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Payroll Discussion Reaction and Proposal

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#1 jharaldson

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 09:46 AM

Hello,

I am a frequent reader and infrequent poster to Twinsdaily.com and was reading a moderator explanation about a topic being locked down recently and the problems with discussing payroll on this site. The discussion of the reasoning seemed focused on the group that feels the Twins are not fulfilling perceived promises around payroll size and did not focus at all on the group that is always looking for the best deal, regardless if a deal is needed or not. Examples of this from the thread that were not called out and seem to have moderator support:

“The Twins handled the Santana and Garza situation correctly, IMO. Lowball them late in the offseason and if one bites, great. If not, that's fine”

“don't spend money just for the sake of spending money.”

“Better to make savvy decisions than throw money at the wall and see what sticks. But hey, it's not our money, so why should we care right?”

“What I do care about is that one dollar spent today is one dollar that cannot be spent tomorrow.”

“The Twins haven't had to overpay (at least, not vastly overpay) for the free agents they've acquired in recent years (though most have been bad). There's no reason to start doing so now.”

Comments like these invite a payroll discussion and they inflame and restart tired debates as well. If moderators are perceived as having chosen a side then I think it will be unhealthy for the site in general.

My recommendation is that Twinsdaily.com makes a value statement like the following:

Twinsdaily.com values difference in opinion over the payroll issue but feels it has become too pervasive in all topics on the site. Beginning now, unless a thread is started with the intent to discuss payroll we ask the following items not be discussed:

Higher Payroll
- %52 payroll, lots of available money
- Taxpayer funding of new stadium
- Cheap Pohlads aren’t spending money so they can get more ivory backscratchers.

Lower Payroll
- Don’t spend money to spend money
- Twins must only sign savvy, lowball, below market deals
- Twins can’t “Overpay”

Posts that fall into these categories that are not on payroll threads will be subject to moderation per item 2 (Thread-Jacking) in our comment policy.


I am looking for feedback if anyone thinks this will address the issue. Thanks!

Edited by jharaldson, 17 March 2014 - 01:03 PM.
Suggestion from comment


#2 Dman

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 10:38 AM

Yes I think it needs to work both ways. Avoiding comments about payroll, lower or higher would help. The discussion of lower payroll needs to stop because it only incites the higher payroll crowd. Too many threads get hi-jacked in 52% arguments.

I see both sides, I really do, but it just gets tiring when every post goes there. Everyone who reads here regularly knows each entrenched sides viewpoint. There is nothing new being discussed just a rehash of the same old arguments.

I agree that you can choose to see this issue any way you like but if you must discuss it, do it in its own thread. Don't let it creep into every discussion and derail the post. Then those who don't want to rehash 52% can stay away.

#3 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 12:32 PM

The 52% stuff hasn't bothered me though I can understand why it's gotten old to people. Sometimes its fun to read in a train-wreck kind of way, and sometimes IMO it does have relevance but people don't want to hear it. Personally, I don't care what the Twins payroll is, as long as they are winning or set up to win, and are making good decisions to that end.

Off-topic content can also be skimmed or skipped.

A lot of times its a sign that a conversation has run it's course and the thread can be closed (which I think the mods could probably do more of occasionally, though not go crazy doing.). I like your suggestions but I think deletion is a little too harsh. I know there's already a very good use policy in place which the mods do a good job of policing.

On another topic… *ahem* :)

On another topic, but somewhat related to the 52% thread hijacking... If the Twins go in the tank early again this season, I think there's a real threat of even more lurkers coming online to hijack threads even worse than last summer. "Why didn't we spend on offense? The rule of thumb is 52% and…" And that could be a very good point to make to that discussion. Who knows. Also possible, is there may be another issue that emerges that people are sore about. It's venting and it's understandable, if not exactly welcome.

#4 jharaldson

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:15 PM

I like your suggestions but I think deletion is a little too harsh. I know there's already a very good use policy in place which the mods do a good job of policing.


I modified my proposal to include your suggestion of using existing moderation tools based on the comment policy.

