Wikipedia:Peer review/Jim Thome/archive2
This peer review discussion has been closed.
I've listed this article for peer review because I recently brought it up to GA and am strongly considering trying to bring it to FA status, but want to know how much is left to do first. Thanks in advance.
Alright ... sorry it took me a week to print it out and go through it with a red pen, then get back here.
This article has strengths, strengths that clearly got it to GA status. It's generally well-organized, and most importantly for a reviewer it has little if any spelling, grammar or punctuation errors. Most of my pen marks were for greater issues.
However, there were some significant ones. If the goal is to get to FA, these, I think, will have to be addressed by some very intensive work on the article.
The main one is that it doesn't heed summary style. There is too much, way too much, emphasis on one kind of statistics and the corresponding detail. Most directly, we have a good picture of Thome as a hitter over the course of his career but not much else.
There are three skills that everyone who makes it to the show has to have: batting, baserunning and fielding. This article's account of Thome's career focuses almost exclusively on the first. You wouldn't even know what position he plays for most of it—you'd think he'd been a DH from his rookie year on. There's just one mention of him as a fielder, when he goes back to playing a position during his second stint in Philadelphia. And no discussion of him as a baserunner.
And this focus on one aspect of his play leads to an article that's overly specific. We get dates for everything, the pitchers he hit certain home runs off of, etc. I know baseball fans love to rattle this stuff off, but we're not writing for just them here. It's been years since quite a few of these events ... most readers aren't going to care, and the ones that do probably know they can go to baseball-reference.com for this.
Another result of this hitting-stat focus is that facts, even ones that should be in the article by any measure, are often just strewn around paragraphs and sections without much thought as to how they form a narrative.
- I'd recast the lede graf by putting the teams first, dropping the date ranges (the first example of over-specific detail), and then mentioning that he's a free agent.
- He is currently seventh all-time for most career home runs (612) and 24th all-time for runs batted in (RBIs) with 1,699. Be consistent here ... if you're going to put homers in parentheses, do the same with RBIs. Or set them both off with "with". But not one here and the other there.
And you might want to introduce the "HR" abbreviation parenthetically here as well, since you do use it later.
- In 1995, they lost to the Atlanta Braves in six games while in 1997 they lost to the young Florida Marlins franchise in seven games: Is this level of detail really relevant to Thome himself in the intro? You can cut this entirely, since you said what you needed to say about this period of his career in the sentence before that: they made the Series and they lost it twice.
- Thome was born in Peoria, Illinois on August 27, 1970, shortly after twin sister Jenny. The youngest of five children ...: Since it's not mentioned again, I don't see how his being born after his twin sister is relevant (unless, say, it was a difficult labor and his mother gave birth to him more than a day later, which doesn't seem to be the case). It's probably better just to stick with "youngest of five."
- His grandmother was hired at Caterpillar so she could play for the company softball team." For non-American readers, or any reader not familiar with what Caterpillar is and/or their large presence around Peoria, we should add something explaining this like, "at one of the Caterpillar plants in the area." Daniel Case (talk) 05:57, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
- Like his brothers, Thome also attended Limestone. Redundant, and I took the liberty of fixing it myself.
- Thome was originally assigned to the Indians' Gulf Coast League squad ...: Does this team have a name? Could we find it out and use it?.
- ... where he played exclusively in 1989 posting a stat line of .237 with no home runs and 22 RBIs.: You just introduced batting average to the reader without even explaining what it is, and only a regular reader of the sports pages will know what a "stat line" is.
- Thome made his Major League debut on September 4, 1991, as a third baseman against the Minnesota Twins. In the game he went 2-for-4 and recorded his first hit off of pitcher Tom Edens in the fourth inning. He hit his first career home run on October 4 against New York Yankees pitcher Steve Farr. Are the dates, pitchers and the inning really necessary here?
- Is his rookie year salary necessary? Especially since his other years' salaries are, for the most part, not.
- "...and a wild card spot prior to the 1994 players' strike". We should clarify that the strike forced the cancellation of the remaining games of the season.
- "... though they eventually lost the World Series to the Atlanta Braves in six games, who had won ten fewer games in the regular season": Not only do all the prepositional phrases here make for choppy reading, not only does the last clause dangle, I don't see why it matters that the Braves had a worse regular-season record when they beat the Indians in the Series.
- "...contributing 40 of them to go along with 33 from David Justice and 32 from Williams": Again, this is the article about Thome; we're not here to read about someone else's stats.
- "On July 14, 1998, Thome hit his 24th home run of the season while helping the Indians snap the Yankees' 10 game winning streak ... On August 8, Thome broke a bone in his right hand and spent five weeks on the disabled list." Do we need the exact dates of things that happened over a decade ago?
- "On May 31, 1999, in a rematch of the prior year's ALCS ..." Not only do I not think we need the date, but I don't see the relevance of this item at all.
- "The 2000 season would be a statistical regression for Thome". This is a poor choice of words. A "statistical regression". You mean like this? Or this? Daniel Case (talk) 05:57, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
- " On September 29, while in the midst of a tight race for the wild card spot, Thome led the Indians to an 8-4 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays by hitting a two-run home run." Again, I'm not sure about how relevant this is, especially since ... "Despite finishing with a record of 90–72, the Indians missed the playoffs."
- "Thome hit .269 with 37 home runs and 106 RBIs in 2000": Now, if you're going to make the point in your opening sentence that his stats went down from the high levels they had been at, why do you then put the actual stats several sentences away at the end of the paragraph?
- "On June 14, 2004, Thome hit his 400th career home run off of José Acevedo to the left-center field seats at Citizens Bank Park" The date might actually be OK here since it's a milestone homer. The pitcher too. But where it landed?
- "Ryan Howard won the NL Rookie of the Year award." Huh? Not having a footnote is the least of the problems here, as this comes out of nowhere. In the beginning of the next graf, I can see where you're going, but this creates all sorts of confusion where it is.
- "Though the emergence of Howard made Thome less important to the squad, another primary factor in his trade to Chicago was his family situation." Wait a minute. Trade? Chicago? Which team? Only later in the graf do we understand all this.
- "... the Phillies and White Sox completed the deal on November 25, 2005, only days after new GM Pat Gillick took the reins of the team." Once again, I'm not sure the exact date is really important after seven years. And the change in general managers should be mentioned only if it had an effect on the trade.
- "Thome was traded to the Chicago White Sox along with $22 million for Aaron Rowand and minor league pitching prospects Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood." Only here, in the last sentence, do you put the full name of the team, which should have been used on first reference. And I also question whether we need to know who or what was on the other end of the trade here.
In fact, this whole paragraph needs to be reordered. It should discuss how Howard emerged, which combined with Thome's injury made him less important to the Phillies, then how his parents' situation made him even more amenable to being traded to the White Sox. There's a story here and it needs to be told chronological. I get the feeling something was taken out without looking at how it might affect the surrounding text, because there's really no need for two separate grafs for this.
- "On June 4, 2008, Thome hit a 464-foot (141 m) home run—which at the time was the ninth longest home run in U.S. Cellular Field history—against Kansas City Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar in a 6–4 White Sox victory." I was going to say that this seems like a rather wan accomplishment ... until I looked at the article on the stadium and saw that it used to be Comiskey Park. If you clarify that, the context is clearer.
- "... Thome hit the first of four consecutive home runs by the White Sox": Against who? Were they in the same game? In this case the opponent probably should be mentioned.
- "... and a three-run home run in the same game for a career-high seven RBIs": That's his career high for a game, right? We should state that clearly.
- "The other two openings he was part of were the 1994 Cleveland Indians as they opened Jacobs Field and the 2004 Philadelphia Phillies as they opened Citizens Bank Park." This is actually an interesting, I-did-not-know-that fact ... I wonder if it's a record of some kind. However, this sentence should be made into a note so it doesn't disrupt the narrative flow.
- "On June 19, Thome returned to Citizens Bank Park, where he hit a pinch hit game-winning home run in the 11th inning off of Danys Baez in a 13–10 victory over his former team.: Despite the cleanup I did on the sentence, it's uncited and still of doubtful relevance.
- "Statistically, in terms of power measurements such as slugging percentage and at bats per home run ...": First, this sentence is misshapen. It would read better as "It was Thome's best season since 2002 for ..."
Second, why this single mention of statistics other than the traditional HR/hit/RBI numbers? More on this below.
Alright. I'm done with the specifics. Two other large issues need to be attended to
I looked at the only other FA on an active player I could find, Derek Jeter, and I saw it had a similar structure. After the history, however, there was this nice "Player Profile" section, discussing Jeter as a player in mostly qualitative terms. This would be an excellent section to have if the research could be done ... and I can't believe that for a guy who's hung on through 20+ seasons in the big leagues there isn't at least one more in-depth profile of him. An article that talks about, either directly or indirectly, his strengths and weaknesses as a batter. What pitches/pitchers is he particularly successful against, or not? How does he approach an at-bat? Did he have any issues developing in this are? Almost every player talks to the media about this at some point.
And this would be the place to discuss his fielding, mentioned all of twice in the history. How is he in that department? Was he, did he like, playing third more than first? This guy's spent most of his later career as a hitter ... is his fielding a reason for this? And what kind of baserunner is he? Obviously it's not his primary skill, but if he gets on base he's got to run (or if he's pinched for, is there a good reason?)
This would be a good place, perhaps, to discuss Thome's career in post-Bill James statistics. To paraphrase him, what has all his hits/home runs/RBIs brought to the teams he's played for? What do they mean? How does he look in metrics like OPS? Wins above replacement? If he were to sign with yet another team in the next few weeks, if I were a fan of those teams I might want to know what we're getting.
All your images are, aesthetically, great. And editorially. But ... I see they're scraped off Flickr, from streams taken by people at the parks/games.
There is a dispute as to whether images taken at sporting events can truly be considered "free." The terms and conditions of your admission, either on the stadium's website or the back of the ticket in barely readable fine print, almost always say that any photos or video you take at the ball game are for personal, noncommercial use only.
Now, whether that can affect a third party's reuse of your photo, even one where, in accordance with the terms of a CC-BY or CC-BY-SA license, they didn't even ask permission (much less pay) to the effect that the team could sue a business that reused it without the Express Written Consent of Major League Baseball, is an open question. It's never come before a court because that lawsuit hasn't been filed.
Since you aren't required to attend a game, some of us have argued that means the photographer has implicitly accepted the licensing terms by entering the stadium, and therefore the CC licensing is superseded and cannot be used. Thus, they conclude, images taken at a sporting venue cannot be free without specific authorization (which has sometimes been given) to take photos using that licensing.
There are sometimes people at FA who bring this up and make it a big sticking point. It might be a help to you at FAC if you could find one free image of Thome outside a sporting event, even if he's wearing a blazer and polo shirt (Cf. Jerome Bettis).
- Interestingly, regarding images, I went to a Phillies game last spring with the intention of taking a few pirctures of him, but he was put on the DL the day before :(. Go Phightins! 02:21, 21 February 2013 (UTC)