Smyly's Grounders, Rotation's Hole, Meta on Commenting Policy, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Smyly’s Grounders, Rotation’s Hole, Meta on Commenting Policy, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

I encourage those of you who are active in the comments to see the META note at the bottom of this post. I am going to be more actively enforcing our commenting policy.

•   Obviously Seiya Suzuki rightly gets most of the attention spilling over from yesterday’s win over the Pirates, but how about the pitching? The only guy who gave up a run was Mychal Givens, and (1) it was a solo homer by Bryan Reynolds, and he’s gonna get his sometimes, and (2) Givens otherwise struck out the side. Great day for Smyly, Chris Martin, Givens, Ethan Roberts, and David Robertson.

•   On Smyly, you do want to caution that it was the Pirates, but I love the flexibility he (and Willson Contreras) showed in just going with what the Pirates were giving them:

•   You still want to miss bats, without question, but if you keep getting crummy groundball after crummy groundball, you go with it. The guy got NINE groundouts hit at under 80 mph in his five innings. That’s just bonkers. The quality of contact you induce won’t always be that terrible, but it also isn’t a total fluke when you get that much. (Oh, and by the way? Smyly DID still get 8 whiffs out of his 68 pitches, so, yeah, that part was pretty good, too!)

•   Smyly’s outing was one of a very similar set of first turn’s through the currently-shortened rotation:

•   Speaking of the shortened rotation, it’s still TBD what the Cubs do this weekend when they need a 5th starter:

•   It’s possible the Cubs could bring up an arm on the 40-man roster for a one-day start, though that would be viable only if there were someone else temporarily being optioned or put on the IL. I’m guessing the Cubs want to delay the decision as long as possible, because some (unfortunate?) clarifying event could happen between now and Saturday.

•   Gotta agree with Smyly on the level of craziness on that Nico Hoerner play:

•   Ethan Roberts got the Pitching Ninja treatment for his frisbee slider:

•   Just for funsies:

•   Electric toothbrushes, toys, weights, and appliances are among your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad

•   After doubling down on his tone deaf comments about Reds fans not having a choice but to support the team (and ownership), Phil Castellini totally made a statement on his own with no prompting whatsoever and wrote it himself and everything:

•   Relatedly, here’s some of the early thinking on whether the anti-tanking measures in the new CBA will work or not – after all, the Reds (and A’s) kept selling off right after the CBA passed. Some of the comments came from former Red Nick Castellanos, and I believe that may have spurred the reaction from Reds ownership: “It’s just a classic example of ownership using organizations as profit,” former Reds and current Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos said recently. “When … there are no consequences for losing, you’re not held accountable for your performance.”

•   Also in that ESPN piece, a biting line from an anonymous agent about the draft lottery’s impact: “The Pirates probably don’t even care about getting the No. 1 pick. It means they have to pay him more.”

META: The level of unkindness in the comments has reached a point over the past six months where I have to say something, and provide an explicit caution of the increased enforcement that’s coming. I don’t think anyone wants the viability of the comment section to be put into question, but that’s how serious this has gotten. There’s a reason most places around the web do not have active comment sections anymore, and it’s because they can’t get past this moment.

Specifically, I have to start more assertively enforcing our terms of use and commenting policy, which, among other things, prohibits commenters from: “engag[ing] in behavior that is not in the interest of facilitating enjoyable, productive discussion (i.e., disruptive comments; excessive caps, exclamation points, and/or text-speak; “trolling;” comments designed to annoy, irritate, or otherwise inflame the passions of other users). Disagreements are fine and encouraged. Persistent, irritating, harmful, and/or unkind behavior is not.”

I always had one of the most lax commenting policies at BN because I believe in the idea that well-intentioned people should be able to comment freely on the internet. But there’s nothing in the Internet Bible that says, “Brett, you must provide everyone a free place to come and shit on you, your staff, and other commenters.”

Criticism will always be permitted – I’ll get some criticism about this very point! Noting our mistakes? Fine, of course. Taking us to task when we’re wrong, disagreeing with how we do things, and on and on. All still fair game, because obviously. But there is a very clear and fundamental difference between being someone who likes to argue on the internet and being someone who has made it his hobby to be an asshole. I’ve been doing this long enough to know the difference, and I’ve let that latter category of folks go unchecked for too long. I guess I thought that I could reason with them or maybe they would bet bored of their own BS.

I don’t need cheerleaders in the comments. What I need are decent humans who are engaged in good-faith discussions about whatever comes up. If I see you being the kind of a-hole I’m talking about, in violation of our commenting policy, that’s it. You’re gone. I’m tired of it. Be a better person.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.