#5 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 02:08 PM

I'll throw some brief comments here. Just to be clear, I'm speaking for the mods when I say that we are quite open to this discussion. If people have some better ideas for some of this, we would like to hear them and this is an acceptable place to have this discussion.

To provide a bit more context, the closed sticky thread was essentially a private conversation that I had with one poster who wanted some clarification on the subject. The rest of the mods felt this would be a good thing for everyone to see, so I sanitized the coversation and re-posted it as the addendum to the "and then there were two" thread.

I think I can safely speak for the rest of the mods in that we are equally frustrated with some of this, and for whatever reason, the 52% thing certainly seems to be a bit of a hot button point of contention between a number of people. To be clear, I don't think any of us have a problem with the 52% thing being brought up in the proper context, but as we saw in the original thread, it can descend into a whole lot of ugliness in a hurry. Those who were around last summer can certainly attest to the fact that this particular topic hijacked a ton of threads last summer, and I think I can safely say that this is something we would like to avoid this year.

#6 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 02:33 PM

While I appreciate your sentiment, there's just no way we can be that restrictive with our posting guidelines. The thread was about Ervin Santana and remaining free agents. Talking about the dollars and years Ervin received is completely on-topic with the thread.

It's a tricky situation. For example, I'm not terribly fond of Santana and 100% of my opinion on signing him revolved around dollars and years. In that situation, how do I not talk about both the contract he received and my opinion of his value, seeing as that is the basis for my entire opinion on him as a player? They're inextricably linked.

And to me, that's the difference. I had an opinion about Santana, not the front office. My comments about payroll were aimed at any front office, not just the Twins... Pursuing good value is smart management. I wasn't using the signing (or lack thereof) as defense or condemnation of the Twins front office. I was talking about the player, the player who was mentioned in the opening post of the thread.

And that's why it's not thread-jacking. Discussing player salaries is a huge part of this forum. We can't (and don't want to) stop that... What we want to prevent is the blind defense or criticism of the front office in every thread. Keep the topic on the player at hand and chances are, you'll be okay.

#7 Dman

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:00 PM

While I appreciate your sentiment, there's just no way we can be that restrictive with our posting guidelines. The thread was about Ervin Santana and remaining free agents. Talking about the dollars and years Ervin received is completely on-topic with the thread.

It's a tricky situation. For example, I'm not terribly fond of Santana and 100% of my opinion on signing him revolved around dollars and years. In that situation, how do I not talk about both the contract he received and my opinion of his value, seeing as that is the basis for my entire opinion on him as a player? They're inextricably linked.

And to me, that's the difference. I had an opinion about Santana, not the front office. I wasn't using the signing (or lack thereof) as defense or condemnation of the front office. I was talking about the player, the player who was mentioned in the opening post of the thread.

And that's why it's not thread-jacking. Discussing player salaries is a huge part of this forum. We can't (and don't want to) stop that... What we want to prevent is the blind defense or criticism of the front office in every thread. Keep the topic on the player at hand and chances are, you'll be okay.


I think you are right. I didn't mind people projecting possible salary scenario's for Santana in fact it is fun to speculate and the different ideas that people come up with are interesting. I didn't mind people using salary as justified or non justified for the deal. Maybe I am thin skinned but when it moves to 52% and the Twins can afford anyone they want then it just seems to devolve into how the organization is run and the sides get chosen and I get disappointed. At this point I guess I should just stop reading but you never know when someone might actually have something cool to say and you end up reading through the chaff to find a nugget or two.

For the most part I think the Mods do a fantastic job on this site. I have had my own moments of nearly crossing or crossing the line and it is good to get reminded to step back. We are all passionate about the Twins and I get that. I guess I am just not someone who is good at seeing the same thing discussed over and over and over again. I will try and be more tolerant.

#8 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 03:05 PM

It's something we fight with perpetually, that's for sure. Personally, I don't mind the 52% arguments or the "they should spend more" arguments if they're used in a productive context.

