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Thread: Over moderation

  1. #41
    Senior Member Double-A Lesser Dali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Ratio View Post
    A ban for 3-7 days is hardly egregious. Accept it, learn from it, come back or don't. It's a great baseball site. Some commenters' snark is well done, fun and refreshing. I appreciate it. Others are either very bad at snark, or are intentionally ill-willed. Kinda like the difference between art and pornography. You know it when you see it. Self-censoring for fear (or to avoid the hassle) of being beat up by other commenters may be a growing problem.
    As far as art & pornography go, I am still trying to figure out where Maplethorpe stands.

    The last sentence of your post is the money maker. If there is policing to be done, great efforts should be put towards preventing that.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
    There has been some terrific baseball writing on this site in the last year. There has also been some entertaining banter. Ideally the banter doesn't overshadow the quality of the content.
    I agree that the baseball analysis has been great and I've learned a lot. But I've also learned from some insightful posters and enjoy the humorous banter.

    But I think we can all agree that what gets old is some posters penchant for pushing their predictable responses over and over. I just quickly scroll to the next post.

    One thing I noted viewing the forum page (before it was changed) was that there was typically only 50-60 "members" with 10 times as many visitors. I know others are content to read without offering their own ideas...But, I wonder if some want to contribute but don't want to subject themselves to possible scrutiny or ridicule (direct or snarky).

    I am always encouraged when a brave new soul enters the discussion and offers a new perspective. I think that's why we need to be civil, especially to new posters. Just my cents worth, my brothers.
    Last edited by TwinVike61; 03-20-2013 at 01:39 AM.

  3. #43
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinVike61 View Post

    One thing I noted viewing the forum page (before it was changed) was that there was typically only 50-60 "members" with 10 times as many visitors.
    .
    That is very common actually and not an indication on the "content" or scariness of posting here (which there is literally next to zero). The majority of people lurk on forums, of the 10-12 I regularly follow this is one of about two (the other being a fantasy baseball one) that I actually post on more than once every 6 months or so.

  4. #44
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    That is one of the worst analogies I have ever read/heard. Wow just wow. And I say that with all due respect.
    It's actually a great analogy, but for the wrong reasons. The problem with art/porn is that individuals know it when they see it. But show that art/porn to a group of people? Then it's infinitely harder to agree upon its purpose.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
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    My 2 cents worth (though perhaps overvalued):

    There are threads I have stopped reading because more effort was spent bickering over some point or another than the subject of the thread. A lot of it seems to get personal. It is unattractive, sometimes childish and no fun to read.

    OTOH - I had someone post a rather snotty remark to a comment I made one time. It occurred as a willful misinterpretation of what I had written and was demeaning. I ripped into him or her a little bit. Went back later to see if they had responded and my comment was gone, so I guess I have created some work for our moderators as well.

    And I'm one of the nicest guys I know!

    I hate the idea of censorship. However, if the board kept going down the path it has been angling toward I would stop coming to this site altogether. My participation has already fallen off significantly.

    Best of luck finding the right balance. For me this is a great Twins baseball site.

  6. #46
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    John brings up a good point about bolts loosening on their own over time. We had a real problem this offseason and had to do something about it. It was our first offseason, the Twins had (by and large) a poor offseason in the free agent market, and there was very little positive to talk about moving forward. In that environment, posters tend to turn on one another and it nurtures an environment of pettiness, bickering, and general idiocy.

    But, we're back to watching baseball. I always thought the board would straighten up a bit when we actually had something to talk about and it did (along with some very welcome help from the moderation crew in Snepp and Glunn).

    In time, we'll probably loosen the reins a bit. But in the short-term, we had to impose some rules that were more Draconian than any of us would have preferred to implement to get the board back on track and not an eyesore to ownership, advertisers, and fans who just want to talk about Twins baseball. In some ways, I feel bad that this had to happen, as several posters who I consider friends have been banned, warned, and generally tread upon more than I'd like. But, above all else, it had to be done for the betterment of the entire site. We're not unreasonable people but looking at the grand scope of things instead of "this is my personal playground", some tough decisions had to be made and some feathers were ruffled.

