IMO the thing that made Baseball Talk popular in the past and can make it that way again is quality discussion and content. It doesn't feel worth it sometimes right now with some repetitive and dominating discussion. I think there's an argument that heavier moderation is what it needs to generate new traffic - even though that might feel a little counterintuitive. Even some automated things like new thread approval or a post per day limit might help resolve some of the inanity.
This makes a lot of sense and not something that I'd not really thought about until just now.
But, there does seem to be more (and definitely better/more civilized discourse) when posters don't go into a discussion with a preconceived idea of which their opinion will never change. Really, it only takes a couple posters of that mindset to really dominate a topic because, frankly, it takes more words to argue/justify an incorrect position than a justly defended one.
ETA: Not all long posts are incorrect, that's not what I was trying to imply. Moreso, if someone says something flat out wrong, like 1+1=3 for instance, that's going to generate a lot of replies. And, if a poster really believes 1+1=3 he/she is going to spend a lot of time arguing that and replying to each post because of the amount of replies its going to generate and the variety of angles posters will find to attack the position. Then that derails into arguments over the derivatives posters use in their counterposts and so on and so forth. Strawmen get created and beat to death, snarky quips come fast and furious, etc. It's just a bad situation that turns off a lot of people I think is the point I'm trying to make.