I love writing about the Mets. However, writing is frequently a solo occupation and it can be a very lonely thing. Fortunately, writing on the Internet is somewhat interactive and we have the comments section where readers can chime in and tell you how brilliant you are.

Of course, they can also chime in and tell you the exact opposite. And let’s face it, fewer things in life seem to make people happier than when they can write (and hopefully prove) that someone on the Internet is wrong. Here’s a very tiny sample of some actual comments left on my articles:

Total trash piece full of hyperbole
It’s just plain whining and not really understanding
This may be one of the least knowledgable articles I have read regarding this particular player.

You gotta have thick skin in this game to survive. That’s okay – most of us know that going in and the rest figure it out soon enough. We’re very fortunate in that most of the comments that people leave here at Mets360 are intelligent and positive. Even the ones that aren’t positive are usually intelligent. I’m very grateful for that and I’d like nothing more than for that to continue in the future.

To me, it would be terrible is if everyone who commented agreed with everything that was written here. A lot of the articles here are opinions and the reader should never always agree with my opinions or Dan’s opinions or Charlie’s opinions. Shoot, we don’t always agree with each other! Mike and I have clashed numerous times on various players, perhaps most famously on Manny Acosta.

But that’s a good thing.

If a Mets fan who has written as much about the team as Mike, or any other writer here, has – if that person comes up with an opinion that’s completely opposite of mine, that’s good. I don’t have to agree with that position, but I take the time to consider the opinion, weigh the evidence and come to my own conclusions.

Some opinions lend themselves to facts very easily. My opinion that Jeff Francoeur was overrated was supported in the numerous articles I wrote on him with plenty of facts. Other opinions can not be supported as easily.

For example, my opinion is that the pieces on the Mets don’t fit and they should explore trading some of their excess infielders. My opinion is that young, cost-controlled players like Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada have significant trade value. In two columns where I’ve written this, the majority of people writing in have disagreed with me.

I have no problem with that. I wish I could support my case better with instances in the last 10 years where a cost-controlled player put up an OPS+ of 136 and was dealt so we could look at the comps for Duda. But we don’t have many cases of that. I wish I could produce a list of 50 middle infielders who put up an OPS+ of 96 at age 21, like Tejada, and were dealt. But I can’t do that because there’s only been a handful of players who’ve actually done that, and they generally don’t get traded.

So, I share my opinion and readers are free to agree or disagree. If you agree – that’s great, please let us know! If you disagree, that’s great, too. And please let us know why. But no matter if you agree or disagree, let’s always try to be civil and keep the argument limited to the article in question. The fact that I’m old, fat and wear cheap clothes is irrelevant to my beliefs on the trade value of Duda. The fact that I think Acosta is better than Bobby Parnell has no bearing on what I think of the trade value of Tejada.

If you want to criticize the high regard I have for Duda as both a hitter and a trade chit, you can point out how he’s never played a full season in the majors, how he doesn’t have a defensive position and that no one considers him an elite hitter. All of those are valid points to make and do a good job of supporting your argument.

Differences of opinion are very healthy and something we welcome here at Mets360. But before commenting, please make sure you understand the argument the writer is making. If you know that you do, then write a comment directly about something the author has written and, if possible, support your side with the facts. If not, a simple “I don’t agree” is perfectly acceptable.

Keep your arguments to the topic at hand – not something I wrote three months or two years ago. If you disagree with me and are civil and bring something to the table – that’s outstanding! That can lead to interaction where hopefully we both can learn something.

I want you to know that I read and consider every comment left on stories here at 360. Some of them I respond to and some I just let speak for themselves.

This is all just a plea on my part to disagree without being disagreeable. As I mentioned earlier, that’s how the overwhelming majority of interactions have been on this site. In fact there’s only been one time where I banned a commenter and removed his posts for his inability to be civil.

So, please continue to let us know what you think of our stories. And please continue to do so in a civil and constructive manner. Finally, let’s hope 2012 is better than 2011 for our Mets.

2 comments on “Writing about the Mets and reader comments

  • Mike Koehler

    As a professional writer (I’m a newspaper man), I can attest that there are always critics of any writing. That said, I think the Internet attracts infinitely more negative comments, trolls and other malcontents. I watched some other sites (cough cough mets.com cough cough) go down the tube because the number of negative/trolling posters easily outweighed the fans during the early 2000s.

    To any of our faithful, or first-time, readers, I cannot emphasize how important communication with us is. We need YOU to tell us what you like, what you don’t and what you’d like to see from us. After all, we’re not mind-readers… well I am, but I’m just too lazy 😉

  • Rosie

    This message is for Alderson. What is he waiting for? When is he going to get off his ass and get some good relievers??? The relievers are always blowing the lead the team has when they come in. The Mets have no chance now to go to playoffs and you can’t use injuries as the excuse!!!

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