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A Word From the Webmaster

DodgerDaniel on the Chopping Block

One of my goals when creating myGameBalls.com was to remove all barriers to entry, including the dreaded "Registration Form" you see on most websites. I took this goal to the extreme, however, and decided to not even require a valid email address in order to create an account.

On one hand, people really appreciate this. Not having to provide an email address means not taking the risk that the website will bomb your inbox with twice-daily messages (As a side note, I don't send out excessive mass emails, and lately have favored Twitter for putting out mass communications). But on the other hand, if a person doesn't provide an email address, and later on I need to contact that person, it's REALLY difficult to track the person down.

Such is the case with a myGameBalls member named "DodgerDaniel." I need to get in touch with him but haven't had any luck finding a way to contact him. And the need to contact him has gotten so great within the past two weeks that I decided to write this column in order to get a message to him.

The issue at hand is the legitimacy of DodgerDaniel's stats, and I really dislike having to hash these things out in a public forum rather than discretely via email. But like I said, I don't have any contact info and the issue has come to a head so I've been left with little choice.

So DodgerDaniel, if you're reading this (which I'm sure you are given you've been visiting the site and entering stats almost daily), the issue is pretty simple. You've snagged your way into the Top 5 on the season leaderboard, but a handful of members have found glaring inconsistencies with your stats. Here's a summary of the complaints:

  • Recording "Hit" BP balls for games at which BP didn't take place
  • Recording 7 game home runs, even though video footage doesn't seem to back it up
  • Recording an unusual amount of balls snagged outside the stadium at Dodger Stadium, which is extremely rare
  • Recording balls from both the outfield and main seating area at Dodger Stadium (which requires 2 tickets)
  • In addition, none of the regular L.A. ballhawks seem to know who you are

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, so if there's a simple explanation for these inconsistencies I'm definitely willing to listen to your side of the story. Sometimes people get confused or don't really understand how to enter balls into the site, so if that's the case I can work with you to improve the accuracy of your stats.

In the five year history of myGameBalls.com, there's only been one member who I've even considered removing from the site, the infamous "Mack Spackle" who was kicked off the site in 2009. I hope things don't come to that point with you, but at this point I need to proceed with the following protocol:

First, I need you to provide a detailed defense of your stats. Photos, eyewitness testimonies, anything you can think of that will prove that your stats are legit. You can post this defense in the comments section here, email it to me at admin@myGameBalls.com, or tweet me at @myGameBalls. If I don't receive this by August 15, I'll have no choice but to remove your account.

If you offer up a solid defense, I'll contact all of the people who have complained about your stats. If they are persuaded by your defense, no action will be taken against you and this column will be removed from the site. If they aren't persuaded, your myGameBalls.com status will be taken to a Member-wide vote (Members: I hope we don't get to this point, but if we do, details will follow regarding the percentage of votes it will take to have him removed).

That's about it. If anyone has anything to add, please post it in the comments section.

On another note, BallhawkFest 2013 is happening this coming Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. We've got a great group of ballhawks signed up, but it's still not too late if you'd like to come. Just drop me an email at admin@myGameBalls.com

UPDATE (7/30/13): It appears the comment system isn't functioning at the moment. This is a 3rd party software program so it's out of my control for the moment. Just email me with any comments/concerns regarding this column.

UPDATE 2 (7/31/13): I haven't been contacted by DodgerDaniel, but he deleted his account. I guess that's the end of that.

Alan Schuster is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com.

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