    It is my hope that we won't see this kind of lordship over the forums again and that the board has seen how we plan to steer conversations and attempt to set the tone of the forums going forward.

  7. #47
    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
    I'll start with this: at the end of the day, we can't run/support/hustle for a site whose forums we can't stomach. That's where things were a month ago for a few of us. I was far more likely to advocate turning them off completely than continuing down that path. And I would have had support among the founders. But before we did that, we decided to try and get it back to a more civil level of discourse, even though that was a lot of work and conflict and self-examination. I think we're pretty close to that.
    For what it's worth, I hope you continue to keep the forums. While I also sometimes get turned off by some of the nastier comments, I do find things there that help me grow in my own understanding of the games and the Twins. I do support a more active moderation; I hope this never becomes the Strib comment section.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Brad Swanson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinVike61 View Post
    I agree that the baseball analysis has been great and I've learned a lot. But I've also learned from some insightful posters and enjoy the humorous banter.

    But I think we can all agree that what gets old is some posters penchant for pushing their predictable responses over and over. I just quickly scroll to the next post.

    One thing I noted viewing the forum page (before it was changed) was that there was typically only 50-60 "members" with 10 times as many visitors. I know others are content to read without offering their own ideas...But, I wonder if some want to contribute but don't want to subject themselves to possible scrutiny or ridicule (direct or snarky).

    I am always encouraged when a brave new soul enters the discussion and offers a new perspective. I think that's why we need to be civil, especially to new posters. Just my cents worth, my brothers.
    This last paragraph is worth remembering. I know I was a "member" for a good 6 months before I posted anything. I wasn't really afraid, but I did have reservations. I do think that 99% of the interactions I have had here have been civil and I have no problem pointing out when I think things have gotten personal.

    That being said, I think this is a great place and the more people who join the discussion, the better it will be for all of us. If that means a few people get temporary bans when they forget the golden rule, I'm ok with it. They are still welcomed back and all will be forgiven.
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  9. #49
    Senior Member All-Star IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
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    I will throw in one last comment and then exit this topic.

    When I was a new member last year, I posted on the forums frequently, and as I didn't have a background in playing the game, my comments were sometimes naive and just plain wrong. That should be expected from a new poster. There were a few times I got slammed and denigrated personally because of my ignorance of the game (and to honest, a few times I slammed back - I try to moderate that impulse now). The net result, though, was I'm now much more careful about what I post in the forums, and am always conscious of what reception it might receive. You can all decide whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

  10. #50
    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful input on this thread. It's a work in progress and your feedback helps us shape the rules and enforcement. This is a challenge for us, too -- there are a few members of the TD admin crew who fundamentally disagree with the concept of censorship entirely (myself included) but for the betterment of the site we need to set aside our personal feelings and do what we feel is best for the community.

    But let me be very clear on this: snark is NOT being outlawed, or even discouraged. Snepp is one of the snarkiest posters on the board and we made him a moderator. The thing is, it's not that difficult to be snarky without resorting to personal attacks and condescension. If you want to rib on a buddy in good nature, think about how it's going to come off to readers at large before you click "Post." We can't be expected to keep track of which users have history and which insults are inside jokes.

  11. #51
    Twins Moderator All-Star ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
    Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful input on this thread. It's a work in progress and your feedback helps us shape the rules and enforcement. This is a challenge for us, too -- there are a few members of the TD admin crew who fundamentally disagree with the concept of censorship entirely (myself included) but for the betterment of the site we need to set aside our personal feelings and do what we feel is best for the community.

