If you have something to say about what follows, by all means have it at; I would just ask that the discussion be limited to this thread. I'm making all the following information public because I imagine the community would prefer to know that something has happened, and what has happened, straight up.
Since 1/3/09, PaulThomas has had two "strikes" on his ledger. On Sunday afternoon, in greenmachines fanpost "Remember The Fallen Officers," PaulThomas made a comment that was flagged by users and moderators, and was subsequently ruled a "full strike." That's "strike three," which makes a user eligible to be banned according to the site's Community Guidelines.
My email to PaulThomas
AN's moderators have asked me to let you know that your recent comment objecting to calling police officers "heroes," made on a thread mourning the murder of four officers in our community yesterday, was flagged by users and moderators, and was ruled to be a "strike."
The fact that the comment incited so much anger on the thread, and the fact that the thread became more about your comment (and your inability to see a problem with the comment) than about the fallen officers, should speak volumes to the fact that there is a problem with the way you relate to the AN community.
Speaking of problems, this "strike" makes three "strikes" which, according to AN's Community Guidelines, qualifies you to be banned. Instead of banning you permanently or irrevocably, I am banning you for at least 30 days. At the end of 30 days, you are welcome to contact me and attempt to reassure me that if reinstated it won't be "more of the same."
You have a lot to offer in regards to baseball analysis, but AN is not just a baseball site; it is a community. Feel free to contact me in 30 days, and if you wish I'm happy to consider your reinstatement.
In his reply, PaulThomas asked if I would be willing to convey a message from him to the community. Here it is:
"As a consequence of the police thread and prior incidents, I have been banned from the site for an indefinite period not less than 30 days. I maintain that my comments and opinions on this thread were legitimate, but ultimately that does not matter. The moderators evidently feel that my presence is more of a disruption than a help to the site right now, and frankly, right now I have a hard time seeing how that isn't so, regardless of whether it's a technical CGV or not. The conversation became, as it has more than once in the past, about me and not about the topic at hand.
"I do feel an apology is in order, though it might not be the one many of you are hoping for. To wit: I feel that I have too often used AN as a sounding board for my own wonky ideas, and for that, I am sorry. Most of you didn't sign up for that. Well, hell, I didn't sign up for that either, but... that seems to be what it's become somehow. Lately there's been entirely too much punditry and too little productivity on my part. Perhaps an extended sabbatical will change things and refocus me in a different direction, so everyone can get back to talking about what they came here for-- A's baseball.
"Will I be back? I don't know. It's a question for the moderators, but even before that, it's a question for me. I may not wish to return. I may opt to restrict myself to fanposts-- pieces of a length sufficient to ensure that I review what I'm saying before hitting "submit." Or I may ask to be allowed to return to commenting. Any such requests will go through the management of the site, and they may choose not to allow me to return, as is their right.
"I would like to say again that I have always had the greatest respect for the people here. I don't doubt that I've caused people harm, which I regret. But I have never tried to hurt anyone. At my core, I am not a fighter. At another point on the police-officer thread, I mentioned the great pacifist Utah Phillips as one of my heroes. Perhaps I need to come to understand his message a little bit better." -Paul
And that's where we are, no more no less.