Back on May 9, 2008 the Padres returned from a very difficult nine-game East Coast road trip that resulted in a 2-7 record and four consecutive losses at the back end. Our record when we left San Diego was a disappointing, but manageable, 10-16. 12-23 upon our return, however, was both more daunting and more frustrating. Nevertheless, it was a Friday night with over 30,000 fans at Petco, and Jake Peavy was taking the mound against Colorado. All was well, and the Padres held a 1-0 lead through five innings.
In the top of the sixth the Rockies loaded the bases on a bunt and two walks before back-to-back singles drove in three runs. We didn't even manage another hit until Kevin Kouzmanoff's one out homer in the bottom of the 9th, and we lost 4-2. Sorry to make you relive it.
Rather than being at Petco, however, I was sitting behind home plate at UC Irvine doing some amateur coverage while following the Major League action on my blackberry. Despite not seeing even one pitch of the Padres game, I was really aggravated. On the ride home from Irvine, I just kept thinking, "We have to do something! ANYTHING!"
This blog qualified under the "ANYTHING" category.
The point of all this is that in my haste to get up and running late that Friday night, I overlooked (or ignored) a bunch of details... the first of which is the platform of the blog. I literally opened up google, typed "blog" and saw blogger right there at the top. Without hesitation, I plowed through the setup process and was blogging within minutes (side note: when starting something that may require a significant commitment, decisions are best made after a good night's sleep). The ease of use is a ringing endorsement for blogger, but over the past nine months I have found that it comes with certain limitations.
That being the case, I'm here to ask for advice. I've done some research on the topic, but I'm curious to hear your opinions on the various platforms out there - WordPress, TypePad, etc. As you've seen, I've dabbled with a few features (polls and such), but I'd like this blog to have greater capabilities - a nav bar with some different pages, ability to host live chats, and anything else that may seem fun and useful. So, I put the question out to you.
The second item I've been considering for a while is the comment section. The first step was to decide whether or not to allow comments. This was an obvious "yes" in my mind. One-sided conversations generally aren't very compelling conversations, especially when you're on the "receiving" end. The second step - how to monitor/screen those comments - wasn't so obvious to me. I knew there would be the inevitable critical comments of the Padres as well as those that would berate me for ruining this organization or that one. I hoped they were at least original and entertaining.
I really wanted to avoid a handful of things:
- personal and/or mean-spirited attacks on people associated with the organization - players, coaches, front office, etc - because they weren't choosing to create this forum
- rumor creation
- derogatory comments about players with other organizations
Fortunately, I have been able to publish well in excess of 90% of the comments, and I think it's great that readers often respond to the comments of other readers before I ever get the chance. Which leads me to the next question: should I simply allow all comments without any pre-screening?
To be honest, I would absolutely prefer to allow everything (assuming I can delete inappropriate material) because it will afford readers the opportunity to hold real-time conversations as opposed to waiting around for me to login and check up on things. Again, I'm interested in your input.
The last item is I've been thinking about is content. Part of my job here is to spend time in the different areas of baseball operations - amateur scouting, player development, and Major League operations. For me that big puzzle is what makes this job so much fun, but I don't assume that everyone else is equally interested in non-Major League topics. So, what would you like to see here during the 2009 season - more of a Major League focus or continued posts from each of the different areas of baseball operations?
I look forward to your feedback, but I reserve the right to reject all your comments. :-)
Pitchers and catchers report on Saturday.