Feedback / “When The Sparrow Sings”

So, the site has been live for a little bit now. We think it came off pretty well, but podody’s nerfect, and we know that there are things that will change. So we want to make sure we keep hearing from you. We are hearing from you in the intro post, but it will continue to move down the page, and I want to make sure you know we are listening.

We have definitely heard you on a couple of things that we have already changed. We’ve reduced the size of the comment boxes. We’ve added a “print” button on the bottom of every article. We made the article font darker. We’ll continue to tweak. Obviously some things are not going to change, but if something is really sticking in your craw — be it design, layout or content-related — let us know. Especially let us know if there is a topic that you’d really like to see us tackle. We want to write what you want to read.

Speaking of what we will be writing, or more specifically how frequently, I also want to highlight Studes’ comment here from our re-introduction post. I’ll post it here in case you don’t feel like clicking:

Regarding one article a day: think of THT and FanGraphs as one site. FanGraphs has many stories during the day, most are shorter “blog” types of posts that deal really, really well with current baseball events. THT is the more in-depth part of the two-sited site, featuring an article that goes into detail about baseball in a timeless manner. By dropping the “current” content from our old site, we saw that we averaged about one article a day. And focusing really well on one good article a day seems like the best way to do our thing successfully.

Obviously, we’re not going for eyeballs on the new THT site. We’re going for something that makes the Fangraphs/THT partnership a real asset and combined site for all baseball fans.

That is the goal of this re-launch, and looking back at the re-introduction post, perhaps something that we did not communicate clearly enough. We’re melding the two sites. One of the things we have always hated is that great research posts tend to get swallowed by the next day’s news cycle. By separating the focus of the two sites as best we can — obviously you can’t do that completely, but we are trying! — we hope to highlight those great posts here. Whether or not we accomplish that goal remains to be seen, of course. But that’s our goal.

Just as in the past though, we won’t only be highlighting statistical pieces, and today is a prime example of that. If you haven’t read it already, today we have the debut chapter of Jason Linden’s debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, gracing our pages. As we said into our re-introduction post, we’re very excited about this. The plan as it currently stands is to publish the novel in 11 installments — one per month. Then, the even more tentative plan is to put them all together and put it for sale in the THT Bookstore. Each chapter will also be accompanied by an illustration from artist Brooke Howell, whose other work you can see here.

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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.
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Eric Garcia

I like the new set-up quite a bit. With one article per day, I’m much more likely to visit on a daily basis, whereas before THT got lost in the shuffle.

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