Brainstorm Session: Site Improvements

UPDATE 2: Bah, issues...will have to wait a couple of days on the archives.

UPDATE: I'm going to try and start importing our archives from the and MVN days tonight. It may crash everything.

I'm not gonna be able to muster anything coherent about the Cubs this week. The organizational meetings start October 19th and I'm sure we'll start hearing some rumors around then about what the Cubs offseason plan might be. I think we can all pretty much guess it now anyway, left-handed bats, Dempster or another starting pitcher and filling out the bullpen.

That all being said, I'll probably be spending a good portion of the offseason working on improving the site and while I'm never at a loss for ideas, I would love to hear what things you guys would like to see. Just throw as much spaghetti as you can at the walls and we'll see what sticks. There's no such thing as a bad idea...except the really stupid ones. Now this sort of thing has a tendency to just lead to a bitchfest about everything that we don't currently offer or what sucks, but try to keep it positive and offer ideas on additions and improvements if you can.

And to help your brain get going, some topics to think about:

  • Content - what more would you like to see of? What less would you like to see of? Ideas for regular features? Anything you'd like to come back that seems to have disappeared.
  • Site Layout - Fuck that logo is big, make it smaller! Needs more advertising, etc.
  • Site Functionality - Pop-up comments, Searches, etc...
  • Community - Rate comments, posts, more chat oppurtunities, ban one commenter per week?
  • Merchandising - Is there an 8x10 photo of Arizona Phil you want for your desk? Let us know..

And whatever else you'd like out of your Cubs site of choice....



"And whatever else you'd like out of your Cubs site of choice...."

Why do you care what we propose to BCB?


I've said it before and i'll say it again:


Like SB Nation has.

Avatars or piture logos (same thing?)
Comment boxes moving to the right on replies-no likey.

Less Chad, more Trans. :-)

Everything else is great.

Comment boxes moving to the right? You mean threaded comments?

If so, you can turn that off.

how else would you know if it's a reply?

but as dave mentioned, you can view comments in a flat view if you wish, there's drop-down menus at the top of the comments.

Okay, I'm sorry asked.

If you ask for opinions don't bite people's heads off when they offer.


He was looking for upgrades, not requests for moving the site back a decade. How about you just surf the web with Lynx and you'll get exactly what you want from every site.

I keed.

On serious note, can anyone find Scully's call of Dodgers winning game 3.

I heard it on WSCR today and all he does is rips Cubs after final out.


I agree on Scully. That was really weird. I'm paraphrasing, but he says, "The Cubs are dead," right after strike three to Soriano and then he says that "everybody in the state of Illinois" thought the Cubs were going to go all the way.

I'm sure some South Siders and some Cardinals fans around Belleville or so might disagree.

I'm assuming that over the winter we'll get a little more AZ Phil, which is always good. Reports on things most of us can't watch are always nice, which is a big part of why I like AZ Phil's Reports and Mike Wellman's occasional AAA contributions. Good stuff.

The only thing I miss from MVN is the pop-up comments.

more animated flaming skull gif's.

Boobs watermarked in the background.

A different layout - more like a multi-section news site, less like a blog.

Different sections for all the regularly updated content - game threads and recaps, analysis, AZ Phil, Weliman, etc.

AZ Phil threads at the least deserve to be separated from the rest of the content - a different column or something. It throws off the pace at which the rest of the site moves, and the information is of a more timeless nature - better for reference.

Edit: I also thought merchandising was a good idea. I need my TCR boxers - or at the least a TCR knife scabbard.

I'd love it if TCR could become a one-stop shop for all things Cubs.

- Game recaps/box scores (maybe not as in-depth as Trans' writeups, but enough so I don't have to go to ESPN or to find out what happened in the game).

- Various Sections (e.g. Cubs news, reports from the farm, opinion pieces, trade rumors, stats, links to relevant articles on other blogs/sites, etc)

- How about Hot Cubs Fan of the Week. Once a week, someone scours Facebook to find the hottest chick in Cubs gear (shouldn't be hard), and posts her on here. Hey, chicks drive clicks.

Basically I don't want to have to visit any other site to read about the Cubs. Maybe this is too time-consuming, or just too much scope for a site focused on one team, but that's what brainstorming is for.

"Basically I don't want to have to visit any other site to read about the Cubs."

I read the site, scroll down to the bottom and read what I missed. If I hit reload, it doesn't show me new comments it just leaves me at the bottom. So I have to scroll to the top, click the TCR button, then click 'new comments' each time I want to refresh. It makes my life very difficult. I'd like a 'new comments' button at the bottom of the page...just above the "post a new comment' place.

