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 Frequently Asked Questions 

 

What is the schedule for the delivery of the column?

 

What Email format does the column follow?

 

What forms of payment are accepted?

 

As a subscriber, what copyright restrictions are there in my reproducing the text version?

 

Is my subscription transferable to another email address?

 

If I leave feedback on a column, or a comment on a general baseball topic, will you actually read it?

 

Why don’t you write more stuff suitable to Fantasy Baseball? That’s where the big audience is.

 

Would you ever work in baseball again?

 

 

What is the schedule for the delivery of the column?

Schedule? What schedule? Seriously, what would be the purpose of a schedule for a column like this? There is no need to stay in step with a larger periodical. Part of the charm of The Diamond Appraised column is its unforced nature which, I believe, raises the quality of expression. I understand that some new readers will want a sense of what he is getting, and so I offer this as the absolute minimum, one-hundred and twenty pages a year, and it will really be much more than that. But 120 pages is more than your average weekly newspaper columnist, and text-wise, that’s the estimated output of A Page from Baseball’s Past, which has the same subscription rate. But what should really matter is that my goal has nothing to do with pages but with giving the average reader more than their money’s worth.

 

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What Email format does the column follow?

There are severe limitations in formatting choices that will work across the wide array of email programs, and the only fool-proof method is to avoid sending it “inline” and to instead send it as an email attachment in PDF format, which is a common fixed format that is read easily across the various operating systems.

 

Most computer users already have a PDF reader installed on their system, and if not, there are many free PDF readers available online. A PDF document not only avoids the formatting mistranslations between email programs when writing “inline” emails, it makes it makes it easier to format in a picture or a chart that will enhance the story. The PDF format also makes it a breeze for the subscriber to save a column to read off-line or to print out a hard copy.

 

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. Adobe’s free PDF readers are the most popular and can be downloaded at the following site for all the main operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux).

 

Description: Description: get_adobe_reader Click this button to go to Adobe’s download page for all versions of their free PDF readers.

 

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What forms of payment are accepted?

Thanks to the economy of electronic mail (email) the cost of a one-year subscription is just $21 for one year.

 

Credit Card payments are accepted online through PayPal. You can of course also send payment from funds in a PayPal account or any linked bank account. There is also a mail-in form for payment by check or money order.

 

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As a subscriber, what copyright restrictions are there in reproducing the column?

The attached document you receive by email has copyright protection, but like you I’ve never gotten around to reading U.S. Copyright Law {Title 17 U.S.C. Section 101 et seq., Title 18 U.S.C. Section 2319}.

 

My business philosophy is: I’m more interested in making things easier for the honest than to make things difficult for the dishonest.

 

I have chosen to go with a very trusting form of distribution that provides the greatest convenience to subscribers. I’m not going to ask you to learn yet another username and password and read it online, which also makes it difficult to save or print out a column. I want to make it as positive an experience as I can for the subscribers. That includes the column simply appearing in their email box - hopefully eliciting a smile of anticipation - and all they have to do is click on the attachment to have the column unfold before them in their PDF reader.

 

I know copyright law has some problems with unauthorized reproduction through the forwarding of email. I will tell you as the author what my hope is, that subscribers will limit the forwarding of their subscribed copy to the following:

 

1)    For their own personal convenience, that is, that they are the intended recipient

2)    To share a column that is of singular interest to the recipient

3)    To serve as a sample that will inspire the recipient to subscribe

 

I’m not naive. I know there are going to be situations where readers are tempted into playing a little loose with their subscription. For example, someone will have a neighbor that they know would love these stories and like to subscribe but they are not computer literate, and, so, the subscriber will decide to print out copies from their subscription and give them to that fan. That’s why the subscription page has a “bonus” option where a subscriber can slip us a bonus of $10 or $20 as their conscience might dictate. And if you think the stories are great, the service impeccable, and you want to send us a tip, more power to you.

 

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Is my subscription transferable to another email address?

Yes, just let us know by email and we will make the switch for you.

 

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If I leave feedback on a column, or a comment on a general baseball topic, will you actually read it?

That you can absolutely count on. I particularly enjoy hearing what readers are wondering about. If I have something to say on that topic, those emails are often the impetus for it going into a column.

 

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Why don’t you write more stuff suitable to Fantasy Baseball? That’s where the big audience is.

Let’s set aside for the moment that that kind of content is already being done to death all over the web. I do appreciate the enthusiasm of the Fantasy Baseball crowd and the fact that they are having fun. But the format of the most popular fantasy games deals with the game of baseball in such an unrealistic way that it teaches things about the game that aren’t true. To write well about Fantasy Baseball, I would have to invest time in learning to think in the false parameters of the fantasy game, and I don’t have that kind of time or interest. I am not trying to exclude the Fantasy Baseball enthusiasts from my audience, and there are times they will learn things that would help them in their Fantasy Baseball League. But it is true I am not targeting them, and they generally will come to this column out of being baseball fans rather than fantasy leaguers.

 

That being said, I want to acknowledge a debt I owe to “Fantasy Baseball.” When I was young I learned a lot about the game by playing APBA Baseball. But it was precisely because of the realism of that game that it was helpful to me. I actually do have a vision of a baseball game that would blend wonderful realism with what I see as the appeal of the popular Fantasy Baseball Leagues. The “team owners” would actually be learning real truths about the game through their participation rather than misguided values that move them away from understanding the game. It is probably about #89 on the list of things I’d like to do, and I expect I’d have to live well past 100 to ever get down that far, but at least it lets you know I am not one of those guys who sneer at Fantasy Baseballers. The game is meant to be enjoyed, and I say more power to you in whatever form suits you best.

 

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Would you ever work in baseball again?

Never say never, but it would be very unlikely. I’m living in the only place I’ve ever wanted to live. I could not see accepting any job where I could not live in Montana and do most of my work from here. I have very firmly and consistently told inquiring teams that. I do have a distinct vision of where things should go from here in the application of the science of baseball within major league baseball. If a team wanted to explore that vision and decided they wanted my help in bringing it to life – that would certainly catch my attention. But understand that I’ve had the opportunity to share that vision with a handful of teams, including some that are very progressive in their thinking, and it was still too radical or too expensive or some other “too” for them to consider. Progress is relentless, and I do not doubt the day is coming where that vision will become acceptable to some team ready to break from the pack, but that is not the same as saying it would happen fast enough for me to be a part of it. All in all, “very unlikely” is the right answer.

 

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 The Diamond Appraised baseball column is dedicated to Eddie Robinson