"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

See Ball

The Yankees are running out their starters (save the rehabbing Hideki Matsui) for their first home game of the spring today at 1:15 against the Rays. This will also be the first televised Yankee game of the spring. Unfortunately, my laptop died last week and the new one’s still on order, so my traditional liveblog will have to wait until later in the spring schedule.

In the meantime, you can listen to my appearance on Kenrick Thomas’s Real Sports Talk podcast from last night here (I’m the first guest).

Also, with the arrival of the games, we here at the Banter have finally put together some guidelines for commenting on this site. The post below, which will be permanently linked on the sidebar, includes instructions on using HTML codes in your posts, but is also a code of conduct (adapted from that of our longtime colleague Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts).  We ask that everyone, new and old, familiarize themselves with these guidelines so as to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve become accustomed to here at Bronx Banter.

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1 Eirias   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:00 pm

MLB.tv has decided it loves me. Streaming video for an in-network game! I'm afraid to change the window size for fear that something will go wrong.

So Phil Hughes will have to cope with being small on my screen, but big in my heart.

2 Eirias   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:02 pm

So, does the old [#] comment referral system not work? We should use HTTP linking instead?

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:08 pm

Correct, the old Toaster/Fairpole method doesn't work here in WordPress.

4 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:11 pm

[2], it just takes a little more work on our parts.

Why doesn't MLB.tv have a free preview during spring training? It would be a great way to let people who might be interested give it a try - and I'd get to see Hughes pitch! Oh well. Is Pete Abe live blogging?

5 Eirias   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:16 pm

[4] Work? Bah.

It appears that Pete is live blogging by phone.

6 Eirias   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:17 pm

Damn. If MLB.tv keeps showing me games, my productivity is doomed.

7 Start Spreading the News   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:18 pm

Can we add a rule that says no analogies to Stalin/Hitler? Let's try to fight Godwin's Law on this website!

Go Yankees!

8 Eirias   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:20 pm

[7] Didn't you just Godwin the thread?

9 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:26 pm

[7] thanks! Another day refreshing LoHud; its better than nothing.

10 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:26 pm

At least we don't have to worry about whether the RF will catch up to the ball, shy away from the wall or such...

11 Start Spreading the News   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:32 pm

[8] No. I didn't make any analogy to Stalin/Hitler. Nor did I compare anyone to said characters. Nor did I say anyone did. Talking about Godwin's Law doesn't mean I am using it.

12 Shaun P.   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:32 pm

[9] I'm not sure what I did in 9, but while it says [7], it references [5]. Or would, if i had coded it right.

OK, per Pete Abe, Hughes's fastball was 91/92 in the first inning. How long until the masses start asking for his head on a silver platter?

13 Just Fair   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:38 pm

I like how Tex stands in the box w/o screwing around. Meaning he did not step out of the box for several seconds after each pitch. Re: guidelines. Glad to see there's noting about swearing. As in Phil has hit two f#@$ing guys already and just walked someone else. Ah, baseball. : )
And I need to take a class in HTML. I can't figure it out on my own. Maybe by opening day.

14 tommyl   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:43 pm

[13] Eh, I'm learning C++ for the hell of it. So html can't be that bad :)

15 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:54 pm

[14] Yep, we've come a lonnnng way from good ol' BASIC...

20 PRINT ">;)"
30 END

16 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:56 pm

Jorge's feeling better, I see...

17 monkeypants   ~  Feb 26, 2009 1:57 pm

[0] I'll be interested to see how the no preaching about partisan politics or religion rule will be interpreted.

[11] I think that comparison to the Taliban needs to be included in Godwin's Law.

[8] OK, maybe I am dense, but how precise to we make a link to a specific comment, as opposed to a whole page?

18 RIYank   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:04 pm

Yeah, the 'no partisan politics' rule might be difficult. I mean, I do think we ought to refrain, and for just the reasons that Cliff and Alex and Diane et al. presumably have, but it could get fuzzy.