Plus, I'd like breasts watermarked in the background.

Bobos number 2. But it was a close race.

More appropriate:

the girl linked to 'bobos'!

holy mother of God!

Or at the very least the button at the bottom of the comments links to the (refreshed) home page of TCR where we can see if there are new comments or not.

That's good too. How about a two links at the bottom..."Main" and "New Comments"? That would be neato.

Definitely agree about a separate section for AZ Phil's posts, he is teh bomb.

Some general site rules would also be cool. Namely, I've seen at least one Cubs fan site I used to frequent lose it's hipness over politics, we don't want that here. Let's agree that it's all baseball/Cubs, all the time, and keep the other stuff to more appropriate blogs.

There has to be a better visual way of doing the comments, isn't there? It seems hard to follow various trains of thought in the longer threads, maybe that's because of a lack of quoting function in the comment box?

Just say no to avatars, that serves no useful purpose.

Perhaps a section on fantasy baseball tips, especially in the spring as roster selection time nears?

"Some general site rules would also be cool. Namely, I've seen at least one Cubs fan site I used to frequent lose it's hipness over politics, we don't want that here. Let's agree that it's all baseball/Cubs, all the time, and keep the other stuff to more appropriate blogs."

I like it without the hard and fast rules. It seems there is already an implied "don't be a dick" rule in place that Rob enforces when things (rarely) start to get out of hand. It allows a little bit of off-topic goofiness from time-to-time and still gets rid of people like the infamous Towel guy who constantly abused the loose standards of Web congeniality.


TCR seems to self-regulate pretty well and judging by parachat, there's definitely people represented from the extreme right and the extreme left that frequent this board.

are you viewing the comments FLAT? If you switch to the THREADED option, you don't need to quote since your reply would be stuck to the original comment.

Unless of course, you're AZPHIL and you still prefer to quote the original comment instead of using the REPLY button. That works fine too.

I liked popup comments too, but it's not a huge thing.

If we could make the poster's name stand out a little more it would be helpful when skimming. Maybe set it off at the very top of the post by itself.

How about setting up a way to "rate" a poster or a post? So that especially enlightening or interesting posts could have 17 stars or thumbs ups or something? If that were in place I would probably skim a 150 post thread that I missed rather than skipping it altogether.

Also, how about more recaps of playoff victories? You guys haven't done one of those in years.

Any way that we could rate the comments in the threads?


That would be awesome. The content management platform does provide a module for comment rating. Rob, would it be really hard to implement this? The only downside is that some of the users would never be heard from again (Navigator).

personally, im not a fan of rating systems stuff.

it's turned boards like slashdot into amateur comedian night and newspaper comment boards into "mob thought rule" with how comments are ranked independent of fairness to the issue.

if we rated posters i would have a + billion rating

Just as a general comment, I think posts about your reaction to a game are far more interesting than the game previews that comprise a good portion of the content on this blog. The previews are good and everything, but I can get essentially the same thing from Yahoo sports. Obviously, the same cannot be said of your postgame thoughts. Those are unique and entertaining and pretty much the reason why I stop by this site.

We need an occasional funny photoshop post especially after bad games and terrible losing streaks. I promise to come out of retirement and contribute if you add this. We definitely lost a lot of original Cubs humor after Trans decided to dedicate more of his time to that academic bullshit.

I didn't realize boobs meant academic bullshit.

Why do you think school girls are so popular?

Poster profiles!

I bet if you secured some kind of corporate sponsorship, you could make lots of really cool site improvements. I hear Motorola is interested.

Rob, sorry if this was mentioned already but what about a mobile site? I have an iphone so it would be nice for the site to recognize I was on a mobile phone and load a "stripped down" version of the site. BTW I don't post much, but this site has been amazing and added to the awesome season (for the most part) we all had as Cubs fans! Keep up the good work!

SHIT I just found the link..... So yeah I'm a dumbass :)

there is a more mobile friendly version of our site as you discovered from either the upper navigation bar or on the right sidebar. Right now, it's just the main posts and plan to at least add comments down the road.

I wonder if Parachat can work on Java enabled smart phones. We can get live chatting with folks at the game then. Since both AT&T and T-Mobile have/are getting heavy into 3G in Chicagoland, this makes it seem plausible.

I'm not sure how people around you at the game will react to the sounds of Parachat. That might make for some odd reactions.

