User talk:Ohms law/Baseball

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MLB Farm System templateEdit

I wholeheartedly support this idea, but you're going to need a lot more rows. For instance, the 1950 Brooklyn Dodgers had 23 farm teams. I don't know if that's the most ever or not, but I'd say that's a good baseline.

Also, is there any reason you're removing the references to the sources from which this information is drawn? I'm not sure that's a good thing. -Dewelar (talk) 05:06, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

For now, my main concern is just to fix the linked section title and the reference in the section title (see WP:ACCESS for the technical reasons why). I hadn't actually planned on removing the reference, but I messed up my Regex before... I'm working out how to fix that right now.
If there are any other changes that you know of, that are needed across multiple pages, let me know.
V = I * R (talk) 05:12, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
One thing that I've been seeing a lot is that the header width (in columns) is imbalanced in a lot of the roster boxes. The main header is nearly always 10, but the secondary header is often 7 (or, in the case of some Dodger rosters, 74), which makes the two appear misaligned at the right edge of the box. If you could set them both to 10, that would be quite helpful. -Dewelar (talk) 15:09, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Dewelar, I saw that you moved at least one "Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball" citation to be inline instead of listed in the References section... I debated exactly this with myself last night, and finally decided to go with the non-inline inclusion. The inline version just looks... weird. If there's a compelling reason to change them to be inline, I'm certainly willing to hear it. I think that uniformity should rule this decision though, so whatever method we choose ought to be applied across of the the "YYYY [Team] seasons" articles.
V = I * R (talk) 22:56, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not entirely certain which is better. I just put them inline because that's where they were originally, but I suppose they don't have to be there. I do agree, however, that uniformity is paramount, so for now I will leave any further such references in the References section until/unless discussion leads to a different conclusion.
You might also notice a bunch of edit summaries about "Damage control". What I'm doing there is removing the reference from teams to which you added the citation, but for which there is no minor league information added yet, or the team is from the pre-farm system era. If you would like to fix those yourself, let me know and I will stop, but they do need to be removed.
One other minor issue: I noticed that you are inserting line breaks between the headers in the "Player stats" section. There should never be any text in those places, so I don't think line breaks are needed. I didn't see anything in WP:ACCESS about it, at least. -Dewelar (talk) 23:09, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Yea, you don't have to do "Damage control". I realized this morning that I screwed up in adding that reference to all pages... I can fix that all around in a day or two, along with removing empty "Reference" sections. I wanted to apologize as well. It's hard to think of everything, you know? I obviously ran this job prematurely, and my only defense is that I was tired and over-eager to get it done.
Regarding the added line breaks, I knew that the lack of line breaks between those headers was intentional, but it was just easier to ignore that for this particular job and add them anyway. If that's a real issue, I can take the time to change that as well... I didn't think that it would make any difference to anyone, is all.
V = I * R (talk) 23:22, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
OK. I'll go ahead and let you fix the reference issue then. As for the line breaks, you're right that it makes no difference. It was just my innate curiosity (I am a cat person, after all). I'm also curious about the particular key you chose for the DEFAULTSORT you've been adding, since you seem to be clashing with Smackbot, which adds the page name itself as the sort key. You might want to get together with the bot owner to discuss it. -Dewelar (talk) 23:33, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
"clashing with Smackbot" in what manner, exactly? This sort of thing is important... I didn't realize that SmackBot was doing anything with sort keys. Anyway, what I've been doing here with them (putting the yead after the text of the title) is exactly what the sort key is intended to address... it's the same sort of thing as proper names, where last name should come first, and titles should be "ignored" in the sort. It's just sort of convention, basically.
V = I * R (talk) 23:38, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
For an example of what SmackBot is doing, see this edit. Also, you will run afoul of categories like World Series champion seasons, which will have to have a sortkey added at the category level to be sorted properly. -Dewelar (talk) 00:32, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
OK... after looking into DEFAUTSORT usage a bit more I see that SmackBot's insistance that DEFAULTSORT should be PAGENAME is not unusual or controversial. I don't think that behavior is correct, but I'm not about to argue over something which clearly has de facto consensus. The workaround, giving a piped sort key to specific categorizations, is not only easy but avoids the second issue which you brought up regarding World Series champion seasons. Thanks for letting me know about it.
V = I * R (talk) 00:53, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Glad I could help. I learned a lot of these things, including this, by trial and error myself over time, so if you have any questions I'll definitely try to answer them. -Dewelar (talk) 01:00, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) I just found another minor issue with this series of edits, of which (again) you likely aware. More recent additions of farm system sections were drawn from the 3rd edition of The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball rather than the 2nd, which was the one that you globally added. I'm not sure if anything got overwritten with the incorrect edition number, but you might want to have a look if you haven't already. -Dewelar (talk) 22:51, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

ah... I hadn't actually noticed that. Crud... OK, I'll figure that out.
V = I * R (talk) 23:03, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

It appears from this edit that SmackBot doesn't like some of your other edits from this batch. -Dewelar (talk) 04:16, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Footnote vs. ReferenceEdit

I think I may have found something on this issue. Here we have the following note: "Once a style is selected for an article it is inappropriate to change to another, unless there is a reason that goes beyond mere choice of style." Seems like it should go back to being in-line. -Dewelar (talk) 02:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Right, but that's basically just saying "don't start trouble to make a WP:POINT", more or less (see the talk page/archives for more). Regardless... there is actually a purpose to separating them, here. Inline citations are just different from "further reading" style cites. There intentionally is not a ruling guideline in this area, so it's pretty much up to us to decide, so... I think that the inline citations should be in a section apart from the general non-inline references. For the year/team/seasons articles at least I don't see an ingrained pattern of usage (which is what the specific sentence you quoted above is designed to address. ie.: "don't change a long established page format simply to change it."), and most of them don't have more then two or three citations regardless (which, admittedly, is a good reason to dump them all into one section). Anyway, I'm not particularly attached to the number, ordering, or naming of the appendices sections, I just think that they should be the same across the series. If you have a real preference (which seems to be one "References" section with both inline and non-inline citations?), let me know and we can talk about it.
V = I * R (talk) 02:31, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Honestly, I have no real preference either. I was rather hoping that Wikipedia did, and perhaps the answer is that it simply doesn't. I generally just leave pages as I found them with regard to this sort of thing, unless the page has no references, in which case I toss in a "References" section with a reflist template, which seems the most straightforward. I do think it's a good idea, though, to keep footnotes and general references separate, and honestly I'm not sure why the footnote template uses "reflist" instead of, say "notelist". It does make it awfully confusing.
By the way, have you had the chance to talk to Maple Leaf? He's the one who added the vast majority of the farm system information in the first place.
Some more things I've noticed about your change sequence from last night: First, I note that you occasionally added the farm system citation twice; second, you sometimes wound up adding a broken template (see this edit for one I fixed); and third, it seems, at least sometimes, you added a stray pipe to the bottom of the page. You may have noticed any or all of these, but I figured I'd mention them in case you missed them. -Dewelar (talk) 03:09, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I didn't realize that Maple Leaf was still active... I'll have to at least say hi to him.
Anyway, the first thing that I did when I was attempting to make a decision about where to put the Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball reference was to read all of WP:CITE and WP:LAYOUT. Like you, I was hoping for an answer within the policy or guidelines. It seems amazing to me that the community hasn't ever decided on a standard in this area, but that's the way that it currently is. If you look at Wikipedia Talk:Layout, you'll see that posted a reply there just today. I'm considering writing up an RfC about the issue... I think that the main cause of contention in this area comes from the simple fact that there is no Wikipedia standard (regardless of what "Chicago citation" or "Harvard citation" may or may not say, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't have a set Wikipedia standard). Anyway... barring a change in the guidelines, the main thing is to agree to uniformity in at least the similar series of articles. If there all one way or another, then it's doubtful that people will change that format (and when it happens to isolated articles, those changes are likely to be reverted anyway).
ps.: I am aware of the three other issues that you brought up. Thanks. Feel free to mention anything else. Actually, the reference issue is part of the idea that started this project. These changes (unlinking the Farm System header and (re)moving the reference in the header) are actually a "getting my feet wet" side project to the main project that I plan on perusing. Ultimately, I had planned on creating a bibliographical "database" of references (for WikiProject Baseball at least), in order to (listed in rough order of importance):
  • Centralize references as a resource
  • Provide a mechanism to easily validate "our" citations
  • Standardize the use of citations within articles (putting them in appropriate {{Cite}} templates, for example)
  • (very tentative) Possibly standardize Footnote/Note/Reference usage
Note that this is not really what I'm doing now, but what I hope to accomplish later on. I was going to "announce" the project on Wikipedia Talk:WikiProject Baseball at a future date, after completing the work on the seasons articles (as a sort of working example) and polishing my program somewhat.
V = I * R (talk) 03:52, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
It certainly seems like a worthwhile project. As you've probably noticed, standardization is something for which I've been pushing here for some time, and I'm glad to see we're mostly on the same page despite our rather rocky introduction. Just let me know if there's anything else you need from me to help this along.
In regards to another thing you asked above, regarding things that need to be fixed across multiple pages, I just remembered something else that's been popping up, and was discussed on the project talk page a few weeks back. A lot of the franchise navboxes are piped with a "width=53em" parameter, which makes them look odd. Others are piped with an unnecessary "width=100%" parameter. If you could get rid of those as you go along, that would be great.
Spanneraol, who posted below, brought something up on my talk page as well regarding the roster boxes having an inappropriate Tnavbar-header template within the box, but I've noticed that the color parameter is sometimes set properly and sometimes not. That means that if you want to add that to your task list, you would need to grab the fontcolor parameter from the Tnavbar-header template and move that to the color parameter in the roster line. Just another helpful suggestion :) . -Dewelar (talk) 04:37, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I had actually noticed the width usage myself, peripherally. I hadn't actually given it much thought, but changing that should be easy enough. The Tnavbar issue is an easy task, so that will definitely be in.
By the way, I still think that college (along with height and weight) should be in the player template!  
V = I * R (talk) 04:47, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

College, etc...Edit

Sounds good. As for the infobox fields...college (or, really, "signed out of" or what have you) I could tolerate if it's done right (and if there was consensus, of course). At least its contents would be self-evident, unlike a height and weight field. For an active player, it would contain their current listed stats, yes (no matter how obviously inaccurate they might be, at least they're official) but what about for retired players? Because you know that, once that parameter is in there, you can't just say "leave it blank", because some well-meaning person will go ahead and fill them all in anyway, because they think they should. -Dewelar (talk) 14:53, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

That's an easy criticism to counter, though: References! As with anything else on Wikipedia, verifiability, not truth, is what matters.   (I do happen to agree that height and weight numbers are suspicious, in all sports, and they always have been, but the numbers are official and have been widely available for decades. No one really seems to care about their accuracy.) Incidentally, You do know about Lahman, correct? The real point here is that there's nothing inherently special or different about baseball information in comparison to information available about anything else. Just because you and I may love baseball, that doesn't actually give us any special rights (as a matter of fact, what Wikipedia is not could be used against us)... the 5 pillars of Wikipedia are true for all of Wikipedia, after all.
V = I * R (talk) 17:10, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Granted :) . What I meant, really, was: at what point in a player's career do we take their vitals? Debut? Retirement? Somewhere in the middle? I'm not sure how Lahman (or, for that matter, any of the stat databases) determine what they use, and I think we'd really need to know that before adding that information to what we have. Again, though, does it merit infobox inclusion, or is it enough to just note it in the article? I doubt the two of us will convince each other :-D , so it will be up to consensus, which seems to agree with my view, at least for now. WP:CCC and all that, of course. -Dewelar (talk) 18:27, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Again though, verifiability... truth, in and of itself, shouldn't be our concern. That's the only way that neutrality can be achieved. That statement: "and I think we'd really need to know that" is a huge red flag. As for consensus... I doubt that. Your position on this issue simply enjoys the luxury of holding the existing "ground". Most people will simply allow the issue to stand rather then attempt to force a change. That template is now protected as well, making any change overly bureaucratic, so people don't care to be involved (including myself).
V = I * R (talk) 18:41, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
OK, there's two parts to this, so I'll split my response...
The height/weight thing is not about accuracy. My comment above should have been enough to establish that. There is, however, the issue of which outside source to choose. If one source uses a specific methodology, such as always choosing the height of a player at their MLB debut, is that not preferable to a source that chooses willy-nilly? Or, since both are equally verifiable, must we list both if they differ? Must we, in fact, list each listed weight for a player over his career? Because if we use verifiability as our sole criterion, then we're pretty much left with that eventuality.
Regarding consensus, part of the inherent problem with establishing consensus is that it relies on the participation of the community at large. My feeling, from the various discussions on the matter in which I've participated, is that among those who participate, more favor leaving the information out than adding it, but that could obviously be wrong, and that there's a silent consensus to add it. I did, after all, qualify my statement above with the word seems. Your mileage may, and obviously does, vary. That's fine.
However, that leads to the flip side of consensus, which is that the burden is on those who disagree to say so. The original consensus which led to the creation of the infobox was to leave it out. That adding it would be favored by consensus is, evidently, disputed, which leads to keeping the status quo. If an actual call for a new consensus were to be made, followed by a discussion that led to adding the information, it's not as though I wouldn't accept that. I might decide in six months or a year to try and see if things had changed again, but more likely I would find it not worth the trouble -- rather like the state you're in now. Such is the nature of Wikipedia. -Dewelar (talk) 19:16, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
