changes next exitI’ve always been a strong proponent of allowing guests – i.e., folks not “registered” for a site – to comment on posts here. Requiring registration is a barrier to entry, however minimal, that some people will simply never cross. And I’d always wanted to encourage as much free, open communication as possible. I also wanted to get as much feedback as possible, and it tends to be the case that some of the most critical feedback will come from folks who feel that slight, additional security blanket of anonymity. I wanted the critical feedback.

Alas, as we’ve all seen over the past couple of years, and increasingly over the past few months, the comments have deteriorated into something short of a net positive experience. It is with tremendous regret that I’m thinking that the only way to get things back on track is to close comments to guests, and require registration for commenting. I imagine that there’s probably a reason that essentially every large site in the world requires registration for comments, and I think what we’ve been experiencing here is a pretty good example of why. So, the current plan is start requiring registration to comment on January 1. It’ll just be a simple name/email kind of thing, but I think we’ll find the overall quality of the comments will increase dramatically. This is your heads up.

  • A profile in the Tribune on new WGN Radio color man Ron Coomer. The man who will sit next to Pat Hughes in the booth next year grew up a Cubs fan, and is also friends with fellow noted Cubs fan, Eddie Vedder. Given that Vedder’s other famous baseball friend – Theo Epstein – also came to Chicago to be part of the Cubs’ organization, I think it’s pretty clear what’s going on here. Someone get Vedder Masahiro Tanaka’s phone number and set up a play date.
  • For those who saw Jorge Soler in the AFL, and/or for the scouts who seemed to suggest he was dogging it, Sahadev Sharma reports that Soler was indeed asked by the Cubs to take it easy on grounders when he was running out of the box. What looked like loafing was actually Soler being extra careful not to re-injure the stress-fractured leg, which cost him more than half of the 2013 season. Hopefully he’ll be 100% in the Spring.
  • Yesterday, CSN Chicago created quite a stir when an article went up, noting that Dan Dakich had claimed, during a college basketball game, that the Cubs signed Jeff Samardzija to a five-year, $55 million extension. The Twitters were on fire (and I was sitting in the pews at a wedding, thinking, “Please don’t let this be true – at least not for another hour or so”). The general consensus, however, was the Dakich was merely saying Samardzija should accept the reported extension offer, not that he had already. My night of dancing was saved. Nothing to see. (Pet peeve: the CSN article now no longer exists, and the original tweet has been deleted. I’ve always thought, in these situations, the better course is to leave the article up, but clearly edit it at the top to note the error – otherwise, the story lives on in the minds of folks who can’t seem to find it, but swear they saw that Samardzija had been extended. I know that no publication wants to have inaccurate information on its portal, so I understand the deletion, I just think that approach might actually make things worse.)
  • Jay gets you Bears fans ready for a huge game day with his morning Bullets.
  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    Am 100% happy about the upcoming comments policy. Thank you, Brett.

    • abe

      Second that. I enjoy good Cubs discussions. I live on the east coast and I don’t know any local Cubs fans and I come to BN for my Cubs news/discussions.

  • Idaho Razorback

    I’m all for it. Get the link up so I can register.

  • Ayn Ominous

    Well I guess I will cease commenting here since you are joining Google and PornTube in reporting my questionable, yet competely legal internet activity.

  • Adarecub

    About time Brett. It’s been pretty annoying with all the trolling and name calling recently. Some guys just post stuff to get a reaction or post the same opinion on every thread. A little censorship would go along way at times

    • Caryatid62

      You realize that many of those people are also already registered, right?

  • Brian Peters

    Good deal.

  • Pat

    Not sure what the difference is. It already requires a name and email to comment. So essentially, people can’t change the name they comment under, and you have an email list. I don’t see any practical difference.

    • Brett

      Having administered several online communities, I can say with confidence that there’s a considerable difference. As I explained in the post, the barrier to entry – having to register, and log-in each time to comment – is just high enough that drive-by assholes don’t bother.

      I don’t give a hoot about an email list.

      • Pat

        It’s probably because my pad doesn’t save the name and email info that I don’t see the difference. I already have to enter that every time.

        • Brett

          Sure – but it’s much easier for someone to quickly type “Douchebag A,” and then comment, than it is for them to go to a separate registration page, get a name, input email, go to their email, get the password, sign in for the first time, and then go back to the post and comment. It takes about a minute, but that’s just enough of a pain in the butt for most jerks to just move along.

          • Pat

            Did you really need to st my email address for all to see?

            • Cyranojoe

              Okay, you gave me a genuine LOL moment. Thanks, man. :)

      • E

        Same. I’ve administered a few in my day and making someone register and assume an identifiable identity does wonders for curbing drive-by trolls.

        • DarthHater

          I’m not convinced. The message boards at had this degree of registration for years, and their boards were horribly trollish. They finally had to switch to Facebook registration. That actually works, but it’s a pain in the ass and hence reduces traffic significantly.

  • CubFan Paul

    I registered on the message board a long time ago and can’t do anything there..

    • Brett

      Did you get the approval email?

      • CubFan Paul

        No, and now I can’t sign in at all

        “Username or password incorrect”

  • Tom A.

    How do we register ?

    • Brett

      It’s not super obvious just yet, because there’s no need for it yet, but there should be a registration link in the bottom right corner of the site.

    • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

      I just registered. It was easy.

