Update

You may have seen our big project launch yesterday, and then seen it was promptly canceled about an hour into it. I came to realize that even though I think our proposed work didn’t break any laws I was likely in for some massive headaches nevertheless. This is pretty devastating for me, as I spent a couple hundred hours and a lot of money prepping that project. At this point, I am going to resume my retirement. I don’t know what this means for the future of High Heat Stats, but without a funding source the site cannot continue as I am currently paying out of pocket.

Leave a Reply

38 Comments on "Update"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
John Z
Guest
Just want to throw my two cents into the ring. I would hate to think that we could not put our heads together and keep this great site up and running. I enjoy visiting this site on a daily basis. I hardly comment but enjoy reading all the articles. I can totally relate to your frustration, I have opened a business before only to close 3 years later, but this is a little different. Instead of thinking to hard maybe the answer is K.I.S. or keep it simple. If one simple baseball game can attract 100’s of die hard fans… Read more »
Insert Name Here
Guest
I fully agree. This is a great idea, and we have other great writers and their concepts as well. I’m sure the legal headaches with these seminars would not be nearly what the cards project seems to have, and would drag in tons of fans, not only to the seminar but to the site as well. I refuse to believe that this means the end of HHS; the site’s vision will live on in its writers as long as they are alive and working, and even if this site ends, I choose to believe that they will continue working in… Read more »
John Z
Guest

Here is another idea. Apart from the HHS facebook page have the articles written here linked to facebook, like the one on yahoo articles or youtube videos. Under your HHS support tab here, there is mention of this under “Mention our blog” this might be an easy way to link with tons of contacts all over FB. Personally I do not even have a twitter account, and many of my contacts on FB are MLB fans as am I. I will share the link that I found under “Facebook for Websites”, hope this helps spread the word.
https://developers.facebook.com/docs/guides/web/

Ed
Guest
Andy – Sorry that the card idea didn’t work out. Just a few thoughts off the top of my head: 1) We could move back to a free wordpress.com site. I realize we’d lose some functionality but that would be better than nothing. 2) Charge to access some or all articles. For example, Bill James online has a mixture of free and paid articles. Access to the paid stuff is pretty minimal ($3 a month). I think Baseball Prospectus also charges for access to some of their stuff. I don’t have a sense as to how much money you need… Read more »
Phil
Guest

James’s site was the first thing I thought of too. I happily pay $3 a month for that, and would happily pay $3 a month for this. I realize it’s tougher without James’s name recognition.

brp
Guest

This is a bummer to be sure, but I’ve donated before and will likely donate again, especially if it means keeping the site alive.

Bells
Guest
Man, this is crappy news. Those cards looked amazing, and obviously took alot of work, and it was pretty exciting to see since I know you’re a cards guy and it seemed like an elegant solution to financing the place with a project that was fun. I too believe that this place has built itself into a strong enough presence that there should be some other financing solution. Can I ask what kind of headaches you might have incurred with the card project? I don’t have twitter so maybe it was elaborated on there, but is there just not any… Read more »
Dan McCloskey
Editor

What about some type of annual fundraiser? Similar to Kickstarter, we could offer rewards from the High Heat Store and/or donator-requested blog posts in return for different levels of contributions. Not a super-creative idea I realize, but it seems you definitely have people here willing to pay a little to ensure the blog continues. Just need to find the best way to tap into that and reward those folks for their generosity.

Phil
Guest

One more idea: put a baseball hat on the site, and see if the Dodgers will throw ten million dollars your way.

latefortheparty
Guest
I’ve bought my HHS coffee mug. I was primed for my cards (and still am, if that can ever happen). I would be so happy to pay a subscription to keep this community going. I can understand why, when you’re the one doing almost all the work, a setback such as the latest can be so discouraging. As others have said in so many words in the comments above, there are a lot of ways to do this. My hopes for reading highheatstats far into the future are, well, high. Which leads to me this. Fellow lurkers: get off your… Read more »
Brandon
Guest

Ed, I think the problem with the cards, if i understand it correctly, is the use of player images. Attempting to gain profit from drawings or pictures, could have brought a lawsuit from which the cost of defending the site may have outweighed the profit margins.
I don’t know for sure but that’s how I understand the problem from afar.

Ed
Guest

From what I’ve been able to glean, seems like original artwork would be protected:

“selling a t-shirt with a caricature of the president does not violate that individual’s publicity rights because caricature includes a significant degree of original expression, along with the public figure’s likeness, and this original expression is protected by the First Amendment.”

http://www.onlineartrights.org/issues/depictions-real-people/basics

It’s a complicated area though because there’s no federal law. So every state has different laws.

