Feb
04

State of the RAB

By

Fellow dwellers in the series of tubes:

As we near the three-year anniversary of River Avenue Blues, I’d like to take a few moments to greet and thank everyone who has visited and supported us since our inception in February of 2007. We’ve come a long way since then. Our posts have grown greater in number and deeper in thought. Our audience has grown from few and quiet to many and loud — through not only comments, but emails, instant messages, our web form, and even in real life. For those of you have ambled by here recently, and even for those who have been here for years, this is who we are.

While this particular site launched in 2007, Ben, Mike, and I go back a bit further than that. We all started up our own baseball writing projects in the mid-00s, just because we loved writing about baseball. Sure, at times we each had aspirations of attracting a large audience, but none of us really expected it. It was more a form of catharsis, a way to deal with the day in, day out stress of the baseball season. The players get to vent that stress through physical performance. For us less athletic types, writing sometimes does the trick. It does for us, at least.

The baseball season is, thankfully, fast approaching, and changes will come with it. This seems to happen every year. A certain percentage of the audience checks out after they stop playing games, only to return six, but hopefully only five, months later, just in time for Opening Day. Some readers, intrigued by our non-stop hot stove coverage, tune out during the season, opting to enjoy the game for itself and not getting caught up in the tangle of daily analysis. We do keep many of those who discovered us during the hot stove, and that means the composition of our audience will change.

That won’t change the content. We’ll continue to write stories that interest us. Sometimes that involves a prospect. Sometimes it involves breaking down data. Sometimes it involves comparing players with various statistics. If you particularly like something, but especially if you don’t, email us and let us know. We also appreciate emails in regards to typos and other small errors. We aren’t to the point of hiring a full-time editor — hell, we don’t even really pay ourselves — so any corrections from the crowd are appreciated. If you have an issue with the data we used to analyze an issue, or a conclusion we drew from the data, that’s perfect for the comments section. It might make us think of the topic in another way, perhaps making our posts more complete in the future.

What will change, undoubtedly, between now and Opening Day is the comments section. Again, it happens all the time. It’s happened over the past year, and it will continue to morph and evolve. We have an excellent core of commenters who not only know baseball, but also know how to lighten the mood. As we get more and more comments, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to monitor them. We want nothing more than a robust baseball discussion, but unfortunately there are others who do not. Allow me to elaborate.

Baseball incites argument. That’s good. We can all learn a lot from people whose opinions differ from our own. But, contrary to what many people think, not all opinions are created equal. The opinions which count for the most are those which are supported by evidence. As Tango likes to say, an opinion without evidence is bullshit. You can still hold said evidence-less opinion, but don’t expect it to garner much respect among our commenters.

If you hold an opinion and cannot back it up with evidence, we ask that you not act like a jackass about it. Accept it as just your opinion, with no basis in fact, and move on. There’s plenty to discuss. If you do continue to post evidence-less opinions, well, good for you. If you feel the need to do that, again, we just ask that you not act like a jackass about it. That’s the most important point, as you can see.

For the core commenters, we’re asking a bit more. By responding to jackasses, you’re legitimizing them. Over the past few weeks I’ve seen plenty of this — ashamedly, have been part of it once. It takes the focus off the baseball discussion and puts it onto the jackass. We do not want this. It generally leads to everyone acting like a jackass, and the comment thread devolves into an unreadable mass. Remember, we’re here to talk baseball, not act like tough guys on an internet message board.

As we specify in our commenting guidelines, we really appreciate you keep comments true to the topic of the post. If a conversation moves a certain way, keep it within that particular thread within the comments. Even then, we ask that it not get too far out of hand. For off-topic comments, we have an open thread every evening. We’ve also added an off-topic thread, which you can find in the navigation bar, and by clicking here.

To our readers who don’t use the comments section, we thank you every bit as much as our regular commenters. You’re welcome at any time to drop in and add to the conversation. We hope our threaded comments layout makes it easy to follow different conversations within the thread. We’re also working to make improvements on the layout, including re-adding the ability to see unread comments. Again, if you have any suggestions please contact us. We make it ridiculously easy to do so.

We’ll leave this post up overnight. Baseball will be back in the a.m. Thanks again for reading.

  • Accent Shallow

    I don’t want to see like a kiss-ass, but bravo.

    (Not that I haven’t been guilty as well)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      We all have. I just keep hoping that if I keep saying it, we’ll all cut back.

      • Slugger27

        you guys plan on whipping out the banhammer more often from now on?

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    Nothing unreasonable here.

