The original point of me posting was to remind aaronb of our bet; payment is due of $25 to Cubs Care. http://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2013/4/19/4243316/cubs-julio-borbon-waiver-claim-rangers#157348335
Some verification would be nice – whether it’s posting a receipt with personal information redacted or emailing the receipt to Al so that he can confirm that the payment has been made.
Wednesday was the first time that I’d visited BCB in about two weeks. I didn’t bother to log in. I wanted to see what was going on before posting the above. After getting somewhat caught up, I decided that I’d wait for the two wins and then glance again before posting.
From time to time, I’ve taken a self-imposed break from BCB to take myself away from the bickering that I allow myself to get drawn into – and sometimes start. After the 2000-plus comment post, I had a nice email conversation with Al before this extended break, and after that discussion, I was looking forward to a post/discussion from another participant that was hopefully going to steer discussions on the site in a different direction. Before that posting was made, the next couple of days were filled with more of the same. Someone – not the usual person – again lumped anyone who disagreed with a comment into some subset of "Theo Worshipers" in a recap, and I had no energy to read any more, let alone respond.
Wednesday, I wanted to see if the aforementioned discussion had taken place; as far as I could tell it hadn’t. I also sampled some of the discussions to see if things had gotten any different. They hadn’t. There was still someone taking cheap, non-substantive shots at anyone who disagrees and running away when presented with facts. People were still responding to that despite a mountain of evidence that it isn’t going to change. There was still someone else making outlandish statements and then responding with personal attacks when people refute what that person says (I’m not talking about aaronb here). There is still good insight from a lot of contributors, including but not limited to Josh, Erik and Tim.
Al has run a great site for a long time, and it’s still good a lot of days. Too many days, though, it’s Cubs.com discussions or Steve Rosenbloom. I found the site by accident after the 2007 season and stuck around because for the most part, the discussion was educated and the banter was good. There are still a lot of intelligent discussions, but it doesn’t take much for someone to crap on a thread and have it turn into yet another "holy war". I’ve been guilty of participating, and when I felt I was particularly egregious, I’ve given myself those timeouts.
To the surprise of no one, this team is not competing for the playoffs this year. There’s no point in going any further on that topic in this post, because some have dug in their heels so deeply that they refuse to see any other point of view. They also refuse to allow some to opine something different without attacking – and not just the point of view. It’s old, it’s obnoxious, and it’s not how I chose to spend my leisure time (or time when I am blowing off other responsibilities for a bit).
GCV seems to have summed up the emotional reaction pretty well in the "5 positive things" thread, as well as how messages have gotten mixed lately; I hope that gets heeded.
Al needs a break. Yes, the team is bad and it can’t be easy to have to watch every day. On the other hand, in the grand scheme of things, is that really such a terrible way to make a living?
Further, as was said in that 5 positives thread, Al does need to set the tone for the site. Right now, the tone isn’t a good one in a lot of threads. As someone pointed out, it would be good to remember the caveat about not posting things that one wouldn’t say in person. The touchy, defensive stance is not at all how Al comes across in person; I’ve found him to be gracious and willing to listen to other points of view.
There are a lot of people that I enjoy "talking" with on the site, and I’ve seen a few close to walking away and others actually walking away because of how these discussions go. I suspect that I’ll be back – at the very least to own up to my debts for 2014/2015 or remind others of theirs, but Wednesday was the first time that I even had the urge to read anything on the site since the break began. I’m hoping that changes before the win total bets for next year come due. Or sooner, so that if Cano signs a contract for less than Josh expects, I can remind him to eat his hat . . . .
In the meantime, if aaronb doesn ‘t respond here, I will be counting on my fellow Theobots to keep him honest, at least regarding the bet.
The above was written on Wednesday. I started to sift through the Cubs Tracks and Gregg thread to see if I needed to change anything . . . there wasn’t anything to change for the positive (other than changing it from the Cubs needing 2 wins to having them reached the total). A shame.