The answer to "which source" has become fairly definitive over the last 5-10 years. Lahman is, currently, the reliable source. B-R.com, Baseball almanac, The baseball cube, and several (written and software) products use the database directly, and it (or it's derivatives) is cited as a reference all over the place now. It's own sources are themselves reliable, and the crosschecking work that Sean Lahman has done is widely considered reliable. Knowing what I do about baseball statistics and the Lahman database makes these objections appear to be obstinacy and/or pedantry, but that's likely only due to my own views... I don't think that any impartial review of the Lahman database as a reliable, and guiding, source could fail though.
As to consensus re: the infobox itself... I think that you just said it best: it's just not worth the trouble.
V = I * R (talk) 19:40, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
For whatever reason, I thought that Pete Palmer's database was still floating around as a source as well. Lahman (or, by extension, b-r) is what I use for all basic biographical information, after all. I accept Sean's information as gospel for everything static. The problem is that height and weight are not static, and Sean has to pick a point in time at which to set the data. All it takes is for someone to pick another point in time, find the information for that point in a published work, and bam! Edit war, and one in which both sides may actually be equally correct, accurate, and verifiable. Maybe I am being pedantic, but I do think it's a reasonable concern. -Dewelar (talk) 19:58, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
eh... first, it's only a potential concern (I'm fairly certain that there's a guideline or essay about this somewhere, but locating it escapes me right now). Not making changes because of potential problems is a recipe for disaster. Regardless, since so many online sources do base their work on Lahman, the potential for finding an (updated) reliable source that differs from Lahman is slim. Worse, the reliability of any such source is extremely likely to be questioned. In the worst case, if a reliable second source could be found that differs, then both could easily be cited (with references, of course). Ultimately, this all seems like a lot of effort over something that really isn't an actual problem. Anyway, I honestly don't begrudge "loosing" the issue about changing the MLB player infobox, especially since I basically just gave up on it. To my mind, this is really more about policy in general and it's application rather then a specific item. I still think that college, height, and weight could and should be added to the infobox, but that's really secondary to the policy/procedure related aspects to this conversation.
V = I * R (talk) 20:13, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed that the policy/procedure is the primary topic here. Obviously, Lahman is going to be considered a primary source by the baseball project/community. I don't think that's in dispute. The problem is that vital data like height and weight projects out into the greater WP:BIO world, which means that if a dispute does arise, the internal Wikipedia arbiter may not see Lahman as any more reliable than, say, The Sporting News, or for that matter the clubs' annual media guides or the old Red/Green Books. My point here is that, while birth and death data, debut dates, and even career statistics are for the most part going to be constant, and therefore unlikely candidates for dispute (things like Ty Cobb's batting average notwithstanding), the same cannot be said for height and weight. If anything, an arbiter may decide that a publication from a player's own era should be accepted over the Lahman database. Is there indeed something within Wikipedia policy to which we can point that might override such a determination? If so, that would be interesting to know, because it might be applicable to other, similar circumstances. -Dewelar (talk) 20:35, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Just putting in my two cents here... height and weight should not be included simply because they change so often... and the historical players.. do you use the numbers from when they debuted, the numbers from when they retired or their current measurements from retirement or.. gasp... the grave... It's a subjective choice and that is the main reason it shouldn't be used. Spanneraol (talk) 21:08, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

(Unindent) Yea, that's basically what the debate is centering on... the thing is, that whole issue is a straw man argument. Verifiability is a core policy, which requires extraordinary proof in order to override. It's not for us as editors to make judgments such as "do you use the numbers from when they debuted, the numbers from when they retired or their current measurements from retirement or...". If you're asking such questions while you're editing, that should be a clear warning that something is wrong. If the biography community as a whole really has an issue here... well, I'm glad that I'm not on the Arbitration committee (or whatever it's called). Very few rules are really rules on Wikipedia, but the core policies are damn close (their intended to be, anyway). Like most other editors I occasionally struggle to meet my own biases up with WP:V, WP:OR, or WP:NPOV, but that's why their so important. Regardless, I say that it's better to deal with problems that really exists and put off spending energy on potential problems until they actually occur. Forward planning is one thing, but allowing potential issues to force inaction is just... I don't know. Wrong.
V = I * R (talk) 21:44, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I assume that you're addressing only Spanneraol, because if you actually think that's what my argument is about, then you are sorely misreading it. Allow me to elaborate a bit.
First off, I am indeed trying to do some "forward planning" -- i.e., when/if this issue comes up, how should it be handled? What I am trying to do is find out what happens when multiple sources, all of which are reliable, list different information. In some past cases that I have witnessed, the solution was to include the information from all sources, as suggested by WP:RS. This would be problematic for a player with a long career who might have been listed at ten different weights at various times. There's nothing on WP:V about how to address this, and neither WP:OR nor WP:NPOV apply, except that choosing one reliable source (i.e., Lahman) over another (i.e., TSN, or the club's media guide, or MLB itself) might be seen as introducing WP:POV. If you don't think asking what should be done in that eventuality is a question worth posing before the fact, then say so and I will shut up now. -Dewelar (talk) 22:15, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
See, this isn't really about content at all, it's 100% about resolving a potential conflict between reliable sources... if that becomes an issue (which, with the prevalence of and easy access to Lahman data I see as being extremely unlikely), the proper response is to discuss. If all MLB players reference Lahman data (from B-R.com, for example), and someone wants to change a handful of players to use different data, there are a few ways to resolve that. First, as you brought up, in some cases it may be appropriate to provide and cite both values (if that is limited to 2 or 3 values per field, then their really isn't an issue). However, if all players have consistent data, and someone wants to cite inconsistent data in only a handful of instances, that immediately calls into question the source(s). If such a conflict becomes a real issue, there's always Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. I do understand your worries here, but Lahman/B-R.com data is a peer reviewed secondary source. WP:V states, under Reliable Sources:
Problem resolved. Since Lahman/B-R.com is a peer reviewed source, it "wins". Additionally, Team sources (such as programs or their media guide) and/or mlb.com are actually "primary sources" in this hypothetical dispute, so their reliability is somewhat questionable. In the absence of a reliable secondary or tertiary source their OK to use, but once a secondary reliable source comes about they should be replaced. (for more details, see: WP:PRIMARY).
V = I * R (talk) 22:54, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
OK, that makes some sense w/r/t MLB/team sources. It doesn't resolve what might occur in a hypothetical Lahman vs. year-by-year independent publication conflict. Still, it does make me curious about how Sean picks the stats he includes. However, as you have pointed out, it doesn't really matter. I may not be convinced that these should be included, but at least now I have some idea what to do if they are included at some future point. -Dewelar (talk) 23:10, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

League Champion InfoEdit

  • I noticed when you are changing the minor league teams to your template it is losing the League Champion info that had been there specifying which minor league teams won the title... Is their anyway to retain that information in what you are doing? Spanneraol (talk) 03:44, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Also, the Dodgers seasons (which I did before Maple Leaf did his work) list the minor league teams differently.. I had done them all as 1985 Minor League Teams and he later did the Farm System sections on the other pages. Spanneraol (talk) 04:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
You're right, I did loose that information, and I was actually thinking about that earlier today. I'm sure that it is possible to re-gather that information and retain it, I simply need to figure out a good method to do so (for all of them). I'll get there, just give me a day or two...
Regarding the section name, I noticed that the Dodgers pages are different yesterday (incidentally, I wasn't at all surprised that the Dodger pages were slightly different!  ). I had actually planned on standardizing on the more verbose method that you've been using on the Dodger pages across all of the year/team/season pages.
V = I * R (talk) 04:12, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

re: recent All-Star Game editsEdit

Heya Ohms Law! Good to see a baseball and physics person out there. I noted that you recently made some large scale edits to several All-Star Game articles. One of the changes you made was to put references under "notes" and then leave a blank section for the references. I had to double check this, but per WP:REFNOTE, I am not 100% sure that is the best way to go. I am also not 100% sure, but I seem to recall that some of those articles might have had notes separate from the references (it has been a long time since I looked at those articles in detail, so I could be wrong). I just wanted to drop this note and plant a thought. Best to you! LonelyBeacon (talk) 18:29, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I know that the articles in question didn't have an existing Notes section, since the Regex checks for them... it was supposed to, anyway (if you find an instance where this wasn't true, let me know). As for the empty Reference section, I see that issue myself. I can take care of it with another batch run in a little while (it takes a while to create a responsible batch job, in order to prevent real screw ups).
Anyway, the reason for the change in the first place was an attempt to straighten things out on pages where there were/are notes, references, and external links. I should have waited and developed the script a bit mroe before running the job though, in order to prevent this sort of thing from occurring. Live and learn, I guess.
V = I * R (talk) 18:39, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
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