I’m late to the game on this, but I want to congratulate The Star for changing its policy regarding online comments.
Several months ago, The Star adopted a policy requiring every commenter to have a Facebook account. That meant commenters would be identified by first and last names and, in most cases, a work affiliation would be listed.
I don’t think I’ve ever commented on a KC Star story online, so I didn’t pay much attention, but I was aware, of course, of the history of venomous and profane comments posted by hundreds or thousands of trolls out there. Maybe that’s why I never paid much attention to the comments and never bothered to comment myself.
So, with the change, I simply went on not paying attention…until today. I’m in Chicago, visiting our daughter Brooks, and I had to read the Kansas City news online instead of in print. I was keenly interested in the story about the Yankees signing former Kansas City outfielder and start hitter Carlos Beltran, whom the Royals had targeted for signing this year.
A little background…I didn’t like the idea of the Royals signing Beltran, mainly because he just doesn’t seem like a good fit for what seems to me to be a remarkably unselfish group of baseball players.
The Royals have, in my opinion, a very rate chemistry and camaraderie. I love watching them chat and exchange ideas in the dugout, congratulate each other when things go well and give each other an encouraging tap with the glove when things go bad. I don’t know a lot about Beltran’s personality, and maybe my instinct is wrong, but it just seemed to me like he could be an albatross.
Where the Royals are a bunch of blue-collar workers, Beltran strikes me as something of a privileged player with a big reputation…despite the fact that a few years ago he struck out looking for the Mets to end a decisive playoff game. Nothing more ignominious — and even cowardly, at least in the baseball contest — than being called out on the final pitch of a huge game.
Anyway, I not only read the story, which was posted yesterday, but I read all 26 posted comments.
The tone and caliber of the comments was not only impressive but, in fact, inspiring to me — real people with real names expressing thoughtful ideas.
Take this, for example, from a commenter named Gary Brennan, owner of The Brennan Group Real Estate LLC at Re/Max:
Glad to see CB not sign with KC. He’s been the ultimate selfish player since he first got to the big leagues. KC bought him his first house, he refused to take a rehab assignment in the minors after injury and the list goes on and on. While he has great production, he wouldn’t have fit in with the core group of players that make up this roster.
Yes, Brennan happened to echo my feelings, but, still, he made an insightful comment and backed it up with evidence.
Here’s another one: