Editorials / Reds - General

From The Editors: Commenting guidelines

A note, from the editors:

As we head into what will surely be an emotion-filled finish to the season, the editors thought it would be useful to restate and clarify the guidelines for participation here. Our hope in refining and republishing this statement is to provide specific guidance and a notion of the spirit with which these rules have been formed — with the goal of reducing or eliminating our need to edit, delete or ban. Here goes:

Redleg Nation is a blog dedicated to enthusiastic, smart and civil discourse concerning our favorite baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds.

We view this space as an intellectual community. Part of a commitment to this kind of community is making an effort to be interesting. Repetition is not interesting. Neither is blind optimism or bleak pessimism. However, insightful and novel is interesting. Bringing in new and relevant perspectives and facts to support your claims is interesting. Sharing your personal Reds-related experiences is interesting.

Another aspect of the commitment to be part of this community is being constructive. Contrarianism for its own sake, or intentionally sowing discord with inflammatory statements (trolling) is destructive, not constructive.

No inappropriate language. This includes profanity and related censor bypass attempts like substitutes for letters, lewdness, insults, and crude terms for body parts, bodily functions and physical acts. In general – we don’t want any language that a parent would not want their kid to see.

No personal attacks. This covers other commenters, the post author, players, agents, coaches, journalists and front office personnel. This includes renaming people in a derogatory manner. In general – comment on the Reds, not other commenters. Treat people with respect.

Feel free to disagree, even strongly, just keep it civil. While emotions are inevitable when it comes to being a sports fan, we nonetheless believe it is possible to discuss the team in a thoughtful and respectful manner.

Of course, we reserve the right to edit or remove anything we deem inconsistent with the purpose of the blog, including as a last resort, banning a participant. We aren’t looking to stifle argument or criticism of the opinions expressed in our posts or in other comments. But this is not a public street corner. Your right to self-expression does not require us to provide the resources to publish your opinion.

Bottom line: If you keep the comments thoughtful, respectful and focused on the Reds you shouldn’t have any trouble.

96 thoughts on “From The Editors: Commenting guidelines

  1. But sir(s), ” blind optimism” is the only way to make it thru this nightmare of a season and have any sanity left….

    • @laus Deo: As we were remarking during the previous series.. if you account for the Astros no longer being in our division the Reds are actually on a better pace than they were last year. I think we’re projected to win 92-93 games this year instead of last year’s 97, with only 3 games against the Astros. Hardly what I’d call a nightmare season, it just feels more tense because the Cards and Pirates are actually doing well this year. Dusty has been just as Dusty as he was last year, in all his various ways. I will give him credit though because he has made some adjustments this year even if it seems at times they were media-induced such as moving Cozart down in the order or batting Votto and Bruce back to back.

      There’s plenty to look forward to with this team and there’s plenty of things to lament. Such is baseball.

      • @Mwv: I always am looking forward :P However we could have a 120 wins season and this season would still be a nightmare imo. There has been many uncalled for nightmares this season…

        I am no going to get in the Dusty debate. Do I think we need a change yes but I am a Reds fan not a Reds owner. So I support whomever the Reds put on the field.

        However the lows and highs do rub off on me as a “blind optimism” fan. I am not blind just always looking at the bright side, if possible.

        Thank you for your input sir.

    • @laus Deo: Nightmare of a season????REALLY??..Check cubs Astros brewers ……I think this season has been a great ride…..even great teams lose 60—70 games .We have a competitive entertaining ball club here…the dream is still alive..no nightmare for me

    • @laus Deo: Funny. I don’t agree that it’s been “a nightnare of a season,” although plenty of nightmare moment have been involved. But funny.

  2. The Astros are having the nightmare of a season, not the team that will likely finish 20 games over .500.

        • @JCTENRED: In the Astros’ case, it really is. Actually, I kinda hate it for Houstin and their fans. I went to a Reds game at Minute Maid early last decade, and had a great time talking throughout the night with an Astros fan. I didn’t let on that I was a Reds fan until the 7th or 8th inning. He looked at me somewhat astonishingly,then stuck out his hand for a firm handshake. The we enjoyed the rest of the game – especially me as the Reds won 4-3. I also work with an Astors fan, and have a cousin living in the area.

