October 14, 2006

Banned topic proposal: I just want to bring up chicobang's suggestion for discussion outside of a specific thread. Player salaries and deservedness thereof: done to death on SpoFi?

posted by qbert72 to editorial policy at 05:36 PM - 55 comments

Done to death unless someone introduces a genuinely new wrinkle. Otherwise, I agree -- the same old whine isn't getting any better with age.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:38 PM on October 14

Man law?

posted by tron7 at 01:47 AM on October 15

spofi law!

posted by jojomfd1 at 08:02 AM on October 15

Agree. Mainly because I can't keep out of it.

posted by yerfatma at 09:48 AM on October 15

That's my main reason too.

posted by qbert72 at 09:52 AM on October 15

Really hard to endorse this position when the subject of a post is "major league ballplayer may or may not get an extra $1 mil for..." Where did we think that thread was going to go? Or are we just going to forgo any discussion of money and athletes regardless of how provocative and interesting they are? I think we're cutting off a pretty substantive area of discussion within the realm of sports culture. I agree it draws an inordinate number of uninformed opinions (read: opinions in opposition of my own), but I don't know if that should put it on the cutting room floor. I am really tired of having to defend Derek Jeter and the Yankees from ridiculous, uninformed opinions claiming how much they suck. Can we vote to kill all discussions of the value of Jeter and the Yanks? That would make my life easier.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:15 AM on October 15

Oh, man. When I brought it up, I didn't mean that discussions about athletes & money should be off-limits. Money is part of many discussions about pro sports, and that's not going to change. What I wanted to put a moratorium on was the idea that because so-and-so athlete makes more than your average construction worker or schoolteacher, they somehow lose the right to complain about anything regarding their job. Firstly, not all athletes are making rock-star money. Just because you're seeing someone on TV doesn't mean they have a 27-room mansion in Malibu, Escalades in every color of the rainbow and booty-dancers holding guide lanterns all the way up the driveway. Secondly, the amount of money one makes should have no bearing on their ability to do their job, whetever it is. If someone's working conditions aren't good, whether it's from poor management hamstringing them or a co-worker undercutting them or their department consistently underperforming for any reason, that's the same kind of issue whether they're making $25,000/year in a ditch or $25,000,000 per year in a stadium. Thirdly, these people are being paid what the market will bear, by owners way richer than they are. A pro sports career is short, and retirement often leaves you with a crippled body. There are some problems (not all of them physical) that no amount of money can fix. Just because someone makes seven or eight figures a year doesn't make them superhuman, and just because some of those people don't do well, in their profession or their lives, doesn't make them subhuman. This discussion has gone around in circles for so long it's carved a tube into the earth that goes right through. I'm sick up to my back teeth of it.

posted by chicobangs at 11:56 AM on October 15

Firstly, not all athletes are making rock-star money. The minimum salary for a major league baseball player is $327,000. The President of the US makes about $400,000. Most people don't want to hear complaints from either regarding their jobs. And, frankly, I'd be hard pressed to name a baseball player who had a worse year than the president last year (so I guess they'd have some leeway arguing over that $73,000 discrepancy). Seriously, I see a few problems with this proposal. One, the notion of topic bannination is showing all the signs of becoming a slippery slope. Two, I think I can come up with a compelling argument against every one of your points about athletes and salary (compelling to me, anyway). Three, the specific comment in question addresses the broad issue of the rights of athletes, presidents, and anyone else whose career is the direct result of the pursuit of a dream rather than the pursuit of a steady means of income. It is a stance on one side of an issue that examines the culture of sport, and I personally don't want that argument to go away (mainly because I just haven't made up my mind about it). Finally, this issue of bannination forces the admins to address for whom this site exists (which may or may not be a fair position in which to put them). The admins have to decide if they are willing to clip issues that are played out and tired to the senior members of the site, preventing the exploration of these issues to recent members for whom the argument may be new. Chico, I totally respect your contribution to this site and from where it seems your motivation comes. Frankly, I find myself so often on your side of the argument that it feels foreign to argue against you here. Whatever decision is made about this, of course I will still stick around and abide by the rules, but I feel compelled to speak up for what I really like about this place.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:56 PM on October 15

For my part, I know that each time we have this discussion, this guy is loving it.

