I wasn't sure where to start, so I'll start with "Hi." Or, "Hey there," which sounds a lot more like "Ay dare" up in the northern hinterland of Michigan known as the Upper Peninsula, where I call home.
Most of the regular readers here at Bless You Boys know me; 6,500 comments or so will do that. The short biography for those who don't: I was born in Detroit (city), grew up a baseball fan first-and-foremost. I wrote sports for awhile, won an award or few. Along the way, I founded the Mack Avenue blog in 2006 and successfully blogged about the Tigers there for years.
But where I come from is less important than where we're going as a community. With Ian's decision to step down from BYB, I decided to take the reins of the site to see where I could take it. It's already the most-read Tigers blog on the Internet, so that's a lot of pressure. But I think I'm up for it.
But I don't plan to do it alone. That's where you come in.
BYB is more than just a blog. It's a community.
It's a community that comes together on nearly a daily basis to talk about the breaking Tigers news, the game that night, and sometimes a bit about themselves, too.
But it's a bigger community than it was just mere months ago. So we all have to work our best to manage it, and to keep it manageable.
What I'm asking of you
So to that extent, I want to see you are committed to staying on topic in the threads. Like in the past, game threads are different. Baseball is the type of game where you have plenty of time to discuss your day or other stuff. I want to see BYB remain a place you feel comfortable talking with people you enjoy. But in our news threads, in our columns, in our analysis pieces, I want to see that you are staying on the task at hand.
As we've mentioned in the past, there are Fanposts if you'd like to write your own blog post -- I hope to feature some of the best on the front page. There are Fanshots for sharing breaking news, links, quotes or photos. I find these to be quite valuable tools for fostering conversation, and I'd be happy to promote a few of these to the front page, too. What I've always enjoyed about the SB Nation blogs are how much conversation the visitors can foster on their own through that manner. It doesn't always have to be about the head writer's thoughts.
And one more thing when we're on the topic of commenting. I don't like trolls. I was quick to ban people who trolled at Mack Avenue Tigers. Unfortunately, trolls won't read this post to get that warning. However, I will make sure people who troll know my feelings. So what's that mean? This isn't sports radio. I like to see opinions that have grown out of some thought. I don't like to see shouting for the sake of being the loudest shouter. And while I appreciate a self-policing community, make no mistake that I am ultimately the guy in charge on this topic.
What I hope to provide you
We'll have pregame notes, of course. There will be no changes there. I am not a big fan of writing the postgame recap, however. I don't find a lot of value in writing a recap of what you just saw. I look for themes and important moments that can stand as blog posts of their own. Not all games have those. There will continue to be threads of shame and glory, of course, to talk about the game when it's through.
I am a writer, as I said. I like to write. I write in a column style from time to time. I enjoy providing both in-depth and snap analysis on things. I try to add value to the news of the day, not just repeat it. I think if you've taken the opportunity to read Mack Avenue Tigers, you know the type of blogger I am. I hope to continue to write that much.
I also hope to bring in more voices than just my own. The baseball season can be a tough grind, and you can burn out if you try to do too much for too long without a break. So I am looking for a few people who would be interested in stepping up and helping me out at the site, whether it be someone interested in writing game previews, someone around a computer during traditional work hours who is able to step up in case major news breaks when I am not around, or those who have an idea for an interesting weekly series.
These are commitments. This is more than a Fanpost. If you are interested, please e-mail me at mensching -at- gmail.com with more information what you can provide for the site. I make no guarantees I'll be ale to use everyone who offers help, but I will do my best to put together a crisp, high-quality team that I can be proud of.
So, in conclusion ...
This will be in many ways the same place you've grown to enjoy. But I do suspect I'm a bit stricter of a principal than Ian. Discipline before fun, you know! But I don't expect there to be many problems on that end. Mistakes will happen, but we'll all learn from them.
Hopefully, by working together, 2010 will be the best year at Bless You Boys yet.
By the way, I'll be away from a computer much of the day, so allow me to say a big THANK YOU! ahead of time, I'll try to catch up with everything later!