What makes this board different from many other internet message boards is our insistence on civility, respect, and discussions backed up by sound reasoning. Here are some guidelines:
EVIDENCE AND REASONS
Arguments in posts should be supported. Give your reasons for believing what you do, and, whenever possible, support your reasons with evidence. Simply asserting your belief, or stating that you believe what you do and are entitled to your opinion leads to an endless exchange of "did not!"-"did too!" posts that do not carry the conversation forward. Evidence need not be statistical, but statistical evidence is usually highly regarded on this board, and is frequently used by many of our veteran posters.
Also, philliesphans.com is not Reddit. Arguments should be built from reliable bases, and should avoid "leaping" to conclusions that do not follow from the evidence presented. Remember that correlation does not imply causation. In particular, presenting speculative theories as if they were fact is discouraged; making this kind of "argument" repeatedly will be considered a form of trolling (see below).
CIVILITY AND RESPECT
When you make a post, and particularly when you disagree with a previous poster, you must engage the poster's ideas and not attack the poster himself. You must also endeavor to address the poster's ideas respectfully, and in a way that shows you respect him and his position. This always requires that you carefully read what you're disagreeing with, and that you restrain an occasional impulse to be belligerent, mocking, or confrontational. We all find some ideas to be irritating, but the conversation moves forward more profitably when we are respectful, even of ideas we find bizarre or annoying. Please make every possible effort to be gracious and not to offend other posters; we all root for the same team here -- be passionate but courteous. In this regard, we'd appreciate posters not making the titles of threads, especially obviously controversial threads, provocative or incendiary.
Posts that are intentionally antagonistic, that harangue or harass other posters, that are intended simply to provoke reaction, that are intended to be disruptive, that are inflammatory, or that are mischievously erroneous or obtuse are considered trolling and should be reported to moderators. Publicly accusing another poster of trolling is bad form -- PM a moderator. Posters who troll will be banned.
Some posters will inevitably cite inside sources. Our experience has been that most such claims are fictitious, but there is no way to know whether those sources are genuine or not — even posters who continually post information that doesn't pan out might have genuine sources, and their source might be mis-informed, or the Phils might have changed their minds, or the other team may have backed out. If you choose to respond to inside information posts, please be polite. It's OK to say, "I don't think the Phils would do that." It's not OK to say, "You're a lying piece of doo-doo and made all this up." Keep that opinion to yourself--it gets us nowhere when the thread degenerates into a blind (and inevitibly hostile and disputatious) exploration of a poster's credibility.
If you do actually have access to inside information, and wish to post things that depend on that information, it would be helpful if you provide evidence to support your claim (in confidence) to the administrators or moderators — this will allow us to recognize that the information is likely to be genuine.
MODERATORS AND ADMINISTRATORS
Decisions of the moderators and administrators are final and not subject to public questioning. If you have a question, PM one of us. Moderating and administrating this board is not fun, and we don't get paid. If you don't like the way the place is run, it's probably not the place for you. Public abuse of a moderator or administrator, or public criticism of the board's policies, membership, or rules will result in having your account deactivated without warning.
This forum tolerates no profanity of any kind, including the so-called "prime time" swear words. Replacing one or more of the letters of a swear word with symbols is also not permitted. There is a swear filter on the board, but it's there to prevent accidents, not to constantly clean up your language.
Please refrain from reposting copyrighted works in their entirety, including articles you read elsewhere online. You may post short quotes and a link, but do NOT post the entire article. Doing so is a violation of copyright law and is illegal. Material posted on the internet may not be reposted anywhere else unless the copyright holder has granted written permission to do so. US law permits violators to be fined up to $100,000 per violation.
As a rule, we do not permit posts which involve or promote commercial activities, or advertising of any kind. We may, on rare occasions, make an exception to this rule if an established member of our community has a special opportunity to make available to other members. Such exceptions, if any, will occur only after thorough discussion of the proposed posting with one of our administrators. Any commercial message which is posted without prior approval will be deleted, and the poster will be sanctioned.
One aspect of being respectful on a message board is not to create lots of threads so that other important topics scroll off the bottom of the screen. Please check if a thread has been posted recently on the subject before starting your own topic. Use common sense: If you're posting breaking news of importance to our community (trades, signings, etc.), it's best if you DO create a new thread, rather than burying that news where others may not see it. If you encounter duplicate or unnecessary threads, please politely post a link in the offending thread and report the post to the moderators. We'll merge or delete the thread.
BICKERING OR STALKING
Bickering with another poster is disrespectful -- learn when to let an argument go; two people sometimes need to realize they're going to continue to disagree and simply move along. Do not "stalk" another poster on the board by following him around from thread to thread and quibbling with everything he posts. Repeated instances of this behavior will also result in your account being deactivated. Do not stalk or harass other posters outside of this forum. Posters here must be free to state their views without threat of harassment or ridicule here or elsewhere.
Do not disclose personal information about members of this community on the board or elsewhere on the internet. If it is determined that you have violated another member's right to privacy you will no longer be welcome in the community. Some violations of privacy are subject to civil or criminal penalties, so, for your own good, please err on the side of caution.
RESPONSIBILITY TO AID IN FACT-FINDING
In some cases reports of misbehavior will need to be examined to determine whether a serious violation has occurred, and who committed the alleged violation. We expect members of the community to cooperate willingly in such an investigation so that a decision can be reached intelligently and with all pertinent facts.
FOLLOWING THE GUIDELINES
Know these guidelines; follow these guidelines and the other rules explained in the TOS. If you disagree with the structure of this community it's probably not for you. If you agree to abide by these guidelines (and especially if you understand the spirit behind them and the kind of community we're trying to build) you're welcome to join in.