posted by qbert72 at 07:51 PM on October 15

The truth is, we've accumulated a crop of "groaners" here on spofi. They're the topics or lines of (non-)thought that make you want to reach for a large sock of manure every time they come up, because you just know it'll bring the jackasses out of the woodwork. Do thoughtful things get said on these subject? Yes, but most of them have already been said, and the occasional new gem is buried under a midden of the same old dumb shit.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:49 PM on October 15

And, frankly, I'd be hard pressed to name a baseball player who had a worse year than the president last year (so I guess they'd have some leeway arguing over that $73,000 discrepancy). I'd say Neifi Perez, but he's got a chance at a World Series ring. This guy did make 6 starts... Can we vote to kill all discussions of the value of Jeter and the Yanks? That would make my life easier. Oh, sure! I finally start praising Jeter on a regular basis and now you want to stop talking about him?

posted by grum@work at 10:47 PM on October 15

Thirdly, these people are being paid what the market will bear, by owners way richer than they are. A pro sports career is short, and retirement often leaves you with a crippled body. There are some problems (not all of them physical) that no amount of money can fix. Best point of the whole discussion, chico. The whole reason we spend so much time here is because we're interested.

posted by hawkguy at 10:55 PM on October 15

I'd say Neifi Perez, but he's got a chance at a World Series ring. This guy did make 6 starts... Don't knock my boy Neifi. B-R says he's today's answer to a former MVP and World Series hero. Oh, sure! I finally start praising Jeter on a regular basis and now you want to stop talking about him? Well, I figure my job is done there. Now if I can just get you to concede that A-Rod is playoff poison and routinely has the all-time softest 120 RBIs you can get in a season, then I can retire to that farmhouse in Vermont and spend my days calling MIke and the Mad Dog in New York, asking why it is that the Yankees don't trade Giambi to the Blue Jays for Roy Halliday and Lyle Overbay.

posted by BullpenPro at 08:40 AM on October 16

The truth is, we've accumulated a crop of "groaners" here on spofi. This touches on what I mean about making the admins choose for whom the site exists. When someone launches a "soccer is boring" (presumably new member) we suggest that they ignore the thread if they don't like it rather than clog it up. In the same vein, though, when there's a thread (or course of discussion) that is a "groaner," the expectation is for the admins to shut down the subject so that (presumably senior) members, who have tired of the "same old arguments," don't have to step over them to get to the next thread -- or, more to the point, to save some of our senior members from their "addiction". (Not to pick on yerfatma,specifically, but his sentiment seems to be the issue here.) And it's a slippery slope. I am sick to death of hearing how the Yankees do and don't buy championships. That argument can't be less tired than the players and salaries discussion. Let's lop them both off.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:03 AM on October 16

if I can just get you to concede that A-Rod is playoff poison and routinely has the all-time softest 120 RBIs you can get in a season No problem: just weight all his counting statistics by the 2006 Win Expectation Rates and compare him to other players on his team. That would prove if his numbers were really softer than his teammates. the expectation is for the admins to shut down the subject so that (presumably senior) members, who have tired of the "same old arguments," don't have to step over them to get to the next thread That's a really good point. In lieu of a ban, I would prefer a spot on the wiki for touchy subjects with a summation of major points/ arguments and why people on the side that disagree with me are wrong. Instead of having to rehash the same old "ticket prices aren't affected by salaries, city size dictates overall franchise winning %, money players don't see goes to owners, not orphans", I could just link to the wiki and let them have at it.

posted by yerfatma at 10:04 AM on October 16

Christ, baseball prospectus has taken the fun completely out of baseball.

posted by dfleming at 10:08 AM on October 16

yerfatma & BullpenPro, you've got a point. "Moratorium" and "bannination" are probably too strong for this. But I do think it would be a good idea to have new posters understand that they're not the first ones to bring up these ideas, and to maybe have a "List of Played-Out Discussions" in the Guidelines (they're not "Rules" or "Laws," after all) might help stop otherwise interesting threads from falling into the same ruts, week after week after week after week after week after week after week. After week. You know. Sometimes, these ideas will be germane to the conversation. They just get thrown willy-nilly into any discussion about the Yankees or Tiger Woods or whoever, regardless of whether it belongs in the discussion, and it's getting really fucking old.

posted by chicobangs at 10:41 AM on October 16

Re: the idea of having a "List of Played-Out Discussions" -- is the perception that the newly articulated Guidelines has helped with quality? I know that when boneheads show up and let loose with the OMG WTF UR TEEM SUXXXORZ GO BIRDS LOL!!1!ELEVENTY!, people are pointing them at the guidelines -- so, do y'all think it's helping?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:04 AM on October 16

Michelle Wie needs to win something on the LPGA before she tries to win the Masters! Women and their wishes for equality, what's wrong with them? ducks and runs

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:07 AM on October 16

I would prefer a spot on the wiki for touchy subjects with a summation of major points/ arguments and why people on the side that disagree with me are wrong. maybe have a "List of Played-Out Discussions" in the Guidelines (they're not "Rules" or "Laws," after all) might help stop otherwise interesting threads from falling into the same ruts For what it's worth, as the sole dissenting opinion in this thread, I'll just say for my part either of these scenarios are fine. The wiki suggestion sounds like more work for the admins, but I have to admit I like it because I might actually learn something. I would hope that a guidelines list would include links to particularly well-fought battles on the discouraged issues in previous threads. On edit: people are pointing them at the guidelines -- so, do y'all think it's helping? I haven't tracked the behavior of most of those who are admonished, but I have to say I am impressed with the speed and efficiency people -- especially JerseyGirl -- have gotten the point across, and it doesn't seem to explode in the threads at all (by my experience). One and done. Seems to be working.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:17 AM on October 16

Miz Bat, I actually do feel that the Guidelines are helping. It feels to me also like fewer people are making the same mistakes twice, and the learning curve is better. The other thing those Guidelines give us is an air of legitimacy. It looks like we've all thought this thing through, and Spofi is not just some popesquatting schmoe with a blogspace and a dream. (No offense. I'd totally still visit the site if it was that.) Yeah, any kind of "Played-Out List" should include links to good previous versions of these discussions. That would take a little spelunking, but that's an excellent idea.

posted by chicobangs at 12:06 PM on October 16

popesquatting schmoe with a blogspace and a dream. He means no offense rschmoe, I mean rcade.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:07 PM on October 16

(Addendum, um, added. Thanks, Miz girl.)

posted by chicobangs at 12:08 PM on October 16

We're all schmoes. schmoegirl. chicoschmoe. lil_brown_schmoe. yerfatschmoe. YingYangSchmoe. BullpenSchmoe. DrJohnSchmoe. Schmoesanov14. schmoe@work. The_Schmoe_Hand. schmoebert72.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:14 PM on October 16

Now if I can just get you to concede that A-Rod is playoff poison and routinely has the all-time softest 120 RBIs you can get in a season Not. Gonna. Happen.

posted by grum@work at 12:17 PM on October 16

Christ, baseball prospectus has taken the fun completely out of baseball. Far from it! It's added a whole new range of things for people to argue and disagree about.

posted by grum@work at 12:19 PM on October 16

Someday I hope to be schmoe.

posted by apoch at 12:24 PM on October 16

What do you prefer: schmoepoch or aschmoe?

posted by jerseygirl at 12:28 PM on October 16

Egad.. um.. schmoepoch. aschmoe sounds like a two year old with a mouth full of cookies calling somebody an asshole.

posted by apoch at 12:34 PM on October 16

schmoepoch it is. Hang around with a lot of binge-eating, cursing toddlers, do you?

posted by jerseygirl at 12:50 PM on October 16

You don't? Freak.

posted by NoMich at 01:00 PM on October 16

I really need to broaden my horizons.

posted by jerseygirl at 01:36 PM on October 16

Hang around with a lot of binge-eating, cursing toddlers, do you? Sounds a lot like my cousins.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:15 PM on October 16