  3. Thanks to the editors for providing and allowing us to participate in this intellectual community.

  4. Jose Altuve, who is hitting north of .400 for the month, just bunted with two outs and a man on in a 1-1 game in Cleveland. I guess being stuck in the same building with Dusty for three nights must have given the Astros bunting disease.

      • @redskaph: I actually considered that before posting, but I figured it would be okay since it was a new comment on bunting rather than just repeating something….which I am guilty of at times as well. :)

  5. MAaty just signed a three-year extension through 2016. Good news for Marty, the Reds and the fans.

      • @docmike: I kinda like most of his editorializing. When he goes over the top, and I agrre he does a times, I generally laugh it off (like the late April night when he said “Adam Dunn is off to a horrible start, and has looked bad doing it.” I’ve listened to Marty far too long – since he started with WLW – to dislike him in any srious way.

  6. Seems like a good place to reiterate: Thanks for keeping this place alive, Editors. I appreciate all your work and dedication. Especially this year, where I haven’t had cable for 90% of it, so can only watch non-Reds games on MLB.tv. This place is my first site every morning, to checkup on the Reds; before watching highlights.

    Cheers!

  7. I love the mentality and I too would like to take the opportunity to offer my thanks to the whole RedLegNation team. As disparate Reds fan, I love checking this site daily and quoting some of these comment threads to fans when preaching about how much I adore my fellow fan base. You guys are all class acts. And, I swear not to troll, but the post instantly reminded me of this:

  8. This is not the best REDS blog…..it is THE best sports blog hands down. A hearty thank you to the editors for their hard work.

  9. Speaking of reiterating, I read today that Walt has been approached with questions over signing Choo and that Walt has said he is interested. Will be curious to see how that unfolds. Maybe we can move Ludwick to 3rd base.

    • @Johnu1:

      I think at worst, if we can’t come to an agreement on a longer contract, the Reds will make a Qualifying Offer to Choo. Then, one of two things happen:

      1) He accepts the offer, and plays for the Reds in 2014 on a 1-year contract for about $14 million
      2) He declines the offer to sign a multi-year deal with another team, and the Reds pick up a draft pick between the 1st and 2nd rounds.

      I would love to see him in a Reds uniform for several years, but I expect that someone like the Yankees or Dodgers will blow him away with an offer the Reds can’t hope to match.

    • @Johnu1: I hope we give him the qualifying offer to protect our rights,I may be in minority here but I would rather see him walk,I see him as a platoon corner OF….He scares me in CF,I prefer a Reds team built around pitching and DEFENSE. I prefer they spend the money on locking up the starting rotation….good pitching doesn’t come cheap,and you cant win without it.

      • @Bruno: Good point about the pitching, and I agree the team would be better off defensively with Choo in LF. However, his OBP and power at the top of the order will be hard to replace.

  10. Thanks to all of the editors AND fellow Reds fans who make this the best, most thoughtful and most thought provoking forum online or anywhere. A tip of my brand new (Dodgers sweep weekend) Reds cap to all of you!

    I greatly appreciate the guidelines that “The Editors” provide, and even more that the fans who participate hear almost always are respectful and appreciative without much policing, and also that when policing is needed the RLN team is not shy about enforcing those guidelines. I would like to offer one suggestion for next year (too late for 2013) in terms of the way we behave on this site.

    I am a Reds fan first and foremost and root for them through good and bad, through sloppy play and head scratching tactics, and through brilliant heroics and the proverbial thrill of victory. But I am almost as big a pure baseball fan too, and I truly appreciate seeing the game played at the highest level. I’m the kind of fan who applauds a great play by the opposing defense even when it costs the Reds a hit or a run – it’s a beautiful, elegant game peppered with moments of great effort and athleticism and I appreciate seeing it played well. And every team the Reds play, every player on the opposite side of the field, deserves respect for that. We may be unhappy with the actions of an opponent, but let’s be clear on the difference between who they are and what they sometimes do. So I’d like to add to that guideline about personal attacks and derogatory names and extend that to teams too. We may not like them, we may root hard against them, but the Cubs are not Stupid, the Cardinals are a well run, non-whiny, classy organization, and there are no Rats in Pittsburgh. I’d rather see the Reds beat an opponent that I admire and respect than one I have disdain for. Or maybe that’s just me.

