The lurkin's have been absolutely awesome lately, with AN'ers attacking each other left and right, turning comments and their rebuttals greener than Dollar Wednesday vomit. It's times like these I wish we could have some no-holds-barred Flag-Free no-Community-Guideline posts about religion and politics and really let the sparks fly.
There's so much hatred from certain posters towards other posters, and it's kinda funny watching these people format their hatred and anger into baseball arguments which can stand on their own, yet can also be interpreted as various worldviews clashing with each other within the context of the language of baseball.
Is "Hey, the A's are young and due to improve, so let's be optimistic" all that different from "I have faith in the unknown and my relationship to it, therefore I take an optimistic stance"? Is "The A's are full of huge injury risks and don't have the money to compete and the players don't project well" all that different from "I have no faith in the unknown, and the known is pretty gloomy, therefore I take a pessimistic stance?"
Maybe some folks are arguing from pure emotionless logic and analysis, but the level of enmity and general snippiness betrays that emotions are running hot. Sure, some of it is crankiness because we're all ready for baseball but baseball's not ready for us. That's inevitable. Another factor is that a lot of posters learned in school that if they're going to bother to argue about anything, they'd better argue it as forcefully and confidently as possible, whether they have complete confidence in their argument or not. Other folks were taught in the home or church to seek consensus and not argue too confidently, in fear of standing out too much or alienating others. It's really tough to reconcile two forms of communication that are inherently offensive to each other, due to too much or not enough hubris in an argument.
Anyway, time to get to the points, which are bulleted below:
1- If AN were an ice cream shop, it would close from November til March. There wouldn't be anybody around arguing about anything, because they would be somewhere else.
2- Statistical projections are still in their infancy, and will become more accurate as time goes on. However, there will always be room in baseball for the mysterious and the mystical, because there is still a lot that is unexplained and unexplainable about baseball, and about the mechanics of three and four dimensional existence in general. There is no way that statistical analysis will ever be able to do a damn thing with a sample size as small as one pitch. Yet, the magical mystical side of baseball tends to work in sample sizes that small or smaller... one thought/prayer... one breath... one pebble... one inch... one rotation of a pitch... one fraction of a second...
3- Meta drama is not a bad thing. Meta drama is entertaining for lurkers and arguers. Meta drama keeps traffic on the site in the offseason. People come here to kill time, and boy is metadrama an easy and efficient way to kill it.
4- AN has become more than a loosely-knit internet community. Many AN'ers know each other and hang out in their real lives, even in the offseason. The CT threads go every night, with a group of friends chattering on about godknowswhat (horrible lurkin's, I tells ya!). I think this is a good thing for a lot of people. Maybe it's not so good for others. However, it is super easy to avoid argument and drama if one wants to. It's also super easy to start it or find it.
5- I'd love to see a series of point/counterpoint posts, with ANemies going at pet topics. It can be the "Dan/Jane" series with lots of personal insults as well as arguments about whatever. Ideally, it would expand into a series of boxing matches in the parking lot of the Coliseum before Friday night home games, but I get the feeling that even the worst enemies on this site would likely tolerate each others' presence at a tailgate and might not even say anything rude. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Social mores are changing, and you can't fight your way through the world like my dad used to.
ONE LAST PIECE OF GIBBERISH- Being a weirdo, I would love to see a front page post where Pam5981 shares one of her favorite recipes, and danmerqury designs and builds a robotic cannon to shoot it out of. Ideally, they'd shoot it at some naked people in bikinis and photograph the splatter patterns, but models aren't cheap, unlike robotic cannon parts. So, what they need to do is aim the cannon at about a 60 degree angle and shoot it over the fence into the players' parking lot. People on the scene can make bets on who's car it lands on. I've got twenty dollars on Sweeney in advance, in case it ever happens.