I'd like to see a lot of topics vanish from sportsfilter, but it's easier said than done. The 'is it a sport or not' topic is pretty easy since if it's on sportsfilter, it's considered a sport. When the yankees are brought up you're going to hear about salary, and if it's player conduct being brought up the same members will make sure to pop up in the thread to make the same speeches. The same cliches over and over. At the very least most are off topic. In lieu of a ban, I would prefer a spot on the wiki for touchy subjects with a summation of major points/ arguments and why people on the side that disagree with me are wrong. Instead of having to rehash the same old "ticket prices aren't affected by salaries, city size dictates overall franchise winning %, money players don't see goes to owners, not orphans", I could just link to the wiki and let them have at it. I could easily set up sportsfilter.info/wiki and members could do just that. If someone thinks they'd actually do that type thing just raise your hand. is the perception that the newly articulated Guidelines has helped with quality? I know that when boneheads show up and let loose with the OMG WTF UR TEEM SUXXXORZ GO BIRDS LOL!!1!ELEVENTY!, people are pointing them at the guidelines -- so, do y'all think it's helping? I think they're helping. At the very least, as chico said, they legitimize an expected level of conduct, and when a member points them out they do so with at least a little backing. It also helps with banning without guilt. (we've actually had some problems with banning, which is why a few trolls have been around longer than normal, but hopefully that's fixed.)

posted by justgary at 02:22 PM on October 16

WeedyMcSchmokey?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:06 PM on October 16

Nice.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:16 PM on October 16

SchmodeyO'Schmoopie?

posted by chicobangs at 03:16 PM on October 16

If someone thinks they'd actually do that type thing just raise your hand. If it's just a simple wiki, I'd be happy to put a very slanted rant about player salaries in. Then lock the page to prevent future edits.

posted by yerfatma at 04:04 PM on October 16

Got a simple wiki in mind yerfatma? I can install the one that runs wikipedia (mediawiki?) in minutes, but it doesn't strike me as simple. And I don't know if it allows you to lock pages. I'm wikignorant.

posted by justgary at 04:43 PM on October 16

My hand is up, though I've never installed a wiki neither.

posted by chicobangs at 05:03 PM on October 16

I would go there times. And if I liked it, I might stay. Maybe even open a bar. Like a tropical kind of a bar. And maybe I would sell like them scorpion drinks. And maybe, too, I would make a confection of pulled sugar. I suppose people would come from miles around. To chat... and eat my Wiki Tiki Taffy. Consider my hand raised, though I can't really, 'cause I hurt it pulling sugar.

posted by BullpenPro at 05:15 PM on October 16

O.k. I installed a wiki at sportsfilter.info/wiki. I have no expectations for it. If it involves into something useful, I'll link it to the front page of sportsfilter.info as another section of the site. If it goes unused, no harm no foul.

posted by justgary at 12:59 AM on October 17

Oh, Mediawiki is fine by me. Any wiki qualifies as "simple" if you just use the basics. Mediawiki's advanced features are just a bonus. Thanks. Double-thanks if this leads to chico and I in edit wars for years to come before we finally part company on the cover of Wired.

posted by yerfatma at 06:29 AM on October 17

I roughed in a page here to play with the format a bit. I'd like to have more substance to the text and less of the low-lights, but my employer would probably care for neither right now. The MediaWiki Cheatsheet was a big help as the wiki syntax is just different enough from the one Trac uses to confuse the crap out of me.

posted by yerfatma at 06:59 AM on October 17

Oooh, that mediawiki cheatsheet helps greatly. Thanks.

posted by justgary at 08:41 PM on October 17

eat my Wiki Tiki Taffy Was that necessary? Thanks, jg and yerfatma, for the wiki and the cheatsheet. I like the example provided by the Michelle Wie entry (call out the threads where the horse has been beaten to death, with representative quotes). And I've wanted a wiki cheatsheet for a longish time! If I get some time over the next few days, I'll prowl the archives for the Native American mascot threads and make an entry.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:18 AM on October 18

I have a feeling that the Bonds/BALCO/steroids collection will top them all.

posted by grum@work at 12:03 PM on October 18

Unless TO does something amazing.

posted by yerfatma at 02:13 PM on October 18

Define "amazing". Consider the subject as you do so.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:36 PM on October 18

Stays silent for a week.

posted by yerfatma at 07:17 PM on October 18

Takes the right meds.

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:03 AM on October 19

I propose that the "addiction is a disease" "no it's not" argument be included in the worn out discussions.

posted by MrFrisby at 01:45 PM on October 19

And miss out on bon mots like today's bombshell? For shame.

posted by yerfatma at 02:21 PM on October 19

I'll say. Where did you come up with that line about the throw pillow, anyway?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:15 PM on October 19

See my follow-up in thread. Stolen.

posted by yerfatma at 07:13 PM on October 19

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.