Also: the no all-caps rule is going to be difficult for some of our frequent commenters, and my personal opinion is that it isn't necessary.

Still, I think you folks have chosen the good rules from Weisman's collection, on the whole.

19 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:14 pm

Winston Abreu .... I wonder if he shies away from walls?

20 tommyl   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:17 pm

[15] What's sad is that's about how far I've gotten in C:

init(main) {
cout << ":(";
return 0;

21 RIYank   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:22 pm

I think you might be a victim of your browser. Some browsers (Safari, for one) for some reason won't pick up the full reference.
Click on the link that is your name in this comment. If you go to your own comment, then the problem isn't your browser. If you open this whole blog post, then the problem is (probably) your browser (because the url in the link is to comment-92805). Try Firefox.

22 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:29 pm

[18] I interpret that no-caps rule to be in regards to "yelling", as it is often interpreted as, at another commenter or in an "unnecessary roughness" kind of way. No-caps for exclamations, especially when you don't know how to use tags seems a little excessive, but I think with practice one will get the hang of it.

I would just as well refrain from religious and political talk that isn't relative to the game itself. If it's subjective; i.e. a player making a statement, sure we should be able to discuss it relative to that, but usually it devolves into a fistfight one way or another, so I'll just refrain as much as I can (save it for my blog).

I think most of these rules are intuitive, common sense kind of rules, but unfortunately there are people out there who have neither intuition nor common sense, so it has to be spelled out. I don't mind.

23 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:31 pm

Posada's swing seems to be back ....

24 RIYank   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:36 pm

If this is Jorgie 2009 edition, we're going to win 100 games.

Right, Chyll, I agree completely. About the pol/rel rule, as I said, I think past political discussions have degenerated fast and made things unpleasant, even here at Bronx Banter where everyone is cool with knockdown, drag-out fights over RISP or VORP. It's just that it might be hard to police the rule.
But in practice it's probably not going to be a problem; one our hosts have stated their requirements, I think the guests will just honor them.

25 tommyl   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:39 pm

[24] What about those political viewpoints of CHONE vs. PECOTA? ;)

26 RIYank   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:40 pm

[25] Hm, and just how far can a discussion of Nate Silver go here now???

On a serious note: how did we score the first run? I'm late.

27 standuptriple   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:45 pm

I can still trot out the "BFOG+" though, right? Or is that politics/religion? Can we get a ruling from Cairo?

28 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:46 pm

[25] Food-Fiiiiight!!!!

29 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:48 pm

[26] Jorge tanked one over right-center...

30 monkeypants   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:52 pm


Thanks. yeah, I use Safari. I tried Firefox and I think that I figured it out.

31 monkeypants   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:54 pm


BFOG (or more properly, for the devout, BF-G), along with scrappiness (scr-ppiness?) transcend politics and religion.

32 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:54 pm

I was hoping that if there was a close play at the plate, Cervelli karate-chops Johnson in the junk this time around...

33 RIYank   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:55 pm

[32] Maybe even if there's no play at the plate. Just when he comes to bat. Or, wade into the dugout.

34 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:57 pm

[33] Snake Fist or Eagle Claw?

35 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 2:58 pm

Hey, Gardner has speed! Eww, Gardner has no arm!

36 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 3:08 pm

Shelly hit the helly outta that one. Looks like he's up for a start soon...

37 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 3:13 pm

Am I the only one left?

38 Eirias   ~  Feb 26, 2009 3:16 pm

No. I'm just enjoying Melancon. RAB has infected me.

39 rbj   ~  Feb 26, 2009 3:17 pm


Nope, I'm here. What's happening?

Damn work is interfering with ST games

40 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 3:31 pm

Duncanstein's trying to stake a claim on the 40-man roster again; hit a towering 3-run homer to left. We might see him earlier in the game if he does it again.

41 Mattpat11   ~  Feb 26, 2009 3:57 pm

I just found out we're not allowed to comment under the influence or use negative sarcasm.

