Introducing Wiklifield - the Cubs Online Encyclopedia

In case Cubs history isn't your thing, there's a prospect post below this as well for today.


I've hinted at it enough over the last few months, but I suppose I'm ready to now to unleash it upon the world. Wiklifield (thanks to Cubnut for the name) has been my main project and passion this offseason and the goal is simple, if not ambitious -  a community project to capture the entire history, culture and atmosphere of the Chicago Cubs. And I truly mean entire...

Players, coaches, songs, books, movies, Wrigleyville bars, rooftops, blogs, TCR memes, brain-cell killing articles, minor leagues, major leagues, you
name it, I would love to have it in there eventually.  It's going to take years to accomplish and hopefully a lot of help from Cubs fans across the Internet, but I think it could be something special for Cubs fans to lose themselves in a few hours at a time. A few examples of similar projects include the Ultimate Mets Database, Sons of Sam Horn Wiki and the Baseball Reference Bullpen.

To achieve this massive goal, it's obvious that I couldn't do it myself,
nor the writers of TCR, so hence the open wiki interface that allows
anyone to contribute.
Now as you start looking through the site, you may start asking where's
this bit of info or why hasn't this been included. Well first, let me say back off...I've been doing it mostly by myself. Second, that's the
beauty of a wiki, if you don't see something just go ahead and add it. Of course that can also be its downfall as
the information can easily be corrupted, but more on that later.

Before I get to the nuts and bolts on how you can contribute, let me demonstrate a few examples of what I'm hoping to capture. Let's start with the entry for the Cleveland Indians.  My idea for these major league franchise pages is to include every way that the teams have interacted with the Cubs. The main sections as you'll see are head-to-head record, all transactions between the two franchises (including any rumors), and finally thanks to Baseball Reference and their multi-franchise player finder, players that have played for both teams. I've started pages for the current 30 franchises and some have been done already. I also needed to give a big shout out to reader homerzzz, who has volunteered a tremendous amount of his own time helping me take the retrosheet transaction files and converting them into something we can use on Wiklifield. 

Next up, we have our Cubs player section and while it would be nice to have everyone who ever played for the Cubs have their own page, I'm not particularly concerned with that at the moment. Plus there's probably not enough unique information on many players that you can't find at Baseball Reference or similar site. What is missing on the Internet is concise information on our minor league players. Let's use Aaron Shafer for example. Why Aaron Shafer you ask? Well, much like every page I've started so far, I just happened to have stumbled across some articles and I thought there was enough there to create a page. In Shafer's case there were some articles at Inside the Ivy about his pitching repertoire and injury history and I think it would be nice to have this kind of info on all the players currently in our system in an easy to find place. So ultimately I'd like a page for each player in our system with information like how they were acquired, any newsworthy events from season to season, any prospect lists they may have showed up on, injury history and either a basic scouting report or their pitching repertoire. So far I've just had time to do one for James Adduci, James Russell and Richie Robnett along with Shafer.

The final example I'll mention is what I call the list pages, although they fall into various different categories. But essentially just lists of information all compiled into one place. And honestly, this is what gave me the idea to start the project. Instead of having to search 10 different articles and sites, I wanted to aggregate as much information as possible on page. So whenever I stumble across something I start trying to fill in the historic gaps. You'll see a few examples such as  Type A Free agents, players that have been converted to pitchers, players to be named later, Arizona Fall League Rosters, Prospect Rankings over the years, Minor League All-Stars, minor league organizational records, Cubs minor league affiliates throughout the years, Cubs to lead the NL in various stat categories, Cubs to win NL Awards and so forth...

Now if you just want to absorb the information, well then
bookmark the site and visit back often. You'll also see a link in the upper menu bar on this site. I did want to thank homerzzz again for helping with some of the site set-up and all the work he's still doing with the retrosheet transaction information. Also reader WISCGRAD who put up most of the award and league leader pages together.

But if you're interested in helping out besides just browsing, read on. Besides just contributing articles I'm also looking for
as many volunteers that would be willing to verify information, clean
up pages and ban the rif-raf and spam bots that ultimately try to
attack these wiki's. 

Here's the basic outline to contribute pages to Wiklfield.