  • Brian Peters

    Just saw where the Braves are talking to Gavin Floyd and that “a decision could be made as soon as tomorrow.” Scratch them–and their stockpile of young arms–off the short list of Shark pursuers.

  • Rebuilding

    @Brett – I know you have probably said something about Raicel Iglesias before, but the recent Cuban defectors are having a showcase this week and I ran across this: “The 23-year-old Iglesias could be the prize of the group, as he possesses a fastball that touches 95 and an allegedly devastating breaking ball. Once he’s declared a free agent, he is free to sign with any team without effecting that squad’s international bonus pool.”

    • wilbur

      sounds like may be a better possibility

  • notcubbiewubbie

    hope there is not a financial angle to this ??????

    • Brett

      Give me a break.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Send me $10 and I’ll put in a good word for you!

      (tries to stop evil laugh….)

      (fails to stop evil laugh….)

    • WGNstatic

      Of course there is a “financial angle.” It is called keeping this site enjoyable for the 95% of the folks who use it, so we all keep coming here and enjoying the site.

    • caryatid62

      There certainly isn’t, but who cares if there is? The guy writes content for you, FOR FREE, and provides you a space to discuss the Cubs, FOR FREE. Even if he were trying to get some financial gain out of it (which he’s not), he’d have every right to do so.

      At it’s core, the writer of a blog is a small businessman. They should be encouraged to find ways to make a living through the creation of online content. It’s a hell of a lot better than every dollar getting funneled into Huffington Post or some other aggregator, that’s for sure.

      • Internet Random

        “FOR FREE”

        I agree with the sentiment of what you’re saying, and I support Brett’s move here 100 percent.

        But he’s not doing this for free (and he doesn’t pretend it’s a public service). Your attention and clicks have value to others and costs to you.

        • Internet Random

          Let me add that excellent work deserves to be compensated, so I hope that Brett is raking.

          • caryatid62

            My point was that the content and space is provided to us at no cost. Other than internet provider costs (which aren’t unique to this site), there are no direct costs for any of us to read and comment on this site.

            • Cyranojoe

              Points well made by both of you. :)

  • Jon

    Disable images too

  • BobA

    Completely off topic, but does anyone know if the practices will be able to be watched at the new Cubs facility, just like they were at Fitch Park? Heading down to Arizona for my 4th spring training trip and being from Minnesota, I’m excited on so many different levels!

  • Cubfanbob

    +1 on registration for comments, one of the benefits coming here years ago was the avoidance of the trollness you found at the Cubs mlb forum. Sure you thought about it but you could use the Bears BN to beta disqus or any other comment platform you are considering.

  • Jon

    Soler was also benched this season for lack of hustle. Lets also not forget when he went all “Sean Penn” on an opposing player with a baseball bat

    • wvcubsfan

      Cut him now, he no play game teh rat way

  • Jon

    Registering is not too bad, the ultimate Gestapo is CubsDen when they force every comment to be “approved”

    • Matt

      I go on Cubs Den too, and I think that’s a quirk with their commenting system, not a choice by the authors. John at Cubs Den has often apologized for those approval queries popping up.

      But yes, registering is not a bad thing. It filters out the least passionate people.

      I’d personally love to see a system where you could flag something as trolling, and if enough flags hit a post it would automatically be deleted.

    • Jim L

      It’s a little annoying but at least filters out most of the idiots. The Cubs Den comments section is very enjoyable to read, kind of like how BN used to be.

  • Frank

    I’ve read that Floyd might not be ready until July. I would think if that’s the case,I would think they would still be in on

  • Frank


  • Eric

    The upcoming changes to the commenting policy sounds just fine. I’ll probably increase my posting as a result.

    • someday…2015?


    • hansman1982

      NOOOOO. CHANGE IT BACK CHANGE IT BACK1+111!!!!!! 111! 1! 1!!!

  • trust me

    The last time i believed in change i got screwed.

    • forlines

      Boom. I like what you did there.

      Regarding the registration, good for you Brett. It’s your site, so it’s your rules. Anyone who really takes issue with it needs to think about their life choices, and how they might eventually make better….life choices.

  • Blackhawks1963

    How do I register? I’ll do it right now.

  • Part of the Core
  • Part of the Core
  • zach

    I agree with it 100%. I think its a great idea. I cant think of any better way to spur on change…masahiro tanaka and eddie vedder should have a few beers together. 😉 go cubs

  • Larry

    I concur with your course of requiring people to register to be able to comment. Too many are flippant , degrading of others thoughts, and just totally negative. I think if these people were in a position of authority for any MLB team, they would be totally lost as to what to do, but according to them they are the only ones with the proper perspective on any topic.

  • Evolution

    I registered a long time ago, even though I’ve been running from the FBI since 1971…

    • HCS

      D. B. Cooper Himself is a BN fan!

  • E

    Sorry if I jumped the gun Brett, but I’ve had a wordpress site so I went looking for the registration page. 😉

    • Brett

      Nah, you’re fine – anyone who wants to register now is free to do so (if they can find the registration link). No need quite yet, but it doesn’t bother me.

      • woody

        And just where is that link? I have been looking for it.

  • Geech

    You should make the change effective immediately.

  • Jed Jam Band

    Yes, finally! I love this, Brett. This is perfect. I will now return to commenting more often (as will my brother, 5runhomerun, I suspect.)

  • Andy

    Think I will start my own website. Thanks Brett you do a great job. I enjoy all the debates