    But let me be very clear on this: snark is NOT being outlawed, or even discouraged. Snepp is one of the snarkiest posters on the board and we made him a moderator. The thing is, it's not that difficult to be snarky without resorting to personal attacks and condescension. If you want to rib on a buddy in good nature, think about how it's going to come off to readers at large before you click "Post." We can't be expected to keep track of which users have history and which insults are inside jokes.
    In general I am not a fan of cencorship. I'm not a fan of intentional attacks and uncivility, either. Snark can be quite humorous and has its place as well. But it just seems that everyone's 'line' on this is different, moderators as well as users. For me the rule shouldn't be more moderation but maybe a general 'lighten up' as well. If you are going to post ideas, be prepared for someone to disagree and pick it apart and don't get so serious and defensive about it. I think there are some very fine baseball minds, and some genuine fine minds, period, on here and I enjoy reading it all; but if you are going to take it too personally and too seriously, well, it becomes a problem for all of us. (Moderation in all things, eh?) For me it's not so much the snarky replies that degenerate a thread, it's the lack of being able to see it for what it is and not being able to shrug it off and move on that is the problem. Yes, there are personal attacks in there, and yes, let's just grow up a little and refrain; but some take the general humor as a personal attack when it's not, or can't see beyond for what it is. Not to mention that there are a few times where there is a completely inane post. What I said above, sometimes you have to call a spade a spade. If degrees of snark and uncivility are being moderated, I'd hope that inanity might be a bit, too.

  12. #52
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    See, this is where coming to a Twins site for the 'net friends you made years ago and not really reading the Twins info means you end up missing what ends up irking the community. I view the Twins stuff, but I'd much rather discuss the game as a whole, and my favorite region of the old BYTO is now the Sports Bar region of things, so I spend most of my time there. I don't know what erupted, but I've had my stuff with Fro in the past, and it has never been over personal attacks. It's been when I started getting my emotions too into something and ignoring straight facts. That policing always forced me to be more thoughtful about my posts and not let emotion rule the day. Heck, I was hit pretty hard when I spoke against the former first baseman this offseason, but I'm guessing not a single warning went out there to someone bashing my opinion on the topic. I get offended when someone thinks the man was a hero, and I know I'd never want my child emulating him on or off the field. Does that mean someone should get banned for offending me? Heck no! I presented evidence to why I felt the way I did, and let it sit. You end up forcing yourself to become a more level poster who can anticipate the hook rather than constantly jabbing.
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  13. #53
    Head Moderator MVP glunn's Avatar
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    I am grateful for the discussion in this thread. You have all given me a better perspective on how I should operate as a moderator.

    I believe that there was major improvement in the tone of the forums after the sticky thread was posted so that people could read the rules. It seems to me that almost everyone has been making an effort to comply with the policy.

    I was saddened by all four of the recent bans, but would note that to my knowledge everyone who was banned received at least one polite warning, then they were banned after committing another violation. I also feel that the word "ban" is misleading, because no one has been permanently excluded, and a "ban" usually means being suspended for 3 to 10 days.

    Furthermore, as I have suggested in many private messages and on a few threads, if someone makes a stupid argument, then the policy does not restrict you from shredding the argument. Where I think that some people are still going wrong is attacking the person, not their position, but I understand why this is almost irresistible when it's clear that the person is indeed either a dumbass or just trolling. I would suggest that if anyone feels that a dumbass/troller is tempting them to violate the policy, please click on the "report post" icon (the triangle with the exclamation point inside it) so that the moderators can deal with the situation.

    Furthermore, I think that people should know that the moderators and admins have agonized about how to deal with particular situations. In all of those discussions, no one has ever expressed a desire to permanently ban anyone -- the focus is always on how we can persuade Member X to stop violating the policy.

    Finally, I like John's comment about the bolt's eventually loosening. Frankly, moderating is distracting and not fun. I would like to be the "Maytag repairman" of moderators.
    Last edited by glunn; 03-21-2013 at 01:25 AM.