  • Master of all Trades

    Congrats on a great 3 years.
    If there is a better Yankee Blog, I have yet to find it.
    I look forward to sharing some good times on here during the 2010 season. Congrats again!

    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/ Nostra-Artist

      There are other good ones, but RAB is still the reigning champ. Both in the content and the comments section.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        I’ve got my eye on a new plucky little upstart called http://www.mystiqueandaura.com.

        I’m expecting big things.

        /buildingthebrand’d

  • pat

    I can deal with people being uninformed. I cannot deal with people parading around their ignorance and trying to pass it off as fact. That shit burns my biscuits.

    • whozat

      http://xkcd.com/386/

      I’ve posted it before, but it’s just so apropos :-)

      • JGS

        xkcd = awesomeness

  • http://i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0902/mlb.alex.rodriguez.through.the.years/images/1993.alex-rodriguez.jpg Drew

    this is who we are

    You are who we thought you were.

    • Crazy Eyes Killa

      and we let them off the hook

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Now if you wanna crown their ass, then crown their ass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adorador Ray Fuego

    This is the most amazing Yankee blog I’ve found on this electronic mass called the internet. Keep up the good work. Also, I read a lot and only comment once in a while but I completely agree with what you said, ignore the fools and they will leave.

  • Salty Buggah

    An off-topic thread? That’s awesome. What happens to open threads during the offseason/non-gamedays then?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      We’ll keep them going. The perpetual thread is more for random, anytime stuff.

      • Salty Buggah

        Oh gotcha.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        Can you name it th “Eric Movie Quote Thread”?

        /Bo’d

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

          Can you name it the “Eric Movie Quote Thread”?????

          /Bo’d

  • Rey22

    +28 to RAB!

    (Yes, 28. I went there.)

  • bexarama

    I feel totally weird that this popped up pretty much a few days after I decided to start commenting. o_O

    But anyway, I’ve been a lurker for a while and this site is really great. You all do a fantastic job and I can’t wait for #28 and beyond with you guys.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Yeah, don’t get the wrong idea. You’ve been an excellent addition to the commenting stable.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Seconded.

        Bexarama is good money.

        • Steve H

          Thirded.

    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/ Nostra-Artist

      There’s a trio of commenters who are generally recognized as saying baseless stuff all the time. If you don’t already know who they are, you’ll figure it out.

      The rest of us all occasionally have things we can’t back up by stats/facts, but that’s just part of the game. Some things in Baseball are very hard to quantify. Less and less, but there still are things that slip through the cracks. So a certain amount of ‘bullshit’ is something that’s part of everyone’s analysis.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Yup.

        More importantly, though, in those instances when we make a statement or a claim not supported by fact or evidence but just by hunch or conjecture, we explicitly state that it’s unverified opinion and treat it as such, i.e., we don’t claim certainty, only suggestion.

        If you’re not sure, you stay flexible and admit possible incorrectness.

  • A.D.

    Here here to RAB, thanks for all the great work guys & many of the great core posters that help the site.

    As always, don’t feed the trolls, better to spend the effort feeding the commenters who care.

  • PaulF

    This blog’s commenters restore my faith in humanity after readings lohud’s. I don’t comment much but this blog is great.

    • pat

      I can’t get through more than 10 or 15 comments on LoHud. It’s like 90% people swapping their favorite pie recipes and trying to pretend like they know what the fuck they’re talking about.

      • bexarama

        Whenever I go to LoHud, which isn’t that often since I found RAB, I copy the headdesk-y comments from there into a Word document and sometimes FJM them there so I’m not tempted to sign up and then be really, really mean to them in the comments.

        Yeah, I’m kind of a dork, why did you ask?

        • Slugger27

          im not sure if thats sad or hilarious

          • bexarama

            It’s really sad.

      • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

        It’s like 90% people swapping their favorite pie recipes and trying to pretend like they know what the fuck they’re talking about.

        Really? It’s always struck me as community of people who go door-to-door asking if your cats are old enough to learn about Jesus.

        But hey, what do I know? My cats believe in the Holy Trinity.

        • pat

          Mo Melvin and Jesus?

          • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

            Duh!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      This blog’s commenters restore my faith in humanity after readings lohud’s. I don’t comment much but this blog is great.

      Our bill is in the mail.

  • BigBlueAL

    I still miss alex gonzalez.

    • Slugger27

      did he get banned or something?

      • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

        He outed himself as a troll and bid his adieu sometime in the playoffs, if memory serves.

