Well, since the Tigers are becoming increasingly more difficult to talk about, let’s have a discussion about discussions.
I don’t know how billfer (our founder) ever did this thing on his own. I have definitely gained a real appreciation of what he did. He was a groundbreaker, he did it all on his own, and now he is wandering lonely, bearded and bedraggled and broken, over the old Tiger Stadium grounds, with a cardboard sign—a scathing one, I might add—ripping the Curtis Granderson trade.
Kevin and I are doing are best to keep this thing going, but really the lifeblood of this beast is really the community of readers and commentators that have stuck with it, along with those that are just discovering it. I really do believe there is still room out there for a well-run, well-lit place in between the corporate mega-blogs and the solo monoblogs.
This is in response, of course, to a comment here which ruffled the feathers and muddied the waters and somethinged the somethings. It addressed some things which probably needed to be addressed. I do wish it didn’t have the feel of a one-and-done criticism; I hope he stays around a bit (I know he’s been a reader in the past). I think we need to add some more views to the mix to keep this interesting. If he can bring back Vince from Minnesota, all the better. (Vince? are you out there?).
I think the biggest issue is that in the game day comments, people, to put it bluntly, bitch about stuff. I know I do. I try to be somewhat measured in my posts (Kevin probably does that better), but in my comments…sometimes not so much. But at the same time, when you go to a game, don’t you react and respond in a way that is very different than what you would do the day after? People react; live sports is reactive stuff. I try to take the game comments in that spirit. Just because you yell “you *#+$*!” at someone in your disappointment doesn’t mean you don’t treasure your signed baseball card of him, and play him in your fantasy league. Personally, when I get frustrated, I just try to say funny stuff. I’m not sure if anyone here was around then, but Rear Admiral Julius von Thursday…yeah, that was me.
Anyway, I’ll throw out a few things off the top of my head here, in no particular order:
1. The Tigers grossly underperformed last season, and it looks like they are going to do it again. I said it looks like—it’s too early to say that. Still, that makes watching games beyond frustrating sometimes.
2. The number of commenters is smaller, so occasionally (and I’ve felt this from the reading side and the commenting side) it seems like you are talking to yourself a bit. And I think that encourages a bit of a different tone in the comments.
3. In the past, the blog has had Game Posts, and Other Posts (which is not an official category). The Game Post comments were full of dumb insulting nicknames, negative comments, the whole bit. But the same people would be more measured when discussing the same issues in a non-Game Post. I will try posting on off days to see how that works, if I can manage it.
4. One good thing about this blog has been a very…collegial? feel. We all respect each other’s opinion here, even if…well, really, what is wrong with them! We can disagree without being personal. And people do feel comfortable sometimes sharing personal things here, and that is something to be respected.
5. Most of us still commenting here have been here a while. But we will end up talking to ourselves if we don’t respect and encourage other people who comment here who aren’t regulars, whether they are new readers or just infrequent commenters. I’ve seen that happen other places. It’s like having a team of old players who…oh wait, I don’t want to think about that.
6. Maybe we need a way to direct comments and suggestions to Kevin and I here? I have been told there are things one might want to tell us, that one doesn’t want to post as a public comment. Makes sense.
7. It’s really easy to throw the manager under the plane (they don’t take busses these days). And it’s very inconsistent too: Joe Maddon lets the players wear whatever they want and does goofy things. Genius! Another manager lets his players wear Zubaz and he’s a damn idiot! It’s an interesting discussion, but I don’t know how to have it. Maybe making bad puns on the managers name is unhelpful, but then again, maybe he is a bad manager who deserves some punning. I just don’t know.
8. There is no number 8.
9. Kevin may have a more concise and better response, which even may be no response. But does he have a 20-game hitting streak in Beat the Streak? No, he does not.
Lastly, when I initially read last night’s comments, for some weird reason, I latched onto the comment about people commenting in all caps, and wrote this long thing which somehow covered Homer and included the word “orthography.” You know Homer never “wrote” the Iliad and Odyssey; he compiled them at most. In all caps. With no spaces or punctuation. Will this post better that comment? The bar is low, as the Dead Sea bartender said.