  14. #54
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
    Furthermore, I think that people should know that the moderators and admins have agonized about how to deal with particular situations. In all of those discussions, no one has ever expressed a desire to permanently ban anyone -- the focus is always on how we can persuade Member X to stop violating the policy.
    Except that the policy was changed mid-stream. If the effort is truly to persuade someone from not violating the policy, why is there such silence on better explanations of what is being policed? I've made three attempts to get someone to explain how I violated policies I was warned and banned for attacks on arguments, with language like "obtuse" and "not makes sense" apparently serious enough to qualify for a ban which caused discussion on the board for it being ridiculous and those concerns were largely met with silence. If this is truly the efforts of the moderators, perhaps a bit more transparency (even privately) would be nice. Hell, I took a seven day ban for calling an argument obtuse and the very obtuse-argument poster literally called other posters names and was back in three days. Sky posted earlier that he did the same thing to Fro that Fro was banned for and didn't receive a warning. Hell, his post actually got a like from an administrator. How does that happen? For one person the tact gets them a ban and for the other they get an admin like? I don't think it's ridiculous to suggest that people are going to start really getting annoyed at this kind of inconsistency.

    Part of the issue is people not liking the policy, another is not liking enforcement. I still sit here, three private requests in and multiple requests here, waiting to hear that. I respect you and I know you have tried to do this to varying degrees glunn, but I think your version of the events here is a bit too rose-colored. But I'd be more than happy for someone to do more than pay lip-service to the inconsistencies. That would be swell.
    Last edited by TheLeviathan; 03-21-2013 at 06:44 AM.

  15. #55
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Running down people and their arguments is the quickest way to get me to quit coming to a site. Respectful disagreements are allowed as long as you do not demean the posting person. I was told that I lost a person with an argument, that was fair as I have a tendency to do that. As a point I also post on other sites(this group would never find them), I have seen very few personal attacks there, but several disagreements that can be attempted to be supported by facts. That is what I expect from a site.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Except that the policy was changed mid-stream. If the effort is truly to persuade someone from not violating the policy, why is there such silence on better explanations of what is being policed? I've made three attempts to get someone to explain how I violated policies I was warned and banned for attacks on arguments, with language like "obtuse" and "not makes sense" apparently serious enough to qualify for a ban which caused discussion on the board for it being ridiculous and those concerns were largely met with silence. If this is truly the efforts of the moderators, perhaps a bit more transparency (even privately) would be nice. Hell, I took a seven day ban for calling an argument obtuse and the very obtuse-argument poster literally called other posters names and was back in three days. Sky posted earlier that he did the same thing to Fro that Fro was banned for and didn't receive a warning. Hell, his post actually got a like from an administrator. How does that happen? For one person the tact gets them a ban and for the other they get an admin like? I don't think it's ridiculous to suggest that people are going to start really getting annoyed at this kind of inconsistency.

    Part of the issue is people not liking the policy, another is not liking enforcement. I still sit here, three private requests in and multiple requests here, waiting to hear that. I respect you and I know you have tried to do this to varying degrees glunn, but I think your version of the events here is a bit too rose-colored. But I'd be more than happy for someone to do more than pay lip-service to the inconsistencies. That would be swell.
    To be fair, I said I went after him pretty hard, not that I did the same thing as him. If Fro was banned for something he said to me it was probably because he attacked my argument with borderline non-sequitur sarcasm. I on the other hand, posted a satirical sarcastic statement as a way to illustrate how he was coming across to me. Semantics, maybe.... but if Fro took two seconds to rephrase some of his comments as being generalized he probably would have gotten away with them. And I assume that the like I got from an admin had to do with my comments on general attitudes regarding SABR minded thinkers and SABR adherents.

    And honestly Leviathan, I would say that generalizing comments is a useful tool for you to use as well. It helps in scenarios where you would like to say something a bit rude, but don't want to be outright mean and inviting of a ban or warning. Say for instance that you think somebody is acting like a bit of a cry baby because they're being told they can't say whatever their sound judgement deems appropriate on a message board. You could perhaps comment that you understand the moderators caring less about that person having their way with all of the really fun and brilliant insulting sarcasm they come up with, and care more about growing and fostering an environment that is both good for civil discourse and good for business.

  17. #57
    Twins Moderator All-Star ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glunn View Post
    I am grateful for the discussion in this thread. You have all given me a better perspective on how I should operate as a moderator.

    I believe that there was major improvement in the tone of the forums after the sticky thread was posted so that people could read the rules. It seems to me that almost everyone has been making an effort to comply with the policy.