        • Slugger27

          dude if theres a link to that thread i will be EXTREMELY thankful

        • Salty Buggah

          I still think he was a regular commenter from RAB that got bored and was just messing with us. He knew almost everything that the RAB community was against. That’s why he stopped trolling after a while. He returns once in a while if you mention him.

          • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

            What if it was (dun dun dun)…Ben?!

            But really, it was totally Mr. Green in the foyer with a tire iron.

            • Salty Buggah

              It would be so awesome if it was Ben. I think I know who it is but I won’t say because I have no way of knowing for sure.

          • Esteban

            I think Jose’s his real name, he was talking about it a couple nights ago,

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

              Yup. The esteemable Jose has declared himself as the author of The Alex Gonzalez Experience.

              He is brilliant as Jose, and brilliantly wicked as alex gonzalez.

              • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Templeton_Peck Templeton “Brendog” Peck

                wow.

  • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

    Unfortunately, part of the fun of the community here is baiting and cracking on SBGL, mryankee, Brazilian Yankee, Mo, alex gonzalez, barry, Steve B., and other like-minded trolls folks.

    I think it’s exacerbated by us not really having much else to talk about during this point in the year.

    Just the same, I’ll make more of an effort not responding.

    Perpetual thread is awesome. Really happy about that!

    Seacrest out.

    • bexarama

      You probably shouldn’t be cracking on anyone named “Mo” anyway cuz you might get hit with a lightning bolt ;)

      • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

        Crazy like that has no aim.

        Besides, I have a better chance of getting eaten by lions in my suburban New Jersey town than I do of getting struck by lightning.

        What, me worry?

      • DP

        Or maybe we’re doing His work by calling out false deities…

        • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

          Centaurs!

  • Infamous Richards

    For the most part, I think the people who comment here are very knowledgable and it shows. I just dont want it to become like the comment threads at nomaas or other sites

    • DP

      NoMaas comments:

      1) “That photoshop/you guys/this site/the new design sucks”
      2) “Everyone who likes Brett Gardner is a nerd”
      3) “This is a huge trade….huge like my penis”
      4) Shelley Duncan says “*SMASH IM SHELLEY DUNCAN”

      • Tom Zig

        lmao…so true

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        3) “This is a huge trade….huge like my penis”

        I’m now a little embarrassed about constantly talking about my huge cock.

        … and now, my embarrassment is over. MAN, it’s awesome to have a huge cock. It solves everything.

        • pete

          i lol’d

    • http://www.theyankeeu.com/ Nostra-Artist

      The messageboard at NoMaas is impossible, but some of the comments to their posts are pretty funny. It’s really about expectations, you have to know where you are.

  • http://hardballtimes.com/main/blog Dan Novick

    Whatever happened to the commenter that had the obscenely long handle about Don Mattingly being in the hall of fame?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      What’s the first rule of Fight Club?

      • Slugger27

        hahahaha, nicely played

    • Slugger27

      is that guy still around? i remember a thread like a year ago back where him and TSJC got in an argument and TSJC did the whole snarky non-sequitor jones thing

      theres a dude with a D.B.H.O.F handle but he doesnt seem to have the same baseball outlook as the original poster

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        theres a dude with a D.B.H.O.F handle but he doesnt seem to have the same baseball outlook as the original poster

        It’s the same guy.

        If his style seems different, it’s because he’s probably literally biting his tongue while writing to keep the full stream of consciousness from spilling out, because he knows he’ll get BANGWAGON’d if he does.

    • DP

      What ever happened to Suburban Rhythm? Why did Ed and Scott quit?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        Why did Ed and Scott quit?

        You mean Scott a.k.a. BINNER from Scott of 3 Kids Tickets?

        -Scott

        • http://iheartrerun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/rerun.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          (golf-clap)

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Commenters come and go in waves I’ve noticed. They’ll show up, stick around for a few months, then disappear.

    • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

      DBHOF was fanatical and wrote really, really long posts. I think he legitimately believed what he was saying. Only the truly dedicated trolls will write dissertations on concession food prices and Don Mattingly. Ahhh…memories.

      Wait, are we getting nostalgic about a trolling commenter on a baseball website? I am going to get so much poo-shanana tonight, boi!

  • Esteban

    Wait, where’s the link to the perpetual off topic thread?

  • Januz

    I have to say RAB and MLBTR are the best sources for baseball online (Not just Yankee coverage). Do it mean I agree with everything? No it does not (Particularly as it related to the New Yankee Stadium). But you guys offer an invaluable service (Far better than the other blogs), and you deserve a big THANK YOU for that.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      Hear hear!