Again, it so often comes down to how often a particular poster bangs that same drum in multiple threads. As I mentioned long ago in a thread "if you've already brought up payroll in two threads that day, it's probably a good idea to take a breath and reconsider bringing it up in a third".

We don't want to discourage discussion on Twins Daily but we do want to discourage the forums reading like a broken record.

#9 jharaldson

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 04:24 PM

[QUOTE]While I appreciate your sentiment, there's just no way we can be that restrictive with our posting guidelines. The thread was about Ervin Santana and remaining free agents. Talking about the dollars and years Ervin received is completely on-topic with the thread.[/QUOTE]

Your first post in the thread was the following:

[QUOTE]The Twins handled the Santana and Garza situation correctly, IMO. Lowball them late in the offseason and if one bites, great. If not, that's fine. I think they should be focusing on offense at this point anyway. Hopefully they feel the same way.[/QUOTE]

You neither discussed the specific years or dollars but instead praised the front office for a “Lowball” negotiating strategy. This post was immediately liked by a number of “smart spenders”.

Two posts down Winston stated the following:

[QUOTE]I don't understand that. If you think the player can help your club why do you have to low ball the guy? They have plenty of money if you want a guy do what it takes.

He does nothing to help the club if you don't sign him and the money does nothing to help the club in Pohlads bank unspent.[/QUOTE]

This post doesn’t talk about the specific years or money for Santana either but criticizes the front office for a “Cheap” negotiating strategy. That post is immediately liked by the “52%” crowd.

The divisiveness of the payroll topic brings the thread to a close and at the end it feels like a number of good points about the remaining options with Drew and Morales got lost. I would also say it feels like the blame gets placed on the “52%” crowd at both the conclusion of the thread and in the addendum thread with no similar warnings to the “smart spenders”.

In short, I think keeping current and future threads from being junked up with the same payroll discussions is a great idea and would be a wonderful addition to the forum but placing all responsibility/blame on one group (“52%”) is the wrong way to go about it.

#10 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 04:42 PM

Your first post in the thread was the following:



You neither discussed the specific years or dollars but instead praised the front office for a “Lowball” negotiating strategy. This post was immediately liked by a number of “smart spenders”.

Two posts down Winston stated the following:



This post doesn’t talk about the specific years or money for Santana either but criticizes the front office for a “Cheap” negotiating strategy. That post is immediately liked by the “52%” crowd.

The divisiveness of the payroll topic brings the thread to a close and at the end it feels like a number of good points about the remaining options with Drew and Morales got lost. I would also say it feels like the blame gets placed on the “52%” crowd at both the conclusion of the thread and in the addendum thread with no similar warnings to the “smart spenders”.

In short, I think keeping current and future threads from being junked up with the same payroll discussions is a great idea and would be a wonderful addition to the forum but placing all responsibility/blame on one group (“52%”) is the wrong way to go about it.


If my post gave you the impression that the blame was placed on the 52% crowd, then I'll be the first to say I didn't do a good job explaining myself. That wasn't my intent. I was attempting to focus on a hot button issue. I will say that from a moderation standpoint, action was taken against members of both crowds.

#11 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 05:13 PM

Your first post in the thread was the following:



You neither discussed the specific years or dollars but instead praised the front office for a “Lowball” negotiating strategy. This post was immediately liked by a number of “smart spenders”.

Two posts down Winston stated the following:



This post doesn’t talk about the specific years or money for Santana either but criticizes the front office for a “Cheap” negotiating strategy. That post is immediately liked by the “52%” crowd.

The divisiveness of the payroll topic brings the thread to a close and at the end it feels like a number of good points about the remaining options with Drew and Morales got lost. I would also say it feels like the blame gets placed on the “52%” crowd at both the conclusion of the thread and in the addendum thread with no similar warnings to the “smart spenders”.

In short, I think keeping current and future threads from being junked up with the same payroll discussions is a great idea and would be a wonderful addition to the forum but placing all responsibility/blame on one group (“52%”) is the wrong way to go about it.