    I was saddened by all four of the recent bans, but would note that to my knowledge everyone who was banned received at least one polite warning, then they were banned after committing another violation. I also feel that the word "ban" is misleading, because no one has been permanently excluded, and a "ban" usually means being suspended for 3 to 10 days.

    Furthermore, as I have suggested in many private messages and on a few threads, if someone makes a stupid argument, then the policy does not restrict you from shredding the argument. Where I think that some people are still going wrong is attacking the person, not their position, but I understand why this is almost irresistible when it's clear that the person is indeed either a dumbass or just trolling. I would suggest that if anyone feels that a dumbass/troller is tempting them to violate the policy, please click on the "report post" icon (the triangle with the exclamation point inside it) so that the moderators can deal with the situation.

    Furthermore, I think that people should know that the moderators and admins have agonized about how to deal with particular situations. In all of those discussions, no one has ever expressed a desire to permanently ban anyone -- the focus is always on how we can persuade Member X to stop violating the policy.

    Finally, I like John's comment about the bolt's eventually loosening. Frankly, moderating is distracting and not fun. I would like to be the "Maytag repairman" of moderators.

    First, let me just say, I appreciate the time and effort you (and everyone) puts into this site. I really do appreciate it and I thank you all.

    But ... at least one? I would hope, unless it is an extremely egregious case (which I haven't seen), that individuals would be getting more than one warning before a ban, temporary or otherwise. One warning: "Come on man, don't go there with this like that." Two: please, I told you this isn't how to respond here. Three: sorry, three strikes you're out. (It is baseball, afterall.) Unless it's completely out there (and, as I've said, I have yet to see something that egregious) I would hope there is a system of 'punishment' as there is a system of 'rules.' Otherwise it just seems completely arbitary how this is doled out. By giving more than one warning, it allows the person time to adjust and acknowledge and understand where he/she went 'wrong.' If a particular individual is being banned often, well, then that's a discussion to have amongst yourselves. Or maybe we could have a 'vote off the island' a la Survivor? (okay, yes, I'm kidding)

    As to inanity, there was a thread, since locked and deleted, that should never have started. The subject title as well as the original post was COMPLETELY MORONIC and it didn't take much to know exactly where that would head, and did go. While I hate censorship as a rule, that was a thread that should have been deleted, or edited at the very least, at the onset. I don't even remember the subject of that particular thread or even who started it, but the ugliness that followed could have been avoided. I think it was the thread that ultimately triggered the rules and moderation. It wasn't started to bait anyone, either, it was just a completely stupid thread and the discussion that followed basically said so and then degenerated from there. It's those instances I wish for moderation, not on snark.

    Lastly, the tightened bolt analogy. Sigh. This is the exact advice my mom gave my sister before her first middle school teaching job. Start tough, show them who's the authority in the classroom, be swift and consistent with the 'punishment' so that the kids know what is expected of them, and then you can loosen up later in the year. Seriously. But I guess if there is a small handful who will behave like middle school kids, then I guess we all have to 'pay' by having a finger shaken at us.

    But, in the end, I come back to read about baseball. It's really nice to have a place to do that and to 'connect' to Twins fans when I live among a sea of White Sox fans. I even once had a parking space in my building next to Kenny Williams. He since moved but he's an ass when you are a 'nobody' to him. And he almost ran over me and my niece with his Hummer. And that says it all.

  18. #58
    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10PagesOfClearBlueSky View Post
    And honestly Leviathan, I would say that generalizing comments is a useful tool for you to use as well. It helps in scenarios where you would like to say something a bit rude, but don't want to be outright mean and inviting of a ban or warning. Say for instance that you think somebody is acting like a bit of a cry baby because they're being told they can't say whatever their sound judgement deems appropriate on a message board. You could perhaps comment that you understand the moderators caring less about that person having their way with all of the really fun and brilliant insulting sarcasm they come up with, and care more about growing and fostering an environment that is both good for civil discourse and good for business.
    Except under current rules being rude without naming names would in fact be a violation. As I continue to try and make clear - my issue is not their intent to foster better dialogue, my issue is inconsistent execution, refusal to elaborate and clarify, hypocrisy, and changing expectations. None of which your condescending post seems to have acknowledged. Please don't oversimplify my point to belittle it.

