I’m not big on writing rules down. My default position when interacting with people is respect, kindness and tolerance. I expect the same from others and I am rarely disappointed.
When I started this blog I did so as a gift to the Giants community on Giants Extra so we could all keep our fantastic interactions and baseball musings in one place. I also did it as a way to express my gratitude to Giants fans everywhere for the joys our beloved baseball team have bestowed on us over the years. I was hoping for 4-5 followers, instead we get 20,000 hits a month (an enormous sum), 600 – 1,200 comments per post and this fabulous, intelligent, and funny group of comments, readers and lurkers who make this the best San Francisco Giants blog on the planet by far. I should know, I researched them all, read all the other articles, comments, etc. and found them all mostly deficient, despite their upsides. We may disagree on who has the best Giants blog but there is one thing I will not budge on: We have the best readers and commenters!
Recently I unleashed my “ban stick” (Thanks Matthew for that cool term) and sent people into purgatory (they can read but not post). The reason for this outburst of law enforcement is simple: I create, design, host and publish this blog entirely on my own and I want to maintain a level of decorum and respect in the dialogue for us all.
This blog does not give any poster or reader any rights. By being on this blog you agree to follow the rules of decorum or you risk getting banned.
Frankly, it’s not very hard: Don’t write anything to anyone or about anyone that you would not say to the person in the flesh.
It’s a rule I try to live by.
I remember way back during the early years of the Belt Wars around 2012 when I posted a mean and very critical piece about Brandon Belt, suggesting that he would never make it as a Major League baseball player, that he doesn’t have the intellectual or psychological makeup necessary to succeed. I remember reading a few days later in one of the Giants beat writer’s posts how Belt has come under attack by many fans and takes those comments and criticisms very personally. I felt nauseated and very embarrassed to have been one of those fans. Since then I have vowed to be respectful when analyzing or critiquing a player or anyone else for that matter.
Boy am I thrilled I was wrong about BB9!
My point is this: we all have the right to be analytical and critical but I don’t believe we have the right to be mean, nasty, and abusive.
If it were not for Dr. Lefty, there would be no weekend posts since I have a life.
Let me tell you a little about my life and how it applies to “Together We’re Giants.”
Here is my list of priorities:
- Being a good man
- Taking care of my aging parents
- Seducing beautiful women (and even some not so beautiful)
- Being a great artist
- Running my business
- Being a good friend
- Supporting my favorite bars
- Being fit
- Watching movies
- Listening to music
- Going to art galleries
- Reading great books
- Cooking for those I love
- Giving to charity
- Rooting for the Giants
- Repeat all of the above
Have you noticed where running “Together We’re Giants” is on the list? Hint: It’s not on the list.
This means that when anyone choose to comment on this blog and be mean, nasty, offensive, and rude he/she is being ungrateful and a bad guest. I do not make money on this blog. I intentionally publish it without ads so I can keep it lean, mean and beautiful. I mention this because I simply got fed up with some of the regulars who refuse to act in a dignified, courteous and respectful way to specific individuals, to the Giants, and to us all.
I have held my tongue many times and I have demonstrated a tolerance and refusal to play the enforcer for nearly two years. In that time we have all done pretty well for the most part and that has been very gratifying to me. I made new friends on this site and Giants Extra. I met new Giants fans who are older, more knowledgeable and more interesting than I am, to be sure. For these experiences I am very grateful.
Let me tell you what I find most gratifying about publishing this site: learning what it means to be part of a community from others. I have had many people write me privately and many others imply that this site is crucial to their emotional well-being. I am referring to many elderly fans, people who live all over the world and connect to baseball, the Giants and American culture through this site. This has provided me with a very strong sense of purpose and may be the principle reason I continue to publish TWG.
This means, as I aim higher with the site and plan improvements like a new auction section, a stats page, a gallery, personal profiles for all contributors, and more interviews, I want to protect those who play fairly and demonstrate their love and commitment to the Giants. In order to do that I have to clamp down on the mean, nasty, selfish and abusive types from time to time.
Regarding the bans I have read your comments carefully and followed many lines of reasoning regarding the particulars and why I targeted certain people with my ban stick. They include accusations that I play favorites or banned certain contributors because of their political beliefs, because I disagree with them on baseball and other reasons. Each of them is wholly inaccurate. I disagree with most people on here most of the time. If I banned everyone I disagreed with at one time or another I would have only one follower: my mother.
The list of the people currently banned, and their crimes:
- Maggie Horowitz: offensive writings, slurs, general idiocy
- The Oracle: troll behavior, constantly criticizing others, bad Giants fandom
- Efrain: slurs, insults towards others, bad Giants fandom
- Peter Johnson: slurs, insults, general obnoxious behavior
If anyone, including the above offenders, wants to write me personally and petition for reinstatement then go ahead and fill out the form on the contact page. I will listen to your case. In the meantime, I am offering official TWG penance guidelines: 50 Hail Mays and an apology to the people/person you offended. You know who they are.