    • @Chris DeBlois: Interesting that you mentioned that. We actually had an internal debate about “stupid Cubs” and “WLBs” as we drafted this. It wasn’t a unanimous decision, but ultimately, the consensus was that moderate use of long-time jokes like this wasn’t posing a big problem, particularly as they’re aimed at a set of laundry, not any particular people.

      The site could certainly survive without jokes like that, but at the same time, we wanted to try to focus on issues that can really have an adverse effect on the community. At this time, anyway, we felt that personal name-calling would have that effect, but mild joking about other organizations probably wouldn’t.

      We may change our mind(s) at some point. Thanks for the input!

      • @Chris Garber: I like your reply a lot. Organizations are not persons, in that sense you can’t really make a personal remark about an organization. Having said that, bad taste is bad taste, and we don’t want that here.

        I would miss “Stupid Cubs” if RLN dropped it. It’s a tradition and inside joke here.
        When the Cubs are winning the division in a few years, we’ll still be calling them the “Stupid Cubs”, if the tradition holds, and it will be more clear then that it’s a nonsense designation – we’re laughing at ourselves, not the Cubs.

        Also I’ve never called the Cardinals WLBs, but LaRussa/Carpenter/Duncan were whiny.
        Calling someone a WLB is a personal attack, but I don’t believe “these guys are whiny” is.

        • @pinson343: Chris pretty much covered the internal debate that we’ve had among the editors (and that debate probably isn’t over). My opinion mostly tracks what Chris said — stupid Cubs has just been a dumb, long-standing joke here at RN, and WLB’s is what this team’s 2B called their biggest rivals, and all of that is mostly harmless if not directed at a particular individual. But at least a couple of the editors feel strongly in the other direction.

          We’re trying to find the sweet spot here. But the internal debate will continue, as we always seek to fine tune things.

          Feel free to discuss it amongst yourselves, too. If there is a strong opinion either way, it will probably make a difference in the way we view it.

      • @Chris Garber: I would agree personal attacks are far worse than a remark toward an organzation. Actually, I have a few friends who are Cub fans, and I’m sure at least one of them not only would not protest but would approve using the phrase in question. … Living in Arkansas (grew up 150 miles from Cincinnati in Ky., thus my allegiance), most of my buddies are Cardinals fans. Generally, they have great respect for the Reds but greatly dislike a certain starting infielder. Of course, they have droves of respect for the BRM. One local high school baseball coach (I’m in the media here) too young to have seen them play absolutely adores Pete: “That dude was a GAMER!”

  11. The editors and these guidelines make this the flat out highest quality blog in sports.

    I did chuckle at the “intellectual community” part: looked over my shoulder and asked: “Who walked in ?”

    • @pinson343: It sure wasn’t me. That phrase took me aback a bit too. I mean, I’m a college grad, but hardly consider myself an intelletual. I suppose it wasn’t meant to come off like we should all have PhDs in sabermetrics or something.

  12. No personal attacks. This covers other commenters, the post author, players, agents, coaches, journalists and front office personnel. This includes renaming people in a derogatory manner. In general – comment on the Reds, not other commenters. Treat people with respect.

    I guess Dusty Baker is technically a MANAGER, so he falls outside these guidelines.

    That’s about the only explanation I can come up with.

    • @CI3J: Dusty seems to get more than his fair share of personal attacks here…….I prefer baseball talk not adults taking shots at a grown man for toothpicks and wristbands….that being said the baseball chat here is top notch……knowledgeable
      fans with sound opinions………keep up the good work!

    • @CI3J: The manager is certainly covered. We don’t want anyone calling him names or making personal attacks.

      However, his job performance is fair game.