I've been cut off at the knees

42 Rich   ~  Feb 26, 2009 4:26 pm

The most encouraging thing about the game, imo, was Posada's display of SLG. If he can remain healthy and effective it would be huge.

43 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 4:47 pm

[41] I can't respond to that without violating at least five rules >;)

44 PJ   ~  Feb 26, 2009 5:05 pm

Many thanks go the powers that be here for defining what's appropriate and what's not and how to do those fancy Dan computery things! I hope I am not in violation of these guidelines and will try to conduct myself accordingly.

They looked good and even though Hughes only plunked some cloth, you have simply gotsta to love establishing inside in that fashion again! It really is vital for success...


45 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 26, 2009 5:31 pm

How about creative self-censoring? Good exercise! >;)

46 Evil Empire   ~  Feb 26, 2009 6:26 pm

Cliff and Alex, no offense but the whole anti-firstie rule doesn't seem like a great idea to me. I know it's your sandbox and I'm not complaining too vigorously. But I really didn't like having my firstie comment deleted yesterday with no explanation at the time. I just don't see a big benefit from deleting a comment when only 14 were ever posted.

In the archives there were lots of such comments before and it never seemed to be a problem and, really, it was kind of fun to see who got here first, as many of us liked the race. I suppose it flew at the toater but not here.

Anyway, I hope y'all don't delete this comment or me for expressing this sentiment, as I sensed that dissent wasn't a favored approach in the original post above. But it seems to me like if the general rules are banter with each other and get along we wouldn't need a whole lot of regulation otherwise. I'm just saying.

47 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 26, 2009 8:22 pm

[45] I'm just glad we can still fuckin curse..being from Brooklyn I type as I speak, ya know?? :)

HTML guidelines..got a headache reading that but will have to learn, want to join in the fun of making bold and italizczed comments and links!

48 edoubletrouble   ~  Feb 26, 2009 8:42 pm

I don't understand what the firstie rule is ...

and I don't like a no politics rule -- it just seems insane to somehow leave politics outside
of sports -- it only goes to prove Noam Chomsky's theory that sports in general are used to 'manufacture consent' of politics as usual ... if the President throws out the first pitch are we not supposed to mention it at The Banter?

On second thought you did say "partisan politics" - so I guess as long as we keep Republicans and Democrats out of it - we can banter about what actually is going on in our country.

Lastly, if politics was supposed to be kept out of the game then we can start by cutting out 'God Bless America', jets flying over head and salutes to the fallen 9/11 heroes.
If it was all, Take Me Out to the Ball Game - then I'd be cool, but ...

I'd love to know when patriotism came into the game. Anyone?

Independently yours,


49 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Feb 26, 2009 8:49 pm

[48] Hear Hear! It's very tiring have having Japanese fans ask me "Why do they sing God Bless America at every Yankee game? Aren't many of the players from Latin America, etc, won't this make them feel awkward"?

But that's the games, not the Banter..

50 Evil Empire   ~  Feb 26, 2009 9:07 pm

[48] The firstie rule is, I presume, being the first commenter on an article and writing, "hey I'm first..." or something akin, without having any real content....being first for the sake of being first I suppose, if I can give the devil his due. And I understand the rule, but I'm not real keen on having posts deleted.

I think this is what it boils down to for me. Yesterday I logged in from work on my blackberry. It's such a complete pain in the ass to post at the Banter with a blackberry, but I did so because I was excited to be the first post of the season....and then my post was deleted without explanation. I guess if I'd realized that was going to happen, I would have written something content-filled like, "I hope Tomko can earn a spot in the rotation this year"...But really, if I'd known it was going to be deleted, I wouldn't have bothered to log on in the first place. I think I'm a little old to be spanked.

And that's kind of the point I think; if I use all-caps to emphasize one word, or violate some other rule without paying too much attention to the rules (and I just counted 14 rules) (and I'm also violating the "being annoyed at the list" rule) then my time has been wasted and I'm less likely to post again. If that's the point, to weed out imperfect content, then I think the delete key is going to be worn out by the moderators.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver