Welcome to HBT 2.0

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No, we’re not changing the name again. It’s still HardballTalk. The only thing different is the look. About that:

People don’t like change. I get that. People especially don’t like change when it comes to the websites they frequent. I totally get that. Indeed, I’m fairly certain that every redesign in the history of the Internet has been met with “this sucks, you suck, I hate you and I want to die — no wait, I want you to die” or words to that effect.  We expect that. But we also expect that once you get over the shock, you’ll come to like what we’ve done.

The first thing you noticed, obviously, is that you need to click through to read each post.  Believe me, I understand that people don’t like this. Clicking is hard! OK, and it can be legitimately annoying. But we didn’t take this step lightly. We talked about it and thought hard about it, but ultimately a couple of considerations ruled:

1.  Browsability. A lot of people like my long navel-gazing or legal posts. Some of you hate them. Some of you read “And That Happened.” Some of you don’t. By compacting things like this and by adding the “Top Posts” thing at the top, it will be easier to find what you want to read and skip what you don’t want. No, people don’t like clicking-through to posts, but they also don’t like scrolling down five miles either, and ultimately we want people reading more of our stuff, not less.  Which leads us to the obvious:

2. Page views:  We are men of action. Lies do not become us. In light of that, I’m not going to lie to you: we make our bones on page clicks, and the redesign will give us more.

I realize your first reaction to that will be to scoff or grouse, but we’ve been writing this blog for fourteen months now, and many if not most of you have been reading stuff from me, Aaron and the rest of us at other places for years.  We’d like to think we’ve earned your trust in that time. Trust that we’re not going to barrage you with gimmicks, bait-and-switches, slide shows and other things simply to drive page views. When you click through on an article at HBT, we think you’re being rewarded with some pretty decent news and analysis, and we hope that makes it worth your while.  Raising page views is no trick, if all you want to do is raise page views. We don’t think such a strategy makes sense, and think that this one change in that direction is worth the moderate initial annoyance you’re experiencing this morning.

And let’s not make any mistake: this is not a non-profit enterprise. People paying for your clicks allowed us to get this operation off the ground. They allowed me to quit the shyster business and write this blog. They allowed NBC to send me to the Winter Meetings and Spring Training and keep me, Aaron, Matthew, D.J., Drew and Bob in groceries, shelter and MLB.tv subscriptions. Sometimes you do what you gotta do with this stuff.

But I am confident that, in a very short period of time, you’ll get over this as you realize that there are more posts available at your fingertips with the redesign, as well as easier navigation to the other NBC Sports blogs, which you should really be reading anyway.  There will be other new things integrated into the mix going forward, albeit less radical things.  The redesign gives us the flexibility to do that.

But at the end of the day, I realize this is probably a bit jarring.  Apologies.  We’ll deal with it the only way we know how:  pound out about eleventy-seven posts about baseball today and hope you like the results.

Yasiel Puig’s house robbed for the fourth time

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Yasiel Puig lives in Sherman Oaks, a Los Angeles neighborhood in the valley. It’s pretty nice for normies like you and me. His house cost nearly $2 million. But it’s not some gated community where super rich people live and, really, $1.8 million for a house in L.A. is not a ton when you’re a pro athlete or a celebrity of some kind. As we wrote back in 2015 when he bought the place, it’s kinda boring for a rich and famous person. It’s something of a McMansion that, like, a fairly successful dentist might own.

Whatever you think of the aesthetics of it, perhaps he should consider relocating to one of those gated communities, because the current place is not meeting his needs, security wise. From TMZ:

Yasiel Puig really needs to do something about his home security, ’cause he was burglarized yet again — the 4TH TIME he’s been hit … TMZ Sports has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us cops were called to Puig’s San Fernando Valley home Tuesday night around 8 PM after one of the Dodger’s assistants got a security alert on his phone, which showed 3 men leaving Puig’s property.

Yasiel has a security camera set up that captures motion, and it automatically sends the video to a cell phone programmed to receive it. When Yasiel’s associate saw the footage, he immediately called police … but the bad guys had already fled.

TMZ notes that Puig was robbed during spring training in 2017, during last year’s World Series and again just last month.

The entire world knows when Puig is home and when he isn’t, so if he’s going to keep living on a cul-de-sac like anyone else, might I suggest that he get a couple of dogs or a house sitter or a security guard or something? Just throwing it out there!