  19. #59
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Except under current rules being rude without naming names would in fact be a violation. As I continue to try and make clear - my issue is not their intent to foster better dialogue, my issue is inconsistent execution, refusal to elaborate and clarify, hypocrisy, and changing expectations. None of which your condescending post seems to have acknowledged. Please don't oversimplify my point to belittle it.
    Levi, this is a relatively new board. I know you're a little sour on what happened to you and I do sympathize a bit with your situation. I also understand other admins/mods frustration and why they imposed the ban.

    We're continually having discussions about this situation and how to make it more consistent for everyone involved. And that takes time. It will never be perfect but as we get a better feel for things (both the admins and the moderators), I think we'll sort it out and become more consistent.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiTownTwinsFan View Post
    First, let me just say, I appreciate the time and effort you (and everyone) puts into this site. I really do appreciate it and I thank you all.

    But ... at least one? I would hope, unless it is an extremely egregious case (which I haven't seen), that individuals would be getting more than one warning before a ban, temporary or otherwise. One warning: "Come on man, don't go there with this like that." Two: please, I told you this isn't how to respond here. Three: sorry, three strikes you're out. (It is baseball, afterall.) Unless it's completely out there (and, as I've said, I have yet to see something that egregious) I would hope there is a system of 'punishment' as there is a system of 'rules.' Otherwise it just seems completely arbitary how this is doled out. By giving more than one warning, it allows the person time to adjust and acknowledge and understand where he/she went 'wrong.' If a particular individual is being banned often, well, then that's a discussion to have amongst yourselves. Or maybe we could have a 'vote off the island' a la Survivor? (okay, yes, I'm kidding)

    As to inanity, there was a thread, since locked and deleted, that should never have started. The subject title as well as the original post was COMPLETELY MORONIC and it didn't take much to know exactly where that would head, and did go. While I hate censorship as a rule, that was a thread that should have been deleted, or edited at the very least, at the onset. I don't even remember the subject of that particular thread or even who started it, but the ugliness that followed could have been avoided. I think it was the thread that ultimately triggered the rules and moderation. It wasn't started to bait anyone, either, it was just a completely stupid thread and the discussion that followed basically said so and then degenerated from there. It's those instances I wish for moderation, not on snark.

    Lastly, the tightened bolt analogy. Sigh. This is the exact advice my mom gave my sister before her first middle school teaching job. Start tough, show them who's the authority in the classroom, be swift and consistent with the 'punishment' so that the kids know what is expected of them, and then you can loosen up later in the year. Seriously. But I guess if there is a small handful who will behave like middle school kids, then I guess we all have to 'pay' by having a finger shaken at us.

    But, in the end, I come back to read about baseball. It's really nice to have a place to do that and to 'connect' to Twins fans when I live among a sea of White Sox fans. I even once had a parking space in my building next to Kenny Williams. He since moved but he's an ass when you are a 'nobody' to him. And he almost ran over me and my niece with his Hummer. And that says it all.
    Not surprised about your run-ins with kenny williams. I've heard he's a jerk, and he just seems plain old crazy. I did hear once that his doctors told him that he needs to work out while watching or listening to games so that his insane blood pressure spikes aren't happening while he is otherwise sedentary (apparently its more dangerous, idk...).

    I actually have tried it myself. I must admit, I get pretty worked up about our Twins.

    Seems like your Mom gave good advice. Supervisors in corporate settings often find themselves needing to set a pleasant, yet still firm tone in order to let everybody know that they mean business. The urge to be the nice or fun boss can sometimes lead to a staff of employees who just can't take their superior seriously enough as a disciplinarian. Once everybody has been familiarized with the fact that the boss isn't screwing around when it comes to expectations, then they can start to lighten up a bit.

    Read any recent restaurant reviews out of the Twin Cities? You're missing out on so many great places starting up around here recently!!

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