BCB first went live 11 years ago today, February 9, 2005. We've all shared a lot of Cubs and baseball talk over the years, and on this anniversary there's something very important I want to share.
I owe all of you an apology. I want to apologize for the way I treated some posters and how I've moderated the site. Here's the backstory.
As you know, there were many times I doubted Theo Epstein's plan. Clearly, the plan worked, and I couldn't be happier for the Cubs and their future in 2016 and beyond. I was wrong. And that statement is unconditional. I will not try to wrap it in a "I was skeptical" blanket; I was just wrong. Period, no qualifiers.
Chalk that up to many years of frustration of seeing losing; I'm surely not the only one who felt that way. But I couldn't see past the old ways of doing things. Baseball front-office practices were changing in the early 2010s, and I certainly see that now. I didn't see it then. You were all right; I was wrong.
But more than that, as discussion of the plan evolved here, I created a dichotomy of posters here at Bleed Cubbie Blue by appearing to support one "side" over the other. That led to unfairness on my part in treating various posters. Not only was that wrong, I was wrong to have supported, either directly or indirectly, people who made personal attacks on others, something I specifically had community rules against. I allowed that to go on far too long. For those of you who were attacked, I'm sorry. It shouldn't have happened.
What I am pledging to you here is, going forward, I am going to hold everyone – including myself – to the same standards and be fair to everyone. In connection with that, there's a new set of Bleed Cubbie Blue Community Guidelines, effective as of today. The original guidelines I had posted here were adapted from similar guidelines posted at the original SB Nation baseball site, Athletics Nation, and were created more than a decade ago. They didn't really reflect the reality of what BCB is now.
Erik Peterson and I have spent quite a bit of time going through the guidelines and we have refreshed and streamlined them. You'll recognize some of the rules from the previous incarnation, but we've tried to simplify them. They're not difficult to follow.
Under the previous rules, there were a number of well-known posters banned. Some of them will not be permitted to return under any circumstances, because their behavior (misogynistic, over-the-top personal attacks and/or inappropriate attitudes during offline communication and other irreconcilable actions, opinions, and differences) was simply too bad for any reconciliation to be possible.
Others who were banned were offered very simple terms for reinstatement (apologize for their behavior, promise not to do the banned offense again, and post within the rules), and they declined to do so. That's their choice.
From this day forward I am going to treat everyone here the same way: with fairness. That's the least I can do for you coming here to read what I (and Josh, Rob, Danny, Erik, Duane, Russ and others) write. I have been working, with Erik's help, to moderate the site in an evenhanded fashion based on site rules rather than opinions and preferences. I feel like I've been making progress, but naturally, I won't be perfect. However, I am committed to moderating the site with an even hand. I ask that you help hold me to that. If you see me getting off track, please email me so we can discuss it offsite. I am well aware that I can be hard-headed and stubborn at times. I'm much more willing to engage if you can be nice. I'll do my best to do the same.
I want you all to know that this apology and "reboot" is sincere. Having said that, I don't see a lot of value in rehashing the particulars of old arguments. I'd prefer to move forward with all of you knowing that I have the best of intentions and that my goal is to run a great place for everyone here to talk about the Cubs and baseball.
There's one more thing I want to do in this "reboot," and it has to do with what kind of content you might like to see added to this site. In order to separate the topic at hand here from this idea, I'm going to have a separate post later this morning (11 a.m. CT) for this purpose: to make sure that all of us who write here are bringing you the Cubs and baseball content you want.
And once again, I'm sorry for any past mistakes, slights, omissions or poor treatment of anyone here from me. I'm going to do my best to make sure that won't happen going forward.
Going into the 2016 season, we should all be excited about what the Cubs might do, coming off the spectacular success of 2015. Go Cubs, and happy 11th birthday to Bleed Cubbie Blue!