  13. I caught much of the Rockies-Cardinals game today. Tuned in to Rockies radio when the Rockies led by 4-0 and heard the Cards tie it up at 4. They were talking a lot about the inconsistency of the “young” home plate ump, who managed to have both Oswalt and Cardinal hitters upset. The Rockies pitching coach was all over the poor guy.

    Then I watched innings 7 thru 14 (yep missed the ending) on Cardinals tv and the fans were all over the ump, you could hear everything one loud guy near the booth was yelling. His tone was harsh but his words were pretty civil, such as: “Be consistent !”

    It reminded me of how much yelling at the home plate ump is part of the tradition of the game. I’ve been in favor for many years of a replay system for everything except balls and strikes. I hope balls and strikes are left to the home plate ump for the next umpteen (no pun intended) years.

  14. I think it’s kind of like the old church saying, “hate the sin, but not the sinner”.

    So, we shouldn’t say Dusty is an idiot, but we can point out when he makes an idiotic decision.

    • I’m impressed by the Rockies’ position player depth. Wilin Rosario, Cuddyer, and Arenado went down with injuries during the Cardinals series. Dexter Fowler and Cargo were of course already out. Yet they had a solid lineup yesterday against the Cardinals. It was a nice win for them, and might help the Reds.

  15. I’m about to publish my dissertation on the art of bunting in extra innings. Once I publish my work I will post it here. That will be my contribution to the intellectual community.

  16. my opinion for the day……….the Reds will win the division……pitching…..that’s what its all about…..and the NL is ripe for picking once we get in……….even IF
    its WC..There is no team in NL that scares me ….Dodgers /Braves peaked too early
    ……GO REDS!!

    • @Bruno: Definitely still a chance. Two outta three or better – :)- this weekend and it’s on. Would love to see strong fundamental baseball from here out. Surely its in them.

  17. Thanks for posting these. I love this site and read it every day.

    I am not a Dusty fan but the comments about his intelligence go too far. I’m sure he is a very nice man, and not a stupid one.

    Last summer there was a poster who was (in my opinion) condescending to other posters who didn’t share his opinion. The next day he wrote the Titanic Struggle recap. I almost quit reading at that point….but this site is addicting and the best.

  18. Going to make this short and sweet. I started this season commenting when I could, but now briefly skim the stories and ignore the comments.

    The overwhelming negativity surely started in comments, but the complete culture of “OH WOE IS ME” definitely comes from the top down now. Next year I’ll be on a different blog.

    • @Jared: My take: the vast majority of negative posts typically have to do with two things: Dusty Baker & the poor fundamentals displayed by the team. If the Reds had the identical record without the goof-ups, people would not be as negative about the poor play. As far as Dusty is concerned, to a man most of us think he is a very poor x’s & o’s manager and that is going to get you some heat. The negative stuff about Marty, complaining about people who “constructively” criticized JV; is a bit off putting to me. To each his own.

      Good luck to anyone who searches for a better blog. You’ll need it.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: All I know is I was slapping my head reading this post. It’s terribly hypocritical.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t “better” Reds blog than this. I’ve been here since 2006 I think. But there are more interesting things to read than jaded curmudgeons lamenting about how this team is not fun to watch and couldn’t possibly overcome a 2(!) game deficit.

        • @Jared: There may be a better Reds blog. I’ve seen several and a number of them have more features than this one does. I think it’s the audience where you feel the most comfortable. In the end, the same things typically occur on baseball blogs. So it’s matter of whether you can condone the people “around you.”

        • @Jared: And I’d argue that they do just fine keeping there thoughts at an above average intellectual level, opinion or otherwise. In my view, it’s their world, we’re just living in it and we’re free to come or go. They exactly have the right to tell us what they expect. People who need more freedom in their speech have an entire interweb in which to explore that elsewhere, or make their own site.

          I’ve nothing to say against anybody who has put the effort into keeping this site going, free of charge. Two things, IMO, have influenced the negativity: 1) The expectations of the team itself– as it’s been said, this place might have been “nicer” when the Reds sucked. 2) (And I don’t blame anyone for this… it was simply a byproduct of having an amazing, FREE, site) RLN just got more exposure via SB Nation, Enquirer, etc. and it brought with it a greater subset of negative/mean spirited posting as more people hopped aboard… and RLN nation version of regressing to the mean!