The 52%ers don't get all the blame, not anything close to all the blame.

And that's a big perception problem on an individual level. Again, we don't publicize bans, warnings, or anything of the sort.

Yet if you squint real hard, you'll notice that some posters are missing from the forum in recent days, some of which were decidedly pro-front office.

And that's just it. The pro-52ers scream that we're unfair to them and castigate them unfairly. The anti-52ers scream that we're unfair to them and castigate them unfairly.

And the worst offenders from both camps get banned.

#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 05:37 PM

To further my point a bit, you're looking at this wrong, blaming reaction on the original poster.

Take my post, for example. I said I thought the front office did the right thing and mentioned why I thought it was the right thing. "The Twins took a shot at Santana, a player I don't particularly like at his asking price, with a lowball offer. He didn't take. Oh well. Better luck next time."

Take my post and flip it. Were I to say "I really wanted Santana. Damn, I wish they had offered more money because they're likely to get $40m of value from him over four years. He has been a top pitcher twice in the past four years and could easily repeat that in future years."

Both are fine points to make and opinions to have about Santana.

If some posters just can't resist taking a potshot at the front office's spending and arguing about payroll at that point, who's to blame? It's sure not the poster who made one of the two posts listed above. You blame the person who can't resist interjecting his/her opinions about payroll into. every. single. thread. Not the person who made a casual comment about the player and didn't bring up payroll at all.

It shouldn't be unreasonable to ask people to act like adults in this forum and that's basically all we're doing.

#13 Dman

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:14 PM

It's something we fight with perpetually, that's for sure. Personally, I don't mind the 52% arguments or the "they should spend more" arguments if they're used in a productive context.

Again, it so often comes down to how often a particular poster bangs that same drum in multiple threads. As I mentioned long ago in a thread "if you've already brought up payroll in two threads that day, it's probably a good idea to take a breath and reconsider bringing it up in a third".

We don't want to discourage discussion on Twins Daily but we do want to discourage the forums reading like a broken record.


Again I agree. I like the diverse opinions and that people disagree. It makes me think harder about why I think what I think or feel what I feel. Sometimes I completely change my point of view after various facts, opinions and arguments are made. The diverse opinions are what make this site so much fun. My only complaint is that we seem to end up down the payroll road and repeating opinions and arguments over and over again.

This is a great site and it is moderated well and that allows for very intelligent discussion about Twins baseball. That is why you have me hooked. Perfect moderation is impossible and my only complaint so far has been the 52% and that is just a personal bias of mine that I am trying reel in.

#14 jharaldson

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:11 AM

If my post gave you the impression that the blame was placed on the 52% crowd, then I'll be the first to say I didn't do a good job explaining myself. That wasn't my intent. I was attempting to focus on a hot button issue. I will say that from a moderation standpoint, action was taken against members of both crowds.


Thank you for the clarification! After your explanation of how this was converted from a message to a person who frequently discussed the 52% topic it makes sense that points you describe are directed at folks with the 52% view but your summary is very balanced. Great site and I think it is a credit that you have these open types of discussions!

#15 mike wants wins

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:40 AM

This is a complex thing for me, personally....as I'm one of teh "52%ers" I believe.....

I view this as a conversation in a bar. The rules for that kind of interaction are a bit looser than what I believe most here want, and I can respect that. Sometimes, (speaking for me personally), I just get caught up in the moment, and respond to posts people make quickly (while on a boring call, like right now), without regard to the fact I already said the same dang thing 5 minutes ago (probably because I'm multi tasking, tsk).

But, mostly, I just want people here to enjoy their time here. If my harping on the same topic in multiple threads decreases that, I can live with being reminded by the mods to tone it down. I'm old enough to realize I'm not always right, and that a conversation requires two or more people to be interesting, and that won't happen if my tone is off, or I hit to hard sometimes.

Remember "fan" is short for fanatic, not "logician". We are going to tend to have discussions that spill over into emotional hotspots at times. We just need to remember how to handle that.....
Lighten up Francis....

#16 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:35 AM

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