I recently posted an article on Jonathan Schoop’s poor season at the plate and got ripped a new one in the comments. I stand by the overall information presented in the article; I don’t think my analysis was inaccurate or unfair. But I was disappointed by the negative tone of most of the feedback. And to make matters worse, Schoop hit a game-tying home run that night against Dellin Betances. Okay, that made matters better 🙂
I tried to calm down and think things through. I think I made a few mistakes:
- I hadn’t written an analytical piece in a few months (owing to other time commitments) so I was itching to write something and get it out there ASAP.
- I started the article with the intent to explore why Schoop was surprisingly low on the RE24 leaderboards, I think at the time he was second-to-last among players with at least 300 PA. He’s not doing well at the plate, but I originally wanted to focus just on his context-dependent numbers and explore those a bit, while making it clear that I’m not judging him overall on those.But I got lazy and, when I noticed that his overall numbers were pretty bad, ended up making the piece focus on Schoop’s overall line, which ended up seeming like a hatchet job instead of an exploration of why his RE24 numbers are so low. The RE24/WPA part ended up being a small paragraph in a sea of words.
It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part but, like I said above, I was in a hurry to write an article after a minor hiatus.
- I didn’t give enough weight, in terms of word count, to the idea that I understand why the Orioles are playing Schoop (they have no significantly better alternatives, and he is a prospect so he’s got to get some playing time).
- I realized I was using the word “bad” a lot and so searched for synonyms so I wasn’t repeating myself. I ended up using adjectives like “pitiful”, “awful”, and “terrible” which probably made the article sound more nasty than I intended.
- I compared his batting line to two pitchers. That was unfair 🙂
- I didn’t pay enough attention to the fact that the season isn’t over yet and he’ll have a chance to boost his numbers, particularly his fWAR.
- I finished up the article in a tired state, after I’d been up late a few nights in a row, and when I had a bad case of “computer vision syndrome” and really just wanted to go to bed. It was in this state that I touched up a few sentences and added the closing paragraph or two.
- I posted the article the day after Manny sprained his knee. Adding more negativity to a frustrating time was probably not a good idea.
Overall the whole thing came off as “Schoop is awful” when in reality I wanted it to be “Schoop has hurt the team more than you’d expect for someone with even his batting line, but we shouldn’t judge him on the context stats.” That’s a more nuanced point that required more research; I didn’t put in the effort to do either.
Just a drop in the bucket in terms of life importance, but it helps me to think through these things.