  1. Register (you'll see a link in the upper right). I want to keep track of people's contributions and you avoid having to do a math problem. You can contribute anonymously, but you have to do a simpe math problem to verify that you're not a spam bot and it's easy to miss it and think your work was saved. You'll also notice a "Top Contributor" section on the front page.
  2. Read the Help page. The wiki language is pretty much standard HTML, but there's plenty of tips and tricks and most importantly it explains how we want to structure the site. If you ever do get stuck, there's plenth of help available on the web as well.
  3. Think carefully about the category and particularly the page title. Consider them like search terms, if someone was looking for all the
    Cubs pitchers to ever win the Cy Young, what would they type into a
    google search? (Answer: probably "Cubs Cy Young Winners").
  4. This is an encyclopedia, not a forum for you to trash each other tell us how much you hate Dusty Baker. Do your best to cite your sources and present factual information. Even if it's a TCR or Internet meme, give the link back to where it started.  And there's a difference between writing - "Dusty Baker was a terrible in-game manager with lousy ideas for lineup construction" versus "Dusty Baker was often criticized for his in-game decisions and lineup construction."  I'll assume I don't have to explain which one is preferred for Wiklifield.
  5. You're welcome to write on anything, but if you don't know where to start, check out the Most Wanted Pages, which you can also find on the sidebar and on the front page. Also, if you're putting together a page and feel like a term should be included that isn't, use the Mediawiki write-up for an internal link - [[Dallas Green]] for example - and it'll will show up as a red link on that page. Red links indicate pages that still need to be created versus blue links which are pages that have already been started, but could be still be incomplete.
  6. While I hope to keep Wiklifield as an open-source project that is constantly being updated and improved, I understand these wiki projects are ripe for vandalism and misinformation. So I'll probably be protecting pages more than Wikipedia does and if you do write something you're particularly proud of and can convince me that you can maintain it and/or there's little else to add, I'll happily protect it. On the flip side, if you notice a protected page and feel you can add something, just drop me a note that you want to add something and a brief description of what. I do want to add that if you're afraid of your work being vandalised by someone, the software being used can roll back to any previous changes, so past work is never lost and we can ban the vandals in a number of different ways.
  7. Finally, I need help on this one, lots of help. Not only with writing articles but also maintaining and improving the site. Here's your chance to get on the ground floor and become a keeper of Chicago Cubs history. Your chance to be the next Ed Hartig. Right now it would be on a volunteer basis, but there might be opportunities in the future to make money off of it, although I wouldn't count on that. I'll accept as many volunteers as there are willing to volunteer. The type of help I'm looking for is to review new submissions and changes, help keep the site organized, try to keep certain pages formatted properly, keep the front page fresh with content . And for those with some web skills, help with the layout, suggest or add any extensions and gadgets that would improve the site and help automate anything that can be automated. We're also truly interested in someone or some people who can join up with us
    and help it grow. The self-starter types that see the potential in the
    project and are never at a loss for ideas. Of course, I'm also
    interested in anyone with a couple hours to spare here and there to
    either contribute articles or review new submissions and help maintain
    the site

So there's my sales pitch and if you want to contribute, the opportunity is there. Otherwise I hope it becomes a regular reference source for your Cubs information.

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Comments

Open interface? Both scared and excited!

Dr. James Andrews probably deserves his own page, no?

"Dr. James Andrews probably deserves his own page, no?"

As does the Towel Drill.

May I be the first to say:

No good can come of this.

A wiki run by the TCR community? Heaven help us.

have faith...we can do great damage things together...

This is great, Rob! I will try to help however I can, though, having never lived in Chicago, or spent more than 10-15 days at Wrigley, my resources may be a bit limited...

3 new people registered today...not a good start.

http://twitter.com/cst_cubs

New kid from Cleveland, Stevens, came out throwing curveballs today. In strike zone. Looks good.

everyone in camp now including Vizcaino...

I better be referenced there.

or else I'll...

oh you know the rest

Errr... stuff we know already.

Article about Soriano being open to batting other places in the lineup.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2...

Seriously, though, I just wanted to link to it because there are two related awful uses of statistics. The caption for the featured picture reads: "The Cubs were 33 games above .500 when Alfonso Soriano hit leadoff in 2008." And later in the article, Muskat writes: "The Cubs were 69-36 with Soriano as the leadoff man last year, yet he's been queried about whether he's right for the spot since his arrival."

As far as I know, her numbers are right, but if you take the 10 seconds to go to Baseball Reference and look up his splits for last year, you'll see that Soriano got all of 11 plate appearances last year in spots other than the leadoff spot and he started only two games in other spots (batting 2nd, where he went 0-9). So there is no significant sample for how the Cubs did when he hit somewhere other than the leadoff spot, only how they did when he played and when he didn't play.

I guess her point could be that the Cubs have done just fine with Soriano in the leadoff spot, but stuff like this irks me out of PAID journalists. Because any one of us could do her job better.

"Because any one of us could do her job better."

I'm not sure if I could. I just don't know when I'd find the time. Plus, sometimes I think my spelling coould use some work. My sentences and grammer, too.

Will be paid $16 million dollars this year and the headline is "Sori decides he will do what he's told if asked to move down the order"

Can anyone else see the absurdity to all of this?

This kind of thing annoys me.

At one point Ryno was the highest paid player in the game, and he only wanted to bat second, when it probably would have made more sense to flip him and Grace.

