Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Open Topic: Tell me what you want what you really really want

Not too long ago, Jason and I posted twice in a few days about a non-Cubs topic. This offense caused one reader to complain - in my mind without reason - and, in a response, I grudge-posted on the very same subject every day for a week. However I actually do like our readers and feedback is very valuable. So, since this is a relatively slow day with little to talk about I thought I'd open the field to you guys for some feedback.

I'm not going to ask you about what you don't want to see. Everybody has their favorite and least favorite topics and it's pretty wrong to think that something should go just because you don't like it. Instead I'll just ask you what you'd like to see more of.

Easy examples ... photoshops, interviews, news about Player A, minor league stories, articles written by Jason, Byron, Rob, Colin, and Kyle, etc. Please be constructive, not destructive is all I ask.

You are a piece of work,

You are a piece of work, Nancy. Let it go.

It's not always about you,

It's not always about you, but I'm glad you're still reading a site you don't enjoy. Is this the online equivilent of sleeping outside the house of a girl you claim not to like?

I'm curious about that

I'm curious about that biographical info you collected earlier this offseason.

I think this site could benefit from a little more knowledge of who's who among the regulars. I think people would be able to be held more accountable, and it might add to the GROTA community. Just a thought.

Also I want Colin to post more numbers stuff. I loves numbers.


God bless the numbers. And more importantly the people willing to compile those numbers and post them on this site. I won't say I fully understand them all the time but they sure are cool to see.

Lineup playoffs

People make line ups and everyday GROTA votes on a heads-up matchup on which one they prefer and do a playoffs on them, to make the official GROTA line up. Of course Zambrano would be included but where is the question, 9th, 8th or 5th? Shocked)

Or just talk about how good Peavy would look in the sleeveless road with pinstripes and retro hat and stirrups while on the Wrigley field mound...


There's really nothing I would change. Say user A might not like open letters and only reads game topics, but user X lives for the letters. That's the appeal of this site - there's something for every Cubs fan.

Love the site, guys, and I

Love the site, guys, and I check it fairly regularly. The atmosphere's pretty collegial and I'm happy to not see Yellon-esque bannings.

I'd definitely like to see more of Colin's stuff, though. The stats and projections are great during the hot stove, especially when trade rumors and available FAs are bandied about.

With that said, the vitriolic ravings of Rob...well, you didn't ask what we didn't want to see.

Keep up the good work.

well, shotty

You might get your wish. Keep on telling yourself the Cubs are great, far be it from me to tell you different. Enjoy your poor man's Baseball Prospectus, whenever Colin can steal the time to beat on his computer.

I don't need to defend him,

I don't need to defend him, but I love Rob's work. He's more old school than a lot of us, so some of his strongest opinions are unconventional, and he's also a little further along on the phases of Cub Fandom than we are. I've noticed with a LOT of guys that when you've lived through every disappointment since the 60's, it's pretty hard not to have some ANGER toward the Cubs.

In my mind, for that reason, Rob is a perfect Cub fan. He's experienced so much heartbreak and pain, and it's bled into his life outside the ballpark just like it would for many of us, and yet he's still a passionate fan who invests his time, energy, and dollars into supporting this team. We're lucky to have him on GROTA not ONLY because of his passion but also because he's a helluva writer. This place wouldn't be at all authentic without him.

The question I'm wondering

The question I'm wondering is why the heartbreak and pain? When the Cubs season ends, in any fashion it ends, it sucks for a few hours, but it's just a sport that we have nothing invested in except time, which we obviously have plenty of time to waste if we can spend this much time talking about or watching the Cubs.

That whole idea seems very Al Yellon-like to me. Like there's a Cubs brand or something. the cubs lost for over 100 years because they didn't win it all. It happens. Play again next year. It's only my opinion, but I think people have re-evaluate things if a sports team is causing pain in one's life. That's not healthy.

Anyone who has been a fan of this team for 10 years has anger toward the Cubs. I don't need to have been a fan of the Cubs in the 60s to have anger toward this franchise.

I have to argue with helluva writer. He may be about things not including baseball, but his comment above exemplifies what Rob is when it comes to baseball and this site: angry at anyone who disagrees with his insane and archaic opinions on this game.

You are right about one thing though, Kurt. You don't need to defend him, but why do you do it almost every single time someone says something negative about Rob?

I think the thing I don't

I think the thing I don't get is the incessant need to bait him - or me - with consistant bitchings because you don't like his opinions on a lot of things to do with baseball.

Much as you would probably be very inclined to defend yourself or one of your friends if I wrote something critical about you or them, I feel inclined to defend Rob whenever you rear your head to criticize him here. I rarely follow you onto your blog to defend him when you criticize him - or me - there, because I mostly don't care to, but if you do it here I'll defend it

What would be Yellon-like would be to ban you for the criticism, which I won't do. But I'll call it what it is - bitching. It would be like me really hating Howard Stern and then listening to his show every chance I got while frequenting his website and reading any news I could find on him. Why would I do that to myself?

I'll just ask you to do the same thing that I would ask anybody else to do - we have many flavors here and we cater to many different kinds of people. If you don't like the topic of a certain post, don't aggrevate yourself by reading about it. If you don't like the writer, same thing. Skip the article. The tags are at the top of the story. The writers' names are up there to. It's not like you have the chance to read something and then be surprised in the end by who wrote it.

Believe me, I don't make the effort to read content I know I won't like, so why do you? And in this case in particular, since Rob so clearly rubs you the wrong way, how about we just ASSUME that you dislike what he's saying so we don't have to do the same song and dance every time?

Sound like a good plan to you?

It is bitching. You're

It is bitching. You're absolutely right, but that's exactly what Rob does in 99% of the things he writes here.

Yes, I can skip his posts or others, and I usually do in fact, but if you're going to write something on Al Gore's interweb and allow comments you should be prepared to intelligently defend your comments, which Rob has never been able to do.

Rob doesn't "rub me the wrong way." I understand very well what he is trying to say and most of the time it's crazy talk. I bite my tongue almost all of the time. I should all of the time, but when he attacks someone and you don't jump in and then someone says something about Rob and you do, I can't help but notice.

Other people on ACB have been attacked and I've done nothing. They're adults and they can handle it themselves. I'm sure as hell not going to act as their mommy and daddy.

Look, you asked people what they wanted. Someone said less Rob. Rob then said he may get his wish and later went on to attack Colin and the statistically inclined in some way as he's done many times before. I agreed with the initial commenter that less Rob would be good.

This is the 3rd or 4th time you've threatened to ban me as well. I'm well aware you can ban me as I'm sure everyone else here is too, so the threats are only necessary to you. I generally like this place. You're an intelligent fan, Kurt. Most of the people here are, but I can assure you that Rob only makes this site worse.

What is the point of a blog if you're going to restrict people to only agreeing with what has been said?

Thank you for your

Thank you for your insightful feedback, Maddog. I think you will struggle tremendously to find any instance in which I have ever threatened to ban you, however.

Additionally, we have a very simple rule of conduct on GROTA: don't make it personal. You will struggle to find ANY incident on this website in which a reader has made a comment directly criticizing another writer OR reader, apart from me. You are not being singled out in any way for that type of conduct, and Rob is not receiving any kind of special protection.

In terms of the content of this blog, produced by those who work on it, your insight into what you *don't* like is unnecessary because I haven't asked for your opinion, nor will I.

I prefaced this topic with the following line: "I'm not going to ask you about what you don't want to see. . . .Please be constructive, not destructive is all I ask." That one reader couldn't do that, and that you decided it was an ideal opportunity to pile on ... well, I think that your behavior speaks for itself, but I should have known not to expect anything better from you based on past incidents.

I'd like to see more

I'd like to see more photoshops (does anyone NOT like the photoshops? plus you guys are good at them), and more completely insane projections (like the cubs winning 120 last year -- which, considering they won their highest total since 1945, wasn't that bad a projection).

I'd also like to see the win meter updated more often than it was last year.

Because it's not scientific,

Because it's not scientific, it's hard to do the win-meter in anything but 5 win chunks. I wouldn't mind updating it more, and based on what we're thinking about doing this year I might wind up putting way more work into the blog than ever before (which will either result in tremendous success and national fame or burn-out, and we all know how unlikely the first one is) but it's tricky at best to edge it up a win at a time.

You could pre-empt

You could pre-empt CubsMagicNumber.com and start that up immediately...

I'd love to see more minor

I'd love to see more minor league interviews. The piece about the Schlitter kid was really insightful. As much fun as it is to speculate about line-ups, trade rumors, and uniforms, it's nice to get some first person perspective from our farm hands. Another suggestion for the site would be to somehow harness the general power of Michael Eugene Fontenot...

An in-depth look at each

An in-depth look at each team one-by-one throughout baseball during spring training, is an idea. Maybe even setting up a pre-season prediction post, where each person can vote on which teams will make the playoffs, who will win the various awards, or what the cubs final record will be at the end of the year, or anything else one could think of to attempt to predict. The predictions would be interesting to make and then take a second look at at the end of the season anyway. I think it would be awesome to use this site to promote voting the cubs' entire team into the all-star game as starters too. How awesome would it be to have the entire starting lineup of the NL All-Stars be cubs in the same year the All-Star game is played in St. Louis?

During the season...

you have the MLB standings posted. Any chance our minors can be tracked? Or is it too much border space? Personally, I see no purpose for the Twitter section...but that's me.

FYI - your 'Revolution' photoshop over a solid red background makes for a sweet desktop wallpaper.


