Skip to content

Great moments in False Dichotomies: the Twins stats guy

Apr 25, 2013, 9:42 AM EST

Twins logo

The only instance I’ve ever heard of a sabermetric-oriented front office actually believing that scouting was for suckers came about 11 years ago when — rumor had it anyway — J.P. Ricciardi of the Blue Jays was actually peddling that stuff. And even then it was likely just big talk from a guy who was in over his head as a general manager.

In every other instance, the teams which have most famously embraced advanced baseball analysis — the A’s, the Rays, the Red Sox, etc. — have made the smart and, in reality, obvious and pragmatic decision to utilize and value the insight and data gathered by scouts as well as whatever they’ve gotten from their research people. There is literally no baseball team which has some dudes in rooms with laptops upon whose data they exclusively rely.

Yet we still read things like this from Mike Bernadino of the Pioneer Press, describing how the Twins actually do, contrary to popular opinion, have a stats guy on staff:

While major league front offices increasingly lean toward youthful Ivy League types weaned on the writings of Bill James and, more recently, publications such as Baseball Prospectus, the Twins seemingly have held the line on such supposedly outdated concepts as “makeup” and the “2-through-8 scouting.”

All of that is the basis for introduction of Jack Goin, the Twins’ Manager of Major League Administration and Baseball Research. Yes, the Twins stat dude.

I don’t know why Bernadino, like so many other writers, feels it necessary to set this up as some shocking reveal or major dichotomy, but that approach to this is the sort of thing which just perpetuates the dumb stats vs. scouts culture war in which many in baseball’s chattering classes engage. All teams have stats guys. All teams have scouts. Some may rely more heavily on the input of its scouts, some more on the input of its analysts, but everyone is gathering as much information as they can.

This should not be a shock, but it’s so often presented as though it should be. I find that baffling.

Latest Posts
  1. Justin Masterson is all over the AL Central radar

    Nov 27, 2014, 9:20 PM EST

    masterson getty Getty Images

    The AL Central seems to be particularly fond of free agent pitcher Justin Masterson.

  2. Padres drawing a lot of interest in their catchers

    Nov 27, 2014, 8:15 PM EST

    Rene Rivera Rene Rivera

    The Padres have three worthy catchers and all of them are drawing trade interest.

  3. Billy Butler takes out a full-page newspaper ad to thank Royals fans

    Nov 27, 2014, 7:10 PM EST

    New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals Getty Images

    Billy Butler, now with the Athletics, thanked Royals fans for an “amazing ride” in Kansas City.

  4. Brandon Moss, Allen Craig on Marlins’ first base radar

    Nov 27, 2014, 6:05 PM EST

    Brandon Moss AP

    A couple more options have appeared on the Marlins’ radar for an upgrade at first base.

  5. 2015 Free Agent Tracker

    Nov 27, 2014, 4:00 PM EST

    Jon Lester Jon Lester

    Your one-stop shop for all of the offseason signings.

  6. Dave Martinez is moving toward a reunion with Joe Maddon

    Nov 27, 2014, 10:15 AM EST

    Dave Martinez Getty Images

    Martinez was passed over for the manager job in Tampa Bay.

  7. Pablo Sandoval says goodbye to the Giants and their fans on his Instagram account

    Nov 26, 2014, 10:04 PM EST

    sandoval getty Getty Images

    Here’s the farewell Instagram post from third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who signed a five-year, $98 million free agent contract with the Red Sox earlier this week …

  8. Royals acquire infielder Ryan Jackson from Dodgers

    Nov 26, 2014, 8:18 PM EST

    ryan jackson getty Getty Images

    Jackson was limited to 11 minor league games in 2014 due to a right wrist injury that ultimately required surgery.

  9. Padres, Dodgers have discussed a Matt Kemp trade

    Nov 26, 2014, 6:43 PM EST

    matt kemp getty Getty Images

    From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Padres have shown interest in trading for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp …

  10. Yasmany Tomas signs a six-year, $68.5 million deal with the Diamondbacks

    Nov 26, 2014, 5:10 PM EST

    yasmany tomas getty Getty Images

    The Dbacks were not in the picture until very recently. But better late than never.

  11. Thought experiment: How many MLB teams would wipe the slate clean?

    Nov 26, 2014, 4:25 PM EST

    CC Sabathia AP AP

    Since there’s no such thing as a stupid question …

  12. The Wrigley Field bleachers may not be ready for Opening Day

    Nov 26, 2014, 3:58 PM EST

    Wrigley Bleachers

    Don’t tell the people who like to hang out in the bleachers. They may not realize it, actually.

  13. Rays designate Sean Rodriguez for assignment

    Nov 26, 2014, 2:14 PM EST

    Sean Rodriguez AP AP

    Rodriguez was projected to make around $2 million via arbitration.

  14. Rays sign Ernesto Frieri to incentive-laden contract

    Nov 26, 2014, 1:40 PM EST

    Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Getty Images

    An intriguing scrap-heap pickup for the Rays.

  15. Reds sign Brennan Boesch

    Nov 26, 2014, 1:15 PM EST

    New York Yankees v Colorado Rockies Getty Images

    This year he played at Triple-A for the Angels, hitting .332 with 25 homers and a 1.017 OPS in 95 games.

  16. Texas Rangers prospect involved in a fatal accident in the Dominican Republic

    Nov 26, 2014, 12:59 PM EST

    rangers logo

    Ronald Guzman is the Rangers’ 17th-ranked prospect.

  17. Chris Capuano is considering pitching in Japan

    Nov 26, 2014, 11:19 AM EST

    Chris Capuano Getty Getty Images

    Capuano is 36 years old, so finding a guaranteed big-league job for 2015 could be difficult.

Featured video

Maddon has high hopes for Cubs
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. P. Sandoval (4993)
  2. H. Ramirez (4297)
  3. Y. Tomas (3921)
  4. J. Lester (2972)
  5. C. Headley (2564)
  1. Y. Cespedes (2162)
  2. M. Kemp (2067)
  3. A. LaRoche (1742)
  4. C. Hamels (1725)
  5. J. Upton (1675)