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It'd be nice if this is the last time I ever have to write something like this, so please read it.

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I take a lot of pride in this site and the work that many of us do here. I've been thrilled to watch it grow and develop. I firmly believe that this site and this community have created the best place on the internet for intelligent conversation on the Brewers. That's why, from time to time, I have to step in front of the train when I'm starting to get concerned about things getting derailed.

It's been a long season for all of us. The Brewers have failed to meet many, if not most, of our expectations and at times done have so in frustrating ways. I know that for many of us this site is an opportunity to vent our frustrations and express our disappointment, but the level and volume of hostility I've been seeing from a significant portion of the site population lately simply cannot continue.

As I mentioned above, I feel strongly that the best Brewer conversation around happens here. But lately I feel like it's been getting overshadowed by extended pissing matches, bickering and sniping -- for example, immediately engaging and belittling individual posters with well-worn arguments about why they're biased, or why their views don't hold water. I'm starting to hear from a fair number of people that fall into one of these two groups:

  • Readers who check the site daily but don't participate in the comments because they're intimidated or put off by the atmosphere created by all the hostility.
  • Former commenters who no longer participate in the community for the same reason.

Simply put, the environment being created by the near-constant bickering is driving people off. That cannot continue.

Furthermore, having to moderate/referee these squabbles is really starting to wear on me. It's been a long season for me too, and I'll be the first to admit I've gotten more than a little burnt out as it goes along. As such, I'm trying to do a little more to get outside, enjoy the summer, and whatnot. I'm doing my best to keep up with the site while I'm around, but the time I'm spending dealing with conversations like this one is time that could be spent producing more and better content.

I think what I'm asking for is relatively simple, and I don't think it's too much: Please treat the other commenters on this site with respect. No exceptions. If you can't do that, maybe you should find a less moderated place to hang out. I'm not banning disagreement or asking everyone to like each other. I'd just like to have a venue where we discuss the Brewers without it turning into a virtual rock fight.

Thanks for following me down this path for a moment. I'm hopeful that we can all take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the rest of the season. Today's game thread will be open in a few minutes. Have a good one.