like you think it's hardly at all, rather than doing it consistently over a period of years.
   33. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4685972)
Whereas using "modern liberals" with the metronomic predictability of a disco beat is a sign of the highest literary expression.

It's quite a bit higher than \"############," or "Clinton's penis" or "Pussygate" -- that's for sure.

"Modern liberal" actually contains a lot of very pertinent and fresh information, and is very descriptive. Which is probably why it rankles you so.
   34. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4685973)
Dear nanny, how come you put a backslash before censored words that appear in quotation marks? It's weird.
   35. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4685975)
What? Where are you getting this from? There is no chance of this site ever showing up in a Google search for "####."

When I search Google using "baseballthinkfactory" and the four-letter word that means "fornicate", I get the following headers as the first three results:

BBTF's Newsblog Discussion :: Bud Selig on the Oakland ...
BBTF's Newsblog Discussion :: Murray Chass on Baseball ...
BBTF's Newsblog Discussion :: Tommy Lasorda talks food ...

I'm guessing that the four-letter word that means "fornicate" was not used with sexy intent in those discussions.
   36. Good cripple hitter Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4685976)
For a few weeks after that, I heard "daddy dropped the dang milk" from my oldest. It was the best example of "watch your mouth" that I have ever had. My boys have rarely heard a swear word out of my mouth FWIW after that incident.


That happened to me except my niece was in the car as I listened to the 2011 Blue Jays bullpen collapse, so the phrase she learned was \"#### Jon Rauch!"
   37. Randy Jones Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4685978)
Dear nanny, how come you put a backslash before censored words that appear in quotation marks? It's weird.


Badly coded string escaping.

EDIT: For Fernigal below me, as Mahnken has repeatedly stated, no cokes for answers to a direct question. And besides, your answer was more complete than mine and would make sense to someone who is not a developer.
   38. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:51 PM (#4685979)
Dear nanny, how come you put a backslash before censored words that appear in quotation marks? It's weird.

It's probably a leftover from whatever scripting language the nanny is in (presumably PHP). The backslash is often what's called an escape character. In the scripting language a quotation mark will likely be used to delimit a chunk of text. To show that the quotation mark is part of the chunk of text you have to add the escape character, which says, "The following is a quotation mark, not a part of the code." And then whoever wrote the nanny botched it a bit, so the escape character gets captured and returned as a part of the output.
EDIT: Coke.
   39. The District Attorney Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4685980)
I love the idea that the way people find porn is by going to Google and typing fsingleuck in the search bar.

HOORAY FOR META
   40. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:52 PM (#4685981)
Whereas using "modern liberals" with the metronomic predictability of a disco beat is a sign of the highest literary expression.

It's quite a bit higher than \"############," or "Clinton's penis" or "Pussygate" -- that's for sure.


I'd say that that's strictly in the eyes of the copyright holder. That particular 12-letter word that you find so offensive is actually the subject of an entire book, and has long been viewed by many linguists with a fair amount of respect and downright affection.

"Modern liberal" actually contains a lot of very pertinent and fresh information, and is very descriptive. Which is probably why it rankles you so.

It's about as pertinent and fresh as "modern fascist" might be, but it's your baby and nobody can take it away from you.

EDIT: Oh irony of ironies, the Amazon nanny blocks the link to the book they're selling on their own website! Only in America.
   41. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4685983)
So this thread is done.
   42. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4685984)
So a couplish years back, my parents sent us a quart of chocolate milk from a local dairy (Broguire's for anyone in so cal - best chocolate milk ever). Problem is, the milk comes in glass bottles and I dropped one on the garage floor. When my wife came out, I told her "I dropped the dang milk" (dang is honestly what I said, my boys were in the car). For a few weeks after that, I heard "daddy dropped the dang milk" from my oldest. It was the best example of "watch your mouth" that I have ever had. My boys have rarely heard a swear word out of my mouth FWIW after that incident.


A number of years ago I was helping a friend assemble one of those swing set/jungle gym combos in his backyard. His 2 year old son was wandering around "helping" when my friend made a mistake and yelled "son of a #####!" in frustration. We both paused and then this little two year old voice piped up \"#####!"

My friend was laughing and said "seriously, that's the word he repeats from that sentence?"
   43. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4685985)
So this thread is done.

Another outpost of modern civilization destroyed by modern liberals, doing Satan's work since 1979.
   44. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4685988)
I'd say that that's strictly in the eyes of the copyright holder. That particular 12-letter word that you find so offensive is actually the subject of an entire book, and has long been viewed by many linguists with a fair amount of respect and downright affection.

It certainly isn't a surprise that aging 60s liberals look upon the word with a certain nostalgic, oppositional affection, but I wouldn't confuse that with anything real.

It's about as pertinent and fresh as "modern fascist" might be, but it's your baby and nobody can take it away from you.


If you can make something out of the term, have at it.
   45. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4685992)
It certainly isn't a surprise that aging 60s liberals look upon the word with a certain nostalgic, oppositional affection, but I wouldn't confuse that with anything real.

And it certainly isn't a surprise that you seem to think that the word is confined to aging 60s liberals.

["Modern liberal" is] about as pertinent and fresh as "modern fascist" might be, but it's your baby and nobody can take it away from you.

If you can make something out of the term, have at it.


Sorry, sir, but it's your baby, and only you can possibly explain what you mean by it. Many others besides me have tried, but all we can come up with is "That's just Sugar Bear being Sugar Bear."
   46. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4685993)
I am generally against censorship, but I'm all for banning anyone that uses the terms "sheeple", "Kool-aid", or "-wing rag".
   47. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:14 PM (#4686001)
I probably don't fit the bill exactly.

I have a site entitled "The Tony Batista Apology Tour", but it's not really intended as a thing for other humans to visit.


Yeah, I was looking for readers, but my blog was probably more nichey than a blog about sabermetrics. For a while, it had a James Burke meets some random SABR guy vibe.
   48. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4686009)
I am generally against censorship, but I'm all for banning anyone that uses the terms "sheeple", "Kool-aid", or "-wing rag".


also "I loves me some..."
   49. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:33 PM (#4686012)
Any other deadbloggers here?


*Raises hand sheepishly.*
   50. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4686015)

It certainly isn't a surprise that aging 60s liberals look upon the word with a certain nostalgic, oppositional affection, but I wouldn't confuse that with anything real.


You heard it here, folks, 60s liberals aren't real!
   51. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 14, 2014 at 02:58 PM (#4686031)
*Raises hand sheepishly.*


I'm not ashamed of it. At least I gave it a try. Too, my wife is impressed that I wrote short bios for SABR as well.
   52. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4686045)
I am generally against censorship, but I'm all for banning anyone that uses the terms "sheeple", "Kool-aid", or "-wing rag".

Way to throw those people under the bus.
   53. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4686046)
Any other deadbloggers here?


There's one website (itself unchanged since 2006) that has a dead link to my blog from the 90s. I would have kept up with it if I knew what a blog was.
   54. DA Baracus Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4686050)
So this thread is done.


Given the topic, it's perfect.
   55. Chone Mueller Posted: April 14, 2014 at 03:49 PM (#4686056)
...For a few weeks after that, I heard "daddy dropped the dang milk" from my oldest. It was the best example of "watch your mouth" that I have ever had. My boys have rarely heard a swear word out of my mouth FWIW after that incident.


An incident from my childhood to reinforce this -- it was fingerpainting day in kindergarten and my teacher dropped the paint. It splattered across the floor with some of it splashing on her shoes and legs. I look up at her and ask, "Miss Lesslie, aren't you going to say son of a #####?
   56. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4686063)
There's one website (itself unchanged since 2006) that has a dead link to my blog from the 90s. I would have kept up with it if I knew what a blog was.


There used to be a blogroll here at BTF back in the day. I wonder how many of those links would still be live. Folks migrated from place to place over the years. I remember when Cardboard Gods used to be with Baseball Toaster. I liked that little family of blogs. IIRC, Dodger Thoughts was there along with a few others. Once, when I was bored and years after it shut down, I read Scott Long's entire blog about the life of a standup comedian in the Midwest.
   57. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4686072)
What's a deadblogger?
   58. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4686074)
Someone who once blogged but now doesn't, I'm assuming.

Having never blogged, does that make me a stillbornblogger?
   59. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4686077)
Someone who once blogged but now doesn't, I'm assuming.


That's what I meant. I am the owner of a dead blog; a few of them if you include The Phantom Drinker, The Astigmatic Eye, Pigskin Ponderings, and probably a couple more that I have forgotten.
   60. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4686079)
Maybe I'll start a blog called DeadBlogger of the Week.
   61. Good cripple hitter Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4686081)
There used to be a blogroll here at BTF back in the day. I wonder how many of those links would still be live. Folks migrated from place to place over the years. I remember when Cardboard Gods used to be with Baseball Toaster. I liked that little family of blogs. IIRC, Dodger Thoughts was there along with a few others


Dodger Thoughts, Catfish Stew by Ken Arneson, Score Bard, Will Carroll's blog, Bob Timmermann's stuff, and the had some tv blogs as well. It was nice, even though a lot (most?) of the people there are still blogging in one form or another, I don't think I've ever kept up with them since the Toaster was unplugged.
   62. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:52 PM (#4686097)
Did Baseball Analysts wither away? It looks like their last post was from 2012.
   63. thetailor Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4686103)
Although any identifiable group can be prone to back-slapping themselves for being great, I think the kudos around here for a smart and civil commentariat are well earned. Having lurked here and commented on and off for a decade, I have always wondered why, or how, things have remained so good around here in the comments. How are smart being being attracted to this? How are they being retained? What is it about Primer that makes the idiots not want to sign up, comment, or stay?

I'm not just idly curious about this, I am extraordinarily curious about it. BBTF has been around for a long time, plenty of time to get into the mainstream and be ruined by the great unwashed. I send links to my thinking friends of BBTF discussions all the time when I find them interesting. For some reason, they never check back.

I've learned a great great deal here over the years and am constantly amazed to see actual journalists check in here to have a back and forth discussion with commenters. It's cool. I hope it never changes.
   64. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4686104)
What's the term for someone who used to blog and who gave up his blog, but the blog got a new owner and is now far more popular than it was under the original owner? Because that's me.
   65. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4686118)
#63,

I think the stats stuff scares off one set of would-be trolls, while another potential pool of skunks in the woodpile generally require more backup reinforcements than they're ever likely to get here. There can be some pretty strong give-and-takes, but it doesn't usually get personal, and that fact alone contributes a lot (I think) to the site's long run.
   66. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4686125)
Yea, I have a dead blog. Been meaning to take it down for awhile. I don't think it ever had much of a readership, but it was cool ANYONE read it at all. I mostly just wrote bios of old Royals players. The highlight was when one of them - pitcher Mike Hedlund - wrote me and said I got it right, and some of his family members commented as well.

What's the term for someone who used to blog and who gave up his blog, but the blog got a new owner and is now far more popular than it was under the original owner? Because that's me.


What's the blog?
   67. jingoist Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4686127)
GGC: What was the blog theme for the Astigmatic Eye?

My mind conjured all sorts of semi-relevant topics, such as: Corrective Sunglasses at Night?
Lasik Surgery: left eye for reading; right eye for distance?
Are eye-patches a turn-on or turn-off for the late night bar dating scene?
   68. Good cripple hitter Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4686135)
Did Baseball Analysts wither away? It looks like their last post was from 2012.


I'd forgotten about that one. I can find no recent news about the whereabouts of Rich Lederer, although AFAICT he'd heavily ramped down his writing before the blog just stopped having new posts.
   69. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 14, 2014 at 05:37 PM (#4686136)
One of my eyes is astigmatic and I pictured the blog as a blurred look at things. I think the last few months of it were devoted to projecting college QBs (man that class of '07 sucked) and occasionally looks at That Day In Sports History. Before that, I used it as a dump for random thoughts and some stuff that I had previously written that was in my My Documents folder.
   70. thetailor Posted: April 14, 2014 at 06:09 PM (#4686151)
What do you call someone who blogged by himself for a while (www.fonzieforever.blogspot.com), then teamed up with a few other guys to make a bigger and better project (www.thereadzone.com)? I've linked a thing or two here before.
   71. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4686155)
Re 63
The trolls went to the forums.
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: April 14, 2014 at 06:48 PM (#4686165)
The purpose of the nanny is to keep BTF pages from showing up in search results for the very words that are censored. It's not for us so much as to keep the riff-raff from finding our quiet little fishing hole. SHHHHHH!

This also affects which context-sensitive ads are seen by those of you without ad blockers.


Not sure that the nanny does what you think it does. The cuss word is still there on the page, it's just not visible. It should still be theoretically seen in a search.

   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4686169)
Re 63
The trolls went to the forums.


I'd suspected as such, but I keep here on the mainland and wouldn't know firsthand.
   74. puck Posted: April 14, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4686186)
also "I loves me some..."


Riddle me this.
   75. The District Attorney Posted: April 14, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4686188)
One enormous problem with comment sections/discussion boards is that they become communities. The existence of those communities then greatly affects how people conduct their discussions. People become inflexible in their arguments because they don't want to "lose face" in the community. Or they don't bother to make an attempt to understand someone else's argument, because they do want the other person to lose face in the community. Or they just generally "act out" in order to get some sort of a reaction from the community. etc.

Twitter doesn't have those problems. It's a lot more like a one-on-one conversation. I mean, yeah, everyone can theoretically read side conversations between people... but, they aren't. And even to the extent they are, the people reading it are unconnected individuals, not an established community.

So I can see a writer skipping comment sections a lot easier than I can see him skipping Twitter. I agree with Craig that, here in the year 2014, a writer who doesn't interact with people on Twitter, and who declines to do so not because he lacks time but because he figures the plebes have nothing to offer him, isn't doing his job as well as he could be.
   76. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 14, 2014 at 08:08 PM (#4686200)
One enormous problem with comment sections/discussion boards is that they become communities. The existence of those communities then greatly affects how people conduct their discussions. People become inflexible in their arguments because they don't want to "lose face" in the community. Or they don't bother to make an attempt to understand someone else's argument, because they do want the other person to lose face in the community. Or they just generally "act out" in order to get some sort of a reaction from the community. etc.


I don't really care what people think about my posts anymore. Unless I bookmark every thread I post in, it isn't easy to see if there are responses after I step away. Anyways, most of my typing won't lead to arguments. I'm on the completely opposite end of the spectrum from Sugar Bear Blanks, Sam, Andy, Publius, et al. I doubt any of you know what I think about PEDs, the DH, interleague play, soccer, or politics. It is possible that someone may remember how I feel like DIPs or replacement level, but I've been more of a lurker nowadays. In fact, I'm surprised how much I used to be able to post here and still maintain a job and a social life back in my heyday about 10 years ago. How do you guys pull it off?
   77. greenback calls it soccer Posted: April 14, 2014 at 08:20 PM (#4686204)
I'm on the completely opposite end of the spectrum from Sugar Bear Blanks, Sam, Andy, Publius, et al.

Sure, tell that to JC Bradbury and Cyril Morong.
   78. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2014 at 08:48 PM (#4686217)
But we all know you're really interested in WWII minutiae.
   79. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4686220)
I must've said something bad about economists at some point. I do recall arguing with Bradbury at some point eons ago, but don't recall any tiffs with Morong.

But we all know you're really interested in WWII minutiae.


Nah, I am a piker compared to those guys who had a lengthy discussion of the Eastern Front back in the Sickels thread. (Possibly the best OT thread ever.)


   80. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:09 PM (#4686222)
I doubt any of you know what I think about PEDs, the DH, interleague play, soccer, or politics.

I don't remember, but Robin does. He keeps your posting history in File #8C-20015, next to your police record and list of escort services.

In fact, I'm surprised how much I used to be able to post here and still maintain a job and a social life back in my heyday about 10 years ago. How do you guys pull it off?

Simple. Work for yourself.

P.S. I actually do remember you as someone I wish still posted here more. Were you the one who once created that all-time shootout among the greatest teams of all time?
   81. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 09:54 PM (#4686245)
Deadblogger here. I remember writing about how vlad would be a bargain in free agency, teams would be foolish not to claim manny off waivers, and Corey Patterson would flame out. Then I wrote some stuff about the military industrial complex.
   82. Moeball Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4686251)
I can find no recent news about the whereabouts of Rich Lederer, although AFAICT he'd heavily ramped down his writing before the blog just stopped having new posts.