I see a lot of ab-Sosa-ity in it.

"So there is no significant sample for how the Cubs did when he hit somewhere other than the leadoff spot, only how they did when he played and when he didn't play."

Unfortunately, his splits show a completely overwhelming career success rate when compared to his other lineup spots.

It would seem that a sports psych could be of use here, b/c there just is no logical explanation why the disparity, other than seeing more fat heaters. Smart pitchers know that Sori may be much more prone to k-ing on junk - or poor plate discipline.

I don't disagree, but I ran through his numbers year by year last week and found that his overall career splits might be somewhat misleading. There were a couple years where, within that year's statistics, he performed better in the 3rd or 5th spot than he had in the leadoff spot--I tried to look at sample sizes that were at least close to significant. I had a comment debate with somebody about this.

But I agree in that if he can't put up decent numbers batting 3rd, it's probably more psychological than anywhere. That is the cushiest place in the lineup. 5th might be a little tougher as far as "protection" goes, but the Cubs do have a pretty good lineup. And wouldn't you rather have an at bat with Soto behind you than with Theriot behind you? In which AB are you going to see more fastballs? Then again, after Soto you've probably got Fukudome, Fontenot or Johnson, whereas after Theriot you'll have Lee, Ramirez, or Bradley.

wouldn't it be easier to do this kind of analysis with a player who has a batting approach that's not erratic as hell as a see-ball-swing hitter?

soriano sits in the very front of the box and swings hard. he uses his fast as hell wrists/hands/arms to try to get to breaking stuff before it breaks while not punishing his game on the fastball side because he can react quickly.

i'd be worried about any wrist injury the guy gets...as well as aging...

there seems to be very little "plan-B" to his hitting approach besides experience and his own natural abilities at this point in his career.

not like he rolls out of bed, shows up, swings 5ab's, and goes home...i'm sure he works, but he crutches heavily on his natural abilities at the plate vs. methodology it seems.

I don't think I understand your post.

Maybe I'm unclear on which analysis you're talking about when you say, "this kind of analysis."

Can you elaborate/specify? Thanks.

i don't see any difference in how soriano is handled or how he approaches an AB no matter where he is. he seems to be the type of player who's variations might be do to chance of his own making vs. being exploited.

btw, i wasnt critiquing what you wrote as much as just following the flow. i do that sometimes...sorry if there's confusion. i wasn't too clear in what i was presenting there vs. what i was talking on. i was pretty much just flowing with the convo.

Okay, I understand now, and I agree. Thanks, Crunch.

I don't think Sori relying on his athletic ability is necessarily a bad thing. If you look around major league sports, it's the players that just trust their instincts that are above the game.

We have this same debate every year. Every year E-Man insists that Soriano can only hit well batting leadoff and every year I point out the correlation is not causation.

Bat him 4th in every game he plays in 2009 with Bradley or Soto batting behind him and he'll be fine. He's not a cerebral player. Making him think through lots of different situations by moving him around a lot probably doesn't help his comfort level.

Couldn't agree more. Get him out of the leadoff spot.

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

3 articles there if you scroll down...

- Aramis says they should release all 103 names, so there's no questioning of who did and who didn't (of course they'll still question).

- Soriano says I don't care where I bat, but leave me in one spot

- Lee agrees with fans that they shouldn't care much until they do something in the playoffs. Also says he doesn't care where he bats.

[cont.] I can understand not wanting moved around all over the order, but still... Lou isn't the type to tinker with the order every day once he gets things set anyways.

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/1449

On an even brighter note, Lee said it's almost 100 percent certain that his daughter, Jada, does not suffer from LCA, the congenital eye disease that causes blindness. Lee said Jada's vision began to stabilize last year and that perhaps she suffers from an auto-immune disorder. Needless to say, that's a big relief for Lee.

Can we all have our donations back now?

I kid, I kid.

What about the opportunity cost? If I had invested that money I would have made...never mind.

Ahh the irony! I hope Lee stays with the LCA cause, and doesn't start up something for this new diagnosis.

Article over at the New York Times on a new treatment for things like tendinitis.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/sports/17blood.html

Any of our resident doctors have a take on this?

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ team physician, used platelet-rich plasma therapy in July on a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in the throwing elbow of pitcher Takashi Saito. Surgery would have ended Mr. Saito’s season and shelved him for about 10 to 14 months; he instead returned to pitch in the September pennant race without pain.
-----
Remember Saito sucked when he returned including him being the one pitcher the Dodgers threw at the Cubs in the playoffs that the Cubs whacked around (3 hits, 2 runs, no outs before they had to go to bring in Broxton in the game one 10-3 blowout that Dempster started). Then they let him go to free agency even though he wanted to re-sign with LA.

Here is more Saito detail:

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extra...