          In short, nothing but thanks and respect to the Eds.

        • @Jared: This is kind of a baffling post. Kindly point me to the place where the editors violated the guidelines, and I’ll apologize forthwith.

          If your complaint is that we’re too negative, well, maybe that’s true. The editorial bent isn’t required to be 100% pollyanna all the time, is it? I like to think the editors always try to justify everything they write.

          But — and this is the beauty of it — if I say something you don’t agree with, you can look down below the post to a commenting section where you can lay out all the reasons I was wrong. And — even better — I’m paying for that place for you to tell me the reasons I’m wrong!

          There are plenty of great Reds blogs out there. I hope you find one that suits your tastes.

        • @Jared: This is kind of a baffling post.

          Likewise. I very briefly thought about reading through a page or two of posts to show examples of how incredibly negative you’ve been. Very briefly.

          You aren’t using inappropriate language or attacking people personally, but from where I’m sitting you might as well rename this blog to “bleak pessimism,” as you put it. And you were right – it’s not interesting.

          I appreciate all the great work over the last several years. Great information, insight, etc. I know it’s still here, but there’s a lot more noise than their used to be.

  19. This blog is a lot better than the Enquirer’s blog; I love it here. They let people on there say absolutely anything over there. I remember a group would get on there and just diss all other posters. Like, if I said something like, “That decision wasn’t too smart by Baker” (like post all of us have said at least one time ourselves), someone from this group would have to get on stating, “And, what do you know about baseball, Steve? The man’s won more games than you ever have managing.” They would offer nothing constructive, nothing to defend that Baker’s decision was a good decision, just dissing the poster. Trying to consider perspective, they were complaining about the complainers, which made themselves out to be even worse than the complainers.

    That’s why I like it here. I can disagree, but I look to post a reason why I disagree, instead of just calling the poster stupid. And, the same would go with those who disagree with me. Much more professional, much more mature than the Enquirer’s is.

    • Trying to consider perspective, they were complaining about the complainers, which made themselves out to be even worse than the complainers.

      So… they were like the Cardinals? :)

    • @steveschoen: Agreed. And if you look at mlb.com or espn blogs, it’s a whole lot worse than the Enquirer. Chad used the word “cesspool”, that’s a good description.

  20. All I know is that I’m going to be sad when Chad takes this blog down. The amount of effort is tremendous… for goodness sake, you guys don’t have to stay up for all the West coast games and extra innings!… we goofballs should be able to sort ourselves out with or without a recap here and there. I said this before, I know I’m not a high draft pick, but I’ll quietly wait for directions and web addresses to the super secret Redleg Nation 2.0. Please. It’s going to take some IP rerouting, some shadow sites, but it’ll be worth it.

      • @steveschoen: Version 2.0 is a figment of my imagination. Chad has talked about shutting it down more than once… I don’t know if that’s firm, but in my memory, he’s speculated that even before the season began that this might be the last one.

        • @Matt WI: Reminds one of the venerable Vin Scully. Hopefully each comes back year-after-year for the sake of their fans.

  21. If I saw a lot of personal attacks or condescending comments, I’d be inclined to think they were OK. I can’t recall ever reading that somebody was called a “moron” on this board. I’ve tried a few forums and came back to RLN when I realized it was the best forum out there for MLB and the Reds.
    (I’m sure everyone is gleefully dancing around now.)

    The ONLY problem I have with this board is that it doesn’t allow me to edit comments that I’ve posted.

    • @Johnu1: That too is my ONLY problem with the blog.
      I proofread what I write, but nonetheless I’m constantly writing PS replies to my own comments to fix confusing typos, make clarifications, etc. Wish I could just edit. Sometimes I want to delete an entire comment after I see that someone’s already made it.

      But as I’m not offering to write or install the software for this, I haven’t pushed it. I’m amazed that the editors find the time to do what they do.

  22. Reminds one of the venerable Vin Scully. Hopefully each comes back year-after-year for the sake of their fans.

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