Cuban, Zell and the "ball of confusion"

in other words, market conditions delaying any sale of the Cubs

I love this site, it's great. Not alot of suggestions for improvement.

I do need a Cubs Farm System--Top 30 prospects update. After the playoffs, I need to think about the future.

Bill Murray on Snl Update last night, presidential debate go to 3:28 left on video

I happened to catch this since it was on right after The Office. At least I was able to chuckle instead of hurl the remote through the screen. I guess I've become immune to the Cubbery. The dude playing Brokow was awesome. The two doing the Obama/McCain impressions not so much.

I would suggest that the "Latest on TCR" sidebar on the top left be removed. Not that I don't like it, but its dead giveaway when surfing at work :)

I'm all for banning one commenter a week, as long as it's Chad every single week.

Also, I think what I really want is a TCR team photo for my desk that I can put next to my new picture of Katy Perry's bobos.

I stumbled over TCR following the 2003 catastrophe and have really enjoyed the steady improvements.

Than being said, I'd say resist the urge to "fix" TCR too much. Its pretty good as is.

As mentioned above a 'refresh comments' button at the bottom of the page would be nice.

I'd vote against post rating stuff, and please, no avitars. -(pretty good conception of RobG, Carlos, Chad already, though Johann's mom remains tantalizingly mysterious).

But oddly enough, he benched his own son in order to add 'veteran presence'. Jose Macias has been dominating the league.


10 year old-Who is that big kid playing center?

Dusty- He's a friend of my daughter.

10 year old- He sure strikes out alot for a big kid.

Dusty- Quit being racist.


haha Dodgers

go Phils!

am I the only one who wants the team that beat us to do well?
I always view it as showing the Cubs are better if they lose to a winner. If they go on to lose, then it makes the Cubs look even worse.

I'm sure there are others who feel that way.

For myself, I could care less how it reflects on the Cubs losing. If the Dodgers win the whole thing it's not going to make me feel any better about the Cubs losing in the NLDS.

Plus I still don't think the Dodgers are all that good and it insults me when crappy baseball teams go far in the playoffs. 

Honestly, I Couldn't care less who wins.
I suppose I'm rooting for Tampa just so some new blood takes down the old guard (Red Sox). I also like the idea of ratings being crappy for the WS.

If I had a gun to my head, here is the order of who I want to win it all:

1. Rays
2. Dodgers
3. Phils
4. Red Sox

The Cubs already look bad no matter how you slice it. Revenge is all we have left.

Me too. I think the worst part of last year was watching the team that scalped us, get scalped by Colorado. It was liked getting kneeded in the head after someone kicks you in the balls.

You mean like last year, when the Cubs got swept by a team who got swept by a team who got swept?

More idiot proof HTML, or remove it entirely and get something like the more sophisticated boards have (like parachat where you select the font you want), and a spell checker with Maddox and Clemmons in it so Chad doesn't have a stroke.

Some monkey was making fun of my html tags because firefox showed them differently than explorer, or something. You know you've got a good argument going when you're complaining about the use of italics.

edit: God my spelling...

Back on topic since my first post was completely off topic.

- Make headlines bigger so each topic is clearly seperated.
- Make hyperlinks a different color, there is too much black bold so it's hard to differentiate what is bold for effect, and what is bold for a hpyerlink.
- I love AZ Phil's posts, but it seems odd right before a playoff game to have the top story be about the AZ instructional team winning a game in Mesa. Maybe a seperate section for minor league topics?

Otherwise, I've gotten used to the other quirks so I think it's really good now.
I am strongly opposed to Avatars, emoticons, and other misc, junk that would be attached to everyone's post. It might be interesting the first time to see what a user uses for an avatar, but it gets old and cluttered very fast. I like simple.

"- I love AZ Phil's posts, but it seems odd right before a playoff game to have the top story be about the AZ instructional team winning a game in Mesa. Maybe a seperate section for minor league topics?

I thought the exact same thing. Well, actually, I thought 'who gives a shit?'. Ok, I know there are plenty who are included, sometimes...but it seemed pretty irrelevant at the time. Maybe separate, 'AZ Phil's Dissertations' section would make sense.

And, I think Phil's payroll summary that you've got on the right side is a great idea. It needn't be a post that is read and forgotten, but sometimes the posts are more useful reference-wise, that we'd be able to glean a few numbers from periodically. Payroll, depth charts, etc... Personally, I think an occasionally updated depth chart on the side of the screen (maybe with simple numbers added) would be pretty cool.

Recent comments

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  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).

  • I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.