I found this NY Times article to be very superficial for what is clearly a treatment in an early experimental phase. Using Saito as their example of a successful outcome they make it sound like a success but if you look at how he did, I'd say it was about as good as any other form of non-surgical treatment.

Apparently there are only 2 studies of 20 and 54 patients. That's equivalent to the top of the first inning to sort out all the variables and prove effectiveness. At this point insurance companies don't pay for experimental injections so to study this treatment (which costs $2K per injection) they have to go find patients who have 1-- deep pockets, 2-- a quick sense of urgency to get better (ie. the super bowl was in 2 weeks.)

Elmer Gantry got invalids to walk so he too was preaching pretty powerful medicine. Burt Lancaster was a great evangelist and doctor (Moonlight Graham in Field of Dreams), so I'm sure he could have helped Saito too.

I wonder, when the media starts reporting on these treatments before they are truly shown to be effective, as to who benefits by the promotion. Be careful when research is being done by investigators who have financial gain by the success of the product. That usually leads to biases that distort adverse news in reported results, especially when some component of the results are subjective. When medical studies are released, investigators have to disclose financial interest but when the NY Times writes a glowing article they don't have to disclose any of the negatives, including side effects, ineffective events, etc. They also don't have to disclose who going to financially benefit by more requests for the experimental treatment. Which is probably what these investigators need most right now.

In summary, this might be a great new treatment. I have no experience with it and find the concept interesting. From the NYT article it's presenting a lot of hype, so who knows how well it may work.

The extracorporeal ultrasound was felt to be bogus too initially and it is finding a role in treatment of recalcitrant tendonitis (which seemed to have helped Aaron Heilman knee/patellar tendonitis) but it's pretty early to make the giddy claims in the Times article for PRP therapy:

“I think it’s fair to say that platelet-rich plasma has the potential to revolutionize not just sports medicine but all of orthopedics."

A quote like that makes me think the person providing that quote has financial interest in it's success.

speaking of burt...i recently picked up a copy of Tough Guys. nice comedy trash.

"A quote like that makes me think the person providing that quote has financial interest in it's success."

The quote was from Dr. Allan Mishra, who is (according to the Times article) "an assistant professor of orthopedics at Stanford University Medical Center and one of the primary researchers in the field."

In this case, he would probably have a financial and career-building interest and a hefty emotional investment as well. I'm sure he believes in what he is doing, but he's really not in a position to be objective about it at all, scientific objectivity and discipline notwithstanding.

Jose Ceda shutdown for a few days with shoulder stiffness in Marlins camp

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/blogs/content/shared-...

Hendry is the worst.GM.evah!

There's another article in the Hardball Times annual about trading for pitching prospects that says a lot about Hendry's trading scheme this off-season.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090217&c...

Piniella admitted he doesn't have a set number of days off for players. That won't be an issue until the regular season starts. Right now, the Cubs have other matters to resolve. While thinking out loud, Piniella said he'd like to carry 14 position players and 11 pitchers if possible. The team isn't sure how to slot some players -- newcomer Aaron Miles, for example. Piniella wants to see them on the field, and the Cubs will have 39 spring games to evaluate the team.

Mike Fontenot looks strong enough to play every day. The infielder spent much of his offseason in the weight room, and has the biceps to prove it. His inspiration for the extra reps? While bow hunting, Fontenot had a tough time pulling back the bow and decided he needed to be stronger.

pretty sure Lou says the same thing every year about 14 position players and 11 pitchers and never goes through with it...

Enormous biceps are incredibly important for performing on a baseball diamond.

The 14 position players makes sense to me, especially if you're going to carry Hoffpauir and Gathright--both have pretty limited roles (pinch hitter and pinch runner).

There is an annoying ESPN banner in the middle of the Wikili page

shows up on the bottom on my 2 browsers, try reloading and tell me what you're using...

anyone else having this issue?

Using explorer, still there.

well there's your problem, using Explorer...worst browser ever made. :)

I'll have to look at it later.

"well there's your problem, using Explorer...worst browser ever made. :) "

I doubt you'll know what to do with it, but TCR has bad compatibility issues with IE 8 RC1.

(sigh) more fun for me...gee I love microsoft. Be sure to traumatize all the do-it-yourself webmasters with your f*** up standards...

anyway, thanks for the heads up...

I'm sure he believes in what he is doing...
---
I'm sure he is. That's the way it is with most physician researchers but the research that proves a treatment works needs to be done without financial biases and that has become a fairly big issue in medicine (not just ortho). It also needs larger studies which, when using a product they are charging $2K for (even when there is not much proof it works) is a problem.
----
but he's really not in a position to be objective about it at all, scientific objectivity and discipline notwithstanding.

agreed. Especially when he espouses that his product could revolutionize treatment with only anecdotal data.

Preemptively requesting that the "God" page redirect to "Tuffy Rhodes."

hahaha.

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