You're going to see a lot of changes here at DRaysBay in the coming days. For starters, I am already well into my sidebar renovation, moving things around, adding things, and I have already gone through and weeded out some of the links while categorizing them existing ones, and even adding a few. I have added some flashy stuff to the sidebar, moved things around so there is not as much clutter in one place, and added the 'Last Game', 'Upcoming Games', '25 Man Roster', and 'Disabled List' features you see on the left sidebar. I am pretty much trying to keep each sidebar a tolerable length, while adding as much detail and color to it as possible.
I am not done however. Jake, myself, and David will continue to work on adding new features to the sidebar, and new stories. For example, you see the 'Team News Feed' box at the bottom of the left sidebar, that is a work in progress. That is supposed to be a SportsSpyder feed that captures all of the stories from the Rays in local and national media outlets in one convenient place, however only DRaysBay stories show up, and we already have a 'Recent Posts' tab for that. So we will work on that. I am also committed to eventually putting up two standings tables on that sidebar, one that shows the Rays as compared to their AL East compatriots, and another showing them relative to their minor league affiliates. That may take some time, however.
That is not the only change you will see here at DRaysBay, however. We have numerous other new things planned. For one, I am diligently trying to get up off of my lazy bottom and do some of the weekend features I had been wanting to do since the start of the season (Hot/Not, AL East Review, Minor League Report), so hopefully you will see those as soon as this weekend. Also, a lot of my regular features will get an overhaul. I am trying to streamline my Game Previews, condensing some of the stats, and if I can, put the pitcher stats into tables for easier readability. Most of the useful stuff should stay, though you'll know what changed when you see it. And don't worry, the Gameday tunes and Cowbell will remain right where they are.
The major changes will come to the News & Notes column. That will be trimmed significantly. The minor league stuff will be left alone, but the Game Recap and News Recap will be trimmed significantly. I am trying to make this blog a destination of its own, not a place that just repeats game details like a parrot repeats a pirate's commands. I will still link to everything I presently do, but there will be less Bill Chastain-like fluff around the stories. It will be pretty much exclusively links, though I will throw a comment around here and there about a team move/transaction, and the game. I'm trying, in essence, to add a little flavor to these. Some of you may not like my rambling opinions, but it gives you a reason to sound off and say what you disagree with if these stories are more opinion-based. It opens a forum for discussion. With the old format, all you really got was the game story or news story with the words changed. I figure if you want the details on something, you'll follow the link, cause I don't know any more than what the story gives me most of the time. Anyways, that's just my thoughts. If you disagree, and want the old format to stay, by all means sound off.
We also may be adding a new staff writer in the coming week, in which case he/she will take on some of these responsibilities, and become an added opinion. We are currently in the recruitment (read: kidnapping) phase of our negotiations to lure this person to the Bay, so I can't comment on it further, but we certainly think that the addition of this person to our staff will be a boon for content on this site.
Do you want to comment on any of the changes that have been made and/or are being planned? Have a suggestion for us? Well, you can do one of two things. You can simply click on the 'Site Feedback Thread' link on the right sidebar above the spinning Devil Rays logo, and sound off, or you can just drop a line in this thread. Remember, we don't make these changes for our own good, we do it for our readers. They are for you, and you should have a say in them. Sound off, by all means, and thank you for your continued support of the best baseball blog on the internet!