Quite some years ago when I was in HS, I got in on a predictions competition with a teacher and his buddies, There were all the categories and standings and such, with point values, It really was quite fun. One year I submitted two sheets, one with my best guesses and one weighted heavily with my favorites from the Red Sox. The point totals were pretty even. Anyway, I could recreate this if some folks want to take a stab at it. The most amazing prediction recorded was the World Series MVP, which one guy predicted two years in a row. REALLY.
Post or let Kurt know if you're interested. With a dozen or so playing, it would be fun and bragging rights would be worth something.

It would be fun. We do

It would be fun. We do Rider predictions most years, but if there's a method or rules to what you're talking about I'd love to read it and get people involved.

I wanna really really really

I wanna really really really wanna zigazig ha

Since I followed Rob over

Since I followed Rob over here from The Uncouth Sloth, obviously I'd like to see more of him.

My interest in numbers is limited to the stats normally found on the back of a bubble gum card. The numbers-heavy posts are generally skimmed over and forgotten.

Personally, I'd like to see the main content be handled by full-time riders only. The shout box is fine for us to rant and rave and share who we think the Cubs' should sign/trade for, but I think the meat and potatoes of the content should be reserved for full-time riders only. Frankly, I find a lot of the reader posts to be juvenile, boring, and poorly written. Because of this, my interest in the site has lagged during the past few months.

I like having a readers blog

I like having a readers blog section because I think it encourages interaction, which I like a lot of. One annoying thing I've noticed is that on perhaps four occassions somebody has written a detailed post about a topic expressing a ... less than conventional view, we'll say, and it's been picked up by other blogs as "the GROTA opinion on Subject X." This makes me want to do front-page "promotions" less, but I want to encourage people to write more because I like the discussions and debates.

Maybe we'll really reserve Reader Blog "promotions" based on serious merit - the story about a reader's interaction with the former Blackhawks owner was a great one - in the future, but I would love our guys to write more often here. Put it to you this way, Voodoo ... it's easy for me to produce content when a lot of people are talking and saying things I don't agree with, and when I blog here daily sometimes content gets stretched a little thin (see this thread as an example... I had NOTHIN' for Friday)

I understand where you're

I understand where you're coming from, Kurt. And I'm not saying all reader posts are bad. Reader interactions with players, owners, etc. are good. Readers (like me) who are lucky enough to have Cubs' affiliates for their local minor league teams could perhaps give an interesting, first-hand account of what's happening down on the farm. There are lots of scenarios where readers' posts could make for interesting reading. With that being said, only regulars really know who's an "official" contributor of GROTA. Like you said, others have taken a reader's post to be the official stance of GROTA. Personally, I think this is a detriment to the site and helps lead into a lot of the petty bickering and whining I've seen in the shout box and comments lately.

Maybe it's simply a matter of labeling or layout? Making it clear what is "official" GROTA content and what isn't?

As far as having something to post everyday: I understand. I did a Braves blog a few years ago and I completely understand how difficult that can be at times, how content gets stretched to the breaking point. With as many official GROTA writers as there are, chances are someone's going to write something every day, but have you considered this: if you don't have anything to post, just don't have anything posted that day? Quality versus quantity. Regulars are going to check the site daily; if there's no new posts today, then they'll check back tomorrow, because they enjoy what's here. The Uncouth Sloth wasn't updated daily, but I checked in every day. Leave the readers wanting more, and all that jazz...

I'm not trying to insult anyone or stir up more debate. You asked what we like and don't like, and I'm sharing my thoughts with you. I enjoy GROTA for what each of you guys have to offer: from the baseball geek numbers I don't understand, to the PhotoShop pics, to Rob's rantings and ravings. If I want to read Joe Blow's thoughts on why we should sign Manny, I'll go read his blog. You guys have created a product, and it's a great product. But it hasn't been 100% GROTA for a while now, and that's a shame.

I think there is always

I think there is always *something* worth writing about, it's just that the day's news determines what that something is. If "content is stretched thin" rather than post nothing my template is to post an open topic thread. It's usually good for interaction and it stirs response up a lot of the time (like this one). I think you'd probably agree with me that this post and the responses we've gotten would have been better than no new content on Friday.

What I wouldn't do is try to write a long article about a topic if I didn't feel like it... which is the point where quantity becomes a detriment to quality.

Yes, I agree with you

Yes, I agree with you completely, but I'm not talking about those topics. What I'm referring to is the posts I see fairly regularly in the main content section of the site that are written by non-regular GROTA folks. Like I pointed out, only regular readers would know these aren't being contributed by regulars- much like the instances you mentioned about reader posts mistakenly being used as the official GROTA stance on a particular subject.

I'm not knocking the reader interaction you create with the open topics, the shout box, etc. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that's one of the things I really enjoy about this blog, as opposed to the umpteen million other Cubs blogs out there. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you're going to have reader contributed posts as the main content of the site, it should somehow be clearly labeled. At the end of the day, we come here to read what you full time guys are writing- or at least I do.

Kurt, do you have the option

Kurt, do you have the option of editing before posting reader blogs?

Otherwise, selectivity might help in this case. But I like there being the possibility that my posts get front page.

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