Kenny
Guest

I suspect that the issue is not whether the artwork is or is not protected. I think Andy’s concern is that he would have to defend a legal action…even if that action lacked merit. That would destroy any opportunity to finance the site. That’s what I get from Andy’s replies 7 & 10 above.

no statistician but
Guest
Andy: It’s hard to articulate what I want to convey. 1) In spite of my oftentimes critical stance on some of the posts at this site, I find HHS to be the most generally stimulating, penetrating, articulate, and civil place I’ve ever discovered on line, regardless of subject matter. It’s the only site I have ever felt compelled to respond to by contributing (although some might question my use of that term with reference to my various screeds). 2) The idea that HHS is in danger of folding on economic grounds is or should be a call to arms or… Read more »
Bells
Guest
My thoughts exactly nsb. I’d seriously be happy to pay a couple of measly bucks a month if I felt it would keep this stimulating, intelligent, fun and respectful corner of the internet going. I realize that not having something be free immediately changes the game for so many casual fans, but this place could do something like the play index on B-R – the site could offer a lot of stuff for free, but some exclusive things for ‘premium’ accounts. I don’t even think it has to be much, there just needs to be some kind of token way… Read more »
bstar
Guest

I agree with both of the previous comments and am more than willing to contribute to this site.

Dan’s idea of an annual fundraiser seems like a good, simple way to best help this situation.

Richard Chester
Guest

I would like to echo the thoughts of posts 20, 21 and 22.

Chuck
Guest

Frequent reader/infrequent commenter.

This is an unfortunate circumstance, although quite understandable. I was looking for the right words then came across comment #20 and realized I couldn’t say it better than he did.

I go back to the days even before the old Baseball Reference blog, when Neil and I wrote for the long defunct ArmchairGM. While I’m not a “stathead” in the same sense this community is, I’m a long-time SABR member who sees a market out there somewhere.

So, I’ll help out any way I can.

Jeff H
Guest

I really hate to hear that news. I’ve been a frequent visitor to this site and have commented several dozen times or so. I can’t think of a single better place to read/comment about the love of Baseball more than HHS. I’m truly saddened and hope it works out for the better.

Ed
Guest

Another thought….how about holding a “pledge drive” on a regular basis? Say once every three or six months. I’ve seen other sites with free content use this method. You already have the donate button on the website. You could simply post how much money is needed to keep the site running for the next 3 or 6 months and challenge the readers to meet that goal. This would address the concerns re: a subscription site that you mentioned in #3.

Mike L
Guest
I’ve been away and otherwise distracted the last 36 hours and just saw this. Very bad news. Andy, you indicated that you had concerns about a subscription/paywall. As an alternative, is it possible to do e-books, even all text, compiling one to two month’s posts with the better comments (obviously, mine excluded) for something like the cost of an itunes album ($10). Presumably, the content is all yours to use, and the headache of administering subscriptions doesn’t come in to play. I doubt anyone is going to care about good production values, and they might enjoy a good compilation 3-4… Read more »
Bells
Guest
Andy, I see from your post 32 that you seem to have some ideas to have this site continue to exist, and that is a good step up from the bleakness of your initial post. For what it’s worth, I had a few ideas since the last time I posted. Mike L’s ‘highlights package’ is a cool idea that I didn’t have, but I’m gonna throw out a few ideas in case they were in line with what you already had, or if you ever need ideas in the future… – an annual or semi-annual pledge drive has been mentioned,… Read more »
Jason Z
Guest

Andy:

I too will donate or pay a monthly fee. As others have
said, this site is your product. I can’t imagine anyone
complaining if the sight were down for a short period of
time. Anyone who thinks they might, should not subscribe.

I continue to enjoy The Hall of Nearly Great. One can
read it over and over.

The essay’s on Buddy Bell and Brian Downing are my favorites.

Mike Felber
Guest
Ah, you can ask for a few dollars before you implement a formal system! Folks like me will help out, & are grateful for the greatly discerning, incisive, cordial & creative commentary & debate! However it is done, the quality of content & degree of interest easily makes continuing this web site a no-brainer. And this seems fairly low hanging fruit. Intellectually, socially, emotionally…It is quite valuable. And not so hard to just keep going, that is low hanging fruit! If these web sites can be going strong, the 1st for almost a dozen years, we can go approximately until…(checks… Read more »
Jason Z
Guest

The End of Time…

Crazy Mayans.

BryanM
Guest
Andy , Add my name to the list of those who find the site essential to living. I agree with nsb that the product is already there, and it consists of access to the ideas of others in a forum so civilized that individuals like me can put forth thoughts and ideas that are only half-formed without fear of ridicule. I am just coming back from nine days without access to the internet – I discovered I miss emails a little, Facebook not at all, and HHS quite a bit. if you want to sell me a virtual mug –… Read more »
Mike
Guest

As a professional sports statistician, I am constantly in awe of what you folks (writers and commenters) come up with. What I do (TV production) is tee ball compared to the brilliance always on display here.

If I have to pay $2 a month to read HHS, then that’s $2 I can easily live without. I haven’t collected cards in a very long time (don’t tell that to the dozen or so boxes and half-dozen binders in my closet), but if the project ever came to fruition, I would support that, too.

e pluribus munu
Guest

I’ve been away from the site for a couple of weeks, just found time for a quick look at what I’ve been missing, and found Andy’s news.

Like nsb@20, cards are not my thing (unless you’re returning the complete sets my mother gave away 45 years ago) and mugs already crash out of over-full cabinets in my home. But when I have time to return as a regular here, I very much want here to be here – it’s always a good place to be. So, Andy, if you’re counting potential subscribers, please add one more.

wpDiscuz