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Tony-OH

Future of Orioles Hangout

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Well, I just upgraded my membership, and in doing so, I realize that you can go to the local library and read for free, but it’s not really free, taxpayer dollars funded the library and bought the books. Anything worth involvement is worth money.  

I was sincerely grateful for all the work that Toney and Luke put in preparing this top 30 list, and it was a very extensive list too. Every single guy had 300 words written about him, but every one of those 300 words was possible only because of a lot of work watching, evaluating, analyzing discussing and so on. 

At some point that stops being a hobby and starts being a bit of a drudge.

What makes it less of a drudgery is making money doing it, and I have just signed up and given you my money, because you’re worth it, and more. Hmmmm I should probably become a paying member at FanGraphs too.

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And now I have a bigger avatar yay!

You can read the inscription, which is the famous quote from Cincinnatus: “if you would have peace, prepare for war.”

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1 hour ago, TommyPickles said:

Signed up for plus membership after reading this post.  Keep it going, OG!

 

Where else am I going to read about our wildcard run in 2021 and then our World Series run in 2022?

You’ve got the dates wrong. It’s ‘20 and ‘21

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Thanks for the open and direct communication as always.  I echo the sentiments here about this community having been a wonderful part of my life as an Oriole fan and I also understand and respect your thoughts about doing other things or going in different directions in your life.   We all have the right to explore our journeys on this planet in any way we feel is best for us and our families.  

But, either way, you can be very proud of the quality of communication, the level of camaraderie and the depth of knowledge that you have both contributed and facilitated here. It is a site without equal in any professional sport!!

I too would be very open to any changes financially in regards to supporting the site additionally or contributing in any other way you might believe helpful.   Thanks so much for your work and for your service!!  

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Understood Tony, 

Thanks for your dedication through the years!

I'll gladly sign up for a  "double-plus" membership if that'll help.

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We were never able to determine if I was current on plus membership fees, so I just signed up for a new membership just in case I am not.  I spend enough time on this site that it is well worth it.  In resigning up I realized I had a college email address that hasn't been valid in almost 15 years connected to my account.  Had to update that!  So that shows you how long I've been around.  I think I first started using this site in 1997 although it could have been 1998 or 1999.  Don't think I was around here during the mid-90's playoff seasons.  I was 10 months old when the team last appeared in and won the WS!  

I hope the Hangout sticks around forever and I appreciate all the hard work that goes into it.  I feel like there are enough dedicated people on this message board that we can keep it going even if someone else has to take over the reigns eventually. 

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3 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

2019 has seen a steep drop in our revenue for the site, particularly our ad revenue and membership requests. While I realize ad blockers can make some experiences better on the internet, we strive to not add intrusive advertising like pop up ads or videos that cover our content. 

Unfortunately we are seeing a rise in people using  this site that use pop up blockers which in turn means you are using this site for free. Unfortunately it's not free to bring you this site since we have to spend money on servers, licenses and trying to give folks like Michael, Luke and Shane some money for their time and effort.

So what does this mean? I've been producing this site since 1996 and that makes us the longest running site to cover a professional team. It's been a great run. At some point though you have to determine whether the juice is worth the squeeze. 

The internet has changed immeasurably since I started up this site and the amount of information available for free has made a lot of what we've provided over the year redundant. About the only thing we provide at the point is this message board, where you can talk about the Orioles and other things in an adult manner that's different from the wild wild west of social media, and the scouting reports that Luke and I provide. While many sites have popped up and some have gone away, I have to ask myself do I have the energy and desire to keep up?

I've personally covered the Orioles for the last 24 seasons (minus one year in Afghanistan where I had to do it from afar through boxscores) and I've enjoyed the vast amount of the experience, but as I'm coming up on my 50th birthday next year, it's time for me to seriously re-evaluate the future of the Hangout. While I still love scouting and evaluating prospects, along with talking about them on the radio, I have to seriously consider whether I have a 25th season in me.

This is not a fund drive effort nor have I made a final decision one way or the other, but I wanted to keep those of you that have been part of the Hangout for so long in the loop. It's hard to believe that I started this site when I was 26 years old and now have two children older than that. As John Coffey once said, "I'm tired boss!" 

I always thought I would be able to parlay my experiences into professional baseball when the time was right, but by the time was right, baseball has changed and old guys like me aren't valued or wanted. Sure, I've been an associate scout for a couple of AL teams and had an offer once to join a National League team, but now they have young guys with a lot more time and energy ready to step in and do these kinds of positions and they rather surround themselves with their buddies. No one cares about some retired military guy no matter how many hours I've spent doing what they do or how much I've kept up on analytics and new technologies. 

As we finish up our Top 30 prospects for 2019 and start looking at 2020, I want to make sure I'm able and have the desire to do this for another year. Maybe I'll take some time off or maybe I can find someone willing to take over the reigns and continue, but I also have to consider whether it makes sense to shut down completely and allow the Hangout to fade into history.

Whatever I decides over the next few months, I'll still be around and putting in my two cents. I'm sure Luke and weams will be here as well. Regardless of how this ends up, I do want to thank you all for all of the support over the years. 

Whether the Hangout in this form is done after this year or sticks around for many more, I'll always be eternally grateful for what this site brought to me because of all of you!

 

You have done a wonderful job, thank you.

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2 hours ago, weams said:

Seconded. It's important to me. 

Thirded. Thanks for the hard work @Tony-OH  Take some time off. We’re just going to be here bickering about potential rule 5 picks. 

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4 minutes ago, atomic said:

I am now a plus member again. 

I think the Orioles being so terrible has hurt the traffic on the site.   

I blame John Stephens for not making it. 

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