    • JGS

      seconded, but RAB comments >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> MLBTR comments

    • http://iheartrerun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/rerun.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I was wondering what you thought about this.

      /steve (different one)’d

  • http://yanksdraftsandprospects.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    Congrats on the 3 years being up and running. What your asking isn’t too much to ask.

  • pete

    Off-Topic thread shall be awesome, thanks guys! One possible suggestion – a RAB “urban” dictionary? So that when words slowly make their way into the RAB commenting lexicon, the newbies will be able to look them up?
    For instance:

    Oaktag
    Bandwagon (RAB definition)
    Boversimplification
    Bobait

    Im sure there are a ton more that i’m forgetting

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      I’ll get on that.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      That’s next, a meme dictionary.

  • miketotheg

    I feel like this post is one of those, “we are taking over your country because we planted a flag. what? you have no flag? well there you go then.” (eddie izzard reference).

  • Sam P.

    Congrats on three years, guys! This has been a part of my daily online life since pretty much the beginning when I stumbled onto your site. Keep up the great work and here’s to a great 2010 for RAB and of course the Yanks!

    Sam

  • Wilcymoore27

    I just started reading this site last season, so this is my first “off-season” reading RAB. I’m even more amazed at the quantity and quality of your posts when no baseball is being played, than I am when the baseball season is on.

    Congratulations on running an absolutely terrific website. And, of course, Thank You!

  • BigGuy

    Congratulations guys, and keep up the great work. Great blog.

  • Steve H

    I just want to thank Rob Neyer for mentioning you guys a few years back and pointing me to this blog. As a Yankees fan in Boston there aren’t many fans I get to talk baseball with, unless it’s a knockdown, drag out Yankess-Sox fight (which are always fun). You guys do a great job of reporting the news, analyzing the news, and then discussing the news in the thread.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      You guys do a great job of reporting the news, analyzing the news, and then discussing the news in the thread.

      Step 1: cut a hole in a box
      Step 2: put your junk in that box
      Step 3: make her open the box

      … and that’s the way you do it.

  • donger

    Congrats! Over the last few months, RAB has become my primary source for Yankees analysis and information. Keep up the great work.

  • Rose

    Just like to say that I’ve been on both sides of the fence, as a lot of you may know. In all fairness, when I first got here I really didn’t understand what it was all about…I viewed it as just another message board type site and treated it as such, unfortunately. I would toss out the evidence-less opinions throughout…and have the commoners slam my face into the turnbuckle a bunch of times…only to respond defensively as if I were being attacked. Because, unfortunately, that’s how I viewed the site when I first got here. I didn’t quite understand what it was all about.

    Not that this is any excuse. I’m not condoning “jackass” type posters or cutting slack for those who may have or may someday take a similar approach. But unfortunately, you get these types…as well as the types who just never learn.

    I appreciate everyone for being patient with me, even though they didn’t have to be…and despite the differences along the way…I always enjoyed reading each thread as I’m a baseball fan like mostly everyone else here.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      I would toss out the evidence-less opinions throughout…and have the commoners slam my face into the turnbuckle a bunch of times…

      It was all out of love, my friend.

      (punches Rose square in the face, out of love)

  • Marsha

    I HEART RAB.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

      You damn well better.

    • http://iheartrerun.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/rerun.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Yeah, except for that joker Ben. Feh.

  • cr1

    I read several baseball blogs daily and choose them on the basis of two elements:

    First is the blogger(s)’s entries. Whether they focus on info or on analysis, I want to see some depth of knowledge and some variety of perspective, and RAB offers both. I like having a few regulars — enough for variety, not so many that there’s no defined personality. First-rate in this dimension!

    Second is the comment section, and here I’m afraid RAB is not so stellar (though never as awful as LoFluff or the various HaterBlogs). When the focus is on baseball I read, enjoy and even sometimes comment. When it turns cranky, pointless, juvenile, I bail. The balance between these elements seems to have moved in the wrong direction, but I’m hoping the return of actual baseball will help.

  • NZYFan

    Long time (3 years) reader, first time poster, all the way from New Zealand! You really are a global phenomenon.
    I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Ben, Mike and Joseph for setting up and running this wonderful blog, and to all of the regular posters for making this such an educational and entertaining place to visit. I even appreciate some of the idiots who post (no names) – their posts are funny and the replies are even funnier, so that’s a win-win in my book.
    My love of the Yankees, and the ability to read so much (mostly) informative stuff about them has helped me to get through some boring times at work and a rather down time in my personal life, so again major thanks to one and all.