Drinking in the last chance saloon…

The abuse that’s passing for debate on Slugger is particular to Slugger and, contrary to what one commenter has suggested, is not reflective of the general standard of debate in Northern Ireland. It is also dragging the good name of Slugger (which took me years to build) through the mud. It’s getting so bad that some of our posters are in line for a straight red. Others seems so intent on sabotaging debate that they’ll find themselves in the same category as spammers – they’ll be summarily banned.We have a large, but mostly inexperienced team of moderators which is working through a steep learning curve to cut out the abuse. If we can’t do manage to restore a bit of calm then the comments, so long an important addition to Slugger’s blog offering, will be cut.

I don’t want to be forced to do that. But it’s not entirely down to the moderators as to whether we can turn the culture back towards one of combative tolerance, rather the rancid personal abuse that’s rapidly becoming the norm.

If our moderators get it wrong sometimes, please be tolerant. And then sit down and think about how you might have made your point in a way that would not have been cut.

None of us want cut one word from your posts. But the climate here has become so poisoned that we’re forced to become very hard line on the man/ball rule. Even down to cutting the kind of banter that often jogs a serious debate along, is likely to be subject to them moderators knife.

I hope it doesn’t spoil your enjoyment of Slugger. And sincerely I hope we can restore normal (IE largely hands off) service as soon as possible.