Given that it seemed like Lederer's main reason for having the site was to bring attention to Bert Blyleven's campaign for the HOF, maybe he feels like his work is done now.
   83. Greg K Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4686253)
I remember writing in around 2008 that at 32 Paul Konerko was unlikely to be a viable major league starter anymore.
   84. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:17 PM (#4686257)
P.S. I actually do remember you as someone I wish still posted here more. Were you the one who once created that all-time shootout among the greatest teams of all time?


I think that was a Yankee fan, either SG or SM in DC. IIRC, the plan was to do a tournament using Diamond Mind. I don't think it ever happened.
   85. greenback calls it soccer Posted: April 14, 2014 at 10:47 PM (#4686277)
I do recall arguing with Bradbury at some point eons ago, but don't recall any tiffs with Morong.

You offended Dr. Bradbury's delicate sensibilities by comparing him to Dr. Morong.
   86. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:41 PM (#4686301)
P.S. I actually do remember you as someone I wish still posted here more. Were you the one who once created that all-time shootout among the greatest teams of all time?

I think that was a Yankee fan, either SG or SM in DC. IIRC, the plan was to do a tournament using Diamond Mind. I don't think it ever happened.


No, the thread I'm thinking about wasn't posted by a Yankees fan. The main thing I remember about it was that it assigned very little relative value to postseason results, and that it overrated the 1954 Indians to the point of absurdity, in large part because it added wildly disproportionate value to a pair of mediocre Cleveland benchwarmers. I think you're right that the final champion was never determined. I thought initially that the person who started the thread was a Braves fan, but my suspicion was corrected with an understandably indignant denial.
   87. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4686305)
66: Federal Baseball .
   88. Shredder Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:47 PM (#4686306)
My now dead blog was good enough for a while to score me some free stuff and a phone interview with Tim Salmon. It's still alive, actually, but I haven't written anything on it in a couple years. It's fun to go through the archives sometimes. I think I got about 500 visitors one day during the Angels-White Sox-Eddings incident. I still think what I wrote was correct.
   89. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 14, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4686310)
No, the thread I'm thinking about wasn't posted by a Yankees fan. The main thing I remember about it was that it assigned very little relative value to postseason results, and that it overrated the 1954 Indians to the point of absurdity, in large part because it added wildly disproportionate value to a pair of mediocre Cleveland benchwarmers.


That was Count the Rings the Great 28 Simulation, posted by Yankee fan SG. You can't find it in the archives any longer, but that is what you remember (since that bug was an issue he dealt with).
   90. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: April 15, 2014 at 12:56 AM (#4686329)
71. McCoy Posted: April 14, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4686155)
Re 63
The trolls went to the forums.


Only thing going on in the forums are the lounges. and well most of the loungers have been at this site for a decade or so.
   91. Good cripple hitter Posted: April 15, 2014 at 01:11 AM (#4686333)
Given that it seemed like Lederer's main reason for having the site was to bring attention to Bert Blyleven's campaign for the HOF, maybe he feels like his work is done now.


That's what I gathered, but his website had more writers than just him and it went dark without explanation. I'm not saying he owed anyone anything, but at the time it felt odd that such a prominent member of the baseball blogosphere shut his site down without a goodbye.
   92. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: April 15, 2014 at 07:52 AM (#4686347)
Any other deadbloggers here? IIRC, Zeth was one. I was disappointed with the lack of feedback, but what really killed DS was lack of time as my life got busier.


I'm flattered to be remembered as such; it's been over five years since I stopped blogging. It was fun, but too time consuming to write thoughtful and organized posts that hardly anybody reads. Much easier to post uncensored verbal diarrhea here. :)

I would like to get back to it because forcing myself to write thoughtful and organized posts is good exercise for the mind (and communication is one of the most valuable of all human skills). But honestly--and I know I shouldn't admit this--I no longer invest sufficient time in following baseball to have anything worthwhile to say about it in long form. I've become a casual. (Would God that most casuals would realize they have nothing worthwhile to say about sports on the internet.)

Just like the old spam solution: Charge people $1 to comment on your site. Every comment they make, you deduct 2 cents. Pass the comments to an anonymous reviewing system. If it get three strikes, we keep your 2 cents. Otherwise you get it back.


You'll knock out 95% of the trolls and random ######## by charging a nominal admission fee ($10, say) and then banning people who violate civility and deleting their accounts. They can come back if they like, but it will cost them another $10 and they'll lose that too if they don't change their tune.
   93. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 15, 2014 at 08:28 AM (#4686352)
No, the thread I'm thinking about wasn't posted by a Yankees fan. The main thing I remember about it was that it assigned very little relative value to postseason results, and that it overrated the 1954 Indians to the point of absurdity, in large part because it added wildly disproportionate value to a pair of mediocre Cleveland benchwarmers.

That was Count the Rings the Great 28 Simulation, posted by Yankee fan SG. You can't find it in the archives any longer, but that is what you remember (since that bug was an issue he dealt with).


Must be the one, since that bug about the benchwarmers was what stood out most about it. Thanks for the correction.
   94. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 15, 2014 at 08:44 AM (#4686356)
I no longer invest sufficient time in following baseball to have anything worthwhile to say about it in long form. I've become a casual. (Would God that most casuals would realize they have nothing worthwhile to say about sports on the internet.)


Same here. I watch about one game a week on TV and it is usually a Red Sox game. Then again, my writing was more about the past than the present and that was one reason it didn't really merit as much of an audience as many blogs do. Someone once suggested that I write on dead trees instead.
   95. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 15, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4686360)
I've gone to Federal Baseball...

**

I've wanted to do something, but never figured out a way of structuring it so that it would be: worth reading, frequently updated, and a mix of topics that would interest people. Also, one of my primary urges to write stems from when I search for something online and get frustrated that no one has covered it yet. In 2014, you can find people writing (with varying degrees of competence) about almost everything.
   96. Ron J2 Posted: April 15, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4686456)
#65 Don't buy it. A lot of us are refugees from rec.sport.baseball (or usenet team groups) and the most prolific troll ( RLM ) would not have been intimidated by the stats. He lived to troll statheads.

I do know that Szym said that when he was handling the day to day running of the site he would have kept him off. I do think the requirement to register has probably kept him out.
   97. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: April 15, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4686514)
lot of us are refugees from rec.sport.baseball (or usenet team groups) and the most prolific troll ( RLM ) would not have been intimidated by the stats. He lived to troll statheads.


Yes, but cordially, as always.
   98. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: April 15, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4686543)
I remember writing in around 2008 that at 32 Paul Konerko was unlikely to be a viable major league starter anymore.


I believe I used that as an example of foolishness in a post (about Pujols) the other day.

Nobody remembers the good comments. Only the errors go on the scoreboard.
   99. Moeball Posted: April 15, 2014 at 08:40 PM (#4686649)
Some quick additional thoughts:

1)Thank you, Rich Lederer, wherever you are. Us basement-dweller types actually won a battle there with Blyleven and it never would have happened without your constant reminders to the baseball media establishment that they were missing out on something big.

2)I just hope that someday a similarly well-written and convincing campaign can convince the Vets Committee to reconsider players such as Lofton, Trammaker (Whitammel?), Grich, etc.

3)Slight tangent – speaking of Trammell and Whitaker – is it true the Tigers never retired their uniform numbers? I saw the Padres playing the Tigers this weekend and Ian Kinsler was wearing #3 and it just looked…so…wrong.

4)Sparky and others always referred to his Tiger teams as the “Bless you boys!” Well, bless you BBTF because it’s the one place on the web where I can have intelligent discourse with other baseball fans. Yes, we sometimes have heated discussions and it’s very clear where Andy, Ray, Lisa, Sam, Sugar Bear, etc. stand on a lot of issues, and maybe they’re never going to agree about certain things – but I do get a certain sense of family with this group. You can disagree with someone but still respect their opinion. I don’t see much of that elsewhere on the net, just mostly shrill people shrieking “I’m right and you’re a poopy-head!” So if some people think this site is a basement, well, I say at least it’s a very comfy basement. And thank you, Jim, for keeping us going – whenever we’re down for a few days I really miss this place and it really points out how little else there is out there that can approach this gang of misfits.

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