Do not know whether I am the only one having difficulty with the two items in the title of this post; however, I want to share my personal impression/experience:
A) Where is the entry to the A's Mail Bag? A Mail Bag should be a spot that is always open, where one can "drop off" any stray comments or questions on a specified topic - in this case, the A's. As part of the insane contortions the Athletics Nation site has been experiencing lately, the touted Mail Bag is a riddle. I would very much like to find out, what payoffs or relations are involved in designing the AN site - it is taking already several months of continuous experimentation, as if there were no decades of experience in designing graphic advertising, newspaper front pages, and TV post-boards for midnight adsvertising shows - all intensely studied in the various Journalism schools of the country. Tyler Bleszinsky, if he is truly the headmaster of AN, always seems to me like a reasonable person - so what is the reasoning behind all these inane changes? Fashion? Hohum!
As far as I can tell, after roughly fourty years in active marketing/advertising and a couple of decades of college studies, the AN site is lately trying to confuse its participants. The strategy of such a site should be, probably, to attract as many commenters and writers as possible, to reflect a Team's popularity. To achieve that, writing participation ought to be as "user friendly" and explicit as humanly possible. However, I get the impression that this objective is being missed by a wide margin. At least, in my case, I have not found it easy at all to locate the entry points into various spots of interest - like Fan Posts or Mail Bag - over the last three months. Then, editing is tricky, to say the least - suspect that programming has been faulty - so, to illustrate that complaint, I watched the relatively frequent puzzled comments from other AN participants on this topic - so I am not the only one having problems with editing. And finally, just as I seem to recall writing after the first changes last Fall, the location and design of the various parts of the site create more confusion that anything else - as if the old left to right, circular attention pattern on a printed page were no longer true.
Today, I wanted to drop off a couple of short comments into the Mail Bag, not to make a big fuss about it - so where is the Mail Bag? I must be getting obtuse, since I could not find it. I am assuming that it is somewhere on the site, except that it is not obvious or "user friendly." Any entry point for comments of this type should be as intuitive and immediate as possible - well, it sure does not seem possible for AN! Or maybe I am truly getting addled at my retirement age? It seems that I am passing all the required tests . . . except the effectiveness test of the AN Mail Bag! The fact that we all cherish the AN "fraternity" and continue perusing its writing does not mean that it does not offer challenges that are quite irritating.
B) As another stray question - what is happening with the fraternal, though not directly related, Athletics Farm site? My Commodo Firewall continuously blocks it, saying that it fails its "Secure DNS" requirement. Sorry for posting this question on a Fan Post - but there is no Mail Bag to be intuitively found at this time . . .