Skip to content

Great moments in False Dichotomies: the Twins stats guy

Apr 25, 2013, 9:42 AM EDT

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and, more recently, publications such as Baseball Prospectus, the Twins seemingly have held the line on such supposedly outdated concepts as “makeup” and the “2-through-8 scouting.”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. Giancarlo Stanton could return to the Marlins on Friday

    Aug 30, 2015, 11:55 PM EDT

    Giancarlo Stanton Giancarlo Stanton

    Giancarlo Stanton is getting close to returning to the Marlins. He’s slated to begin a rehab stint on Tuesday.

  2. Video: Jake Arrieta strikes out Chase Utley to complete his no-hitter

    Aug 30, 2015, 11:31 PM EDT

    Jake Arrieta Jake Arrieta

    Jake Arrieta struck out Chase Utley to complete his first career no-hitter.

  3. Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers with 12 strikeouts

    Aug 30, 2015, 11:14 PM EDT

    Jake Arrieta Jake Arrieta

    Jake Arrieta made history on Sunday night, tossing a no-hitter against the Dodgers.

  4. Aaron Harang passed through waivers

    Aug 30, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Aaron Harang Aaron Harang

    Aaron Harang wasn’t claimed when the Phillies put him on waivers, so any team can try and negotiate a trade if they’re desperate for rotation help.

  5. Padres claim Chris Rearick off waivers from the Rangers

    Aug 30, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT

    Chris Rearick Chris Rearick

    The Padres got Chris Rearick back, claiming him off waivers from the Rangers on Sunday.

  6. Blue Jays will name Mark Shapiro as the new team president

    Aug 30, 2015, 9:51 PM EDT

    Mark Shapiro Getty Images

    The Blue Jays are expected to name Mark Shapiro as the new team president.

  7. Yankees hang 20 runs on the Braves to complete a sweep in Atlanta

    Aug 30, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT

    Jacoby Ellsbury Jacoby Ellsbury

    The Braves were demolished by the Yankees on Sunday.

  8. Tim Lincecum suffers a setback in his injury rehab

    Aug 30, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Tim Lincecum Tim Lincecum

    Tim Lincecum may have thrown his last pitch as a member of the Giants after suffering another setback in his recovery from hip and back injuries.

  9. Video: David Ortiz hits 494th career homer, passing Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff

    Aug 30, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    David Ortiz Getty Images

    David Ortiz has sole possession of 27th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard.

  10. Phillies claim Ken Roberts off waivers from the Rockies

    Aug 30, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Ken Roberts Getty Images

    The Phillies added bullpen depth on Sunday, claiming Ken Roberts off waivers from the Rockies.

  11. Curtis Granderson thinks the moon landing was faked

    Aug 30, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Curtis Granderson Curtis Granderson

    Curtis Granderson was prompted to say something controversial, so he did.

  12. Stephen Strasburg pulled after four rough innings on Sunday with discomfort in upper back

    Aug 30, 2015, 5:22 PM EDT

    Stephen Strasburg AP

    The 27-year-old missed most of July with an oblique strain and most of June with a trapezius strain.

  13. Video: Jeremy Guthrie robs Rays ballboy at The Trop

    Aug 30, 2015, 4:15 PM EDT

    guthrie mlb.tv

    Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie is doing some fine side work in his new long relief role …

  14. Josh Hamilton still unable to run due to sore left knee

    Aug 30, 2015, 3:28 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton AP

    Josh Hamilton is likely to be activated off the disabled list Tuesday, September 1 when major league rosters expand, but it sounds like he’s going to be limited to pinch-hitting duties for a while.

  15. Jean Machi named Red Sox closer

    Aug 30, 2015, 2:34 PM EDT

    machi getty Getty Images

    Machi owns a rough 5.21 ERA in 46 2/3 total innings this season between San Francisco and Boston, but the out-of-contention Red Sox will simply roll with what’s currently working as they play out the string.

  16. Video: Josh Donaldson puts the Blue Jays up early with his 36th home run of the season

    Aug 30, 2015, 1:47 PM EDT

    Josh Donaldson AP

    Josh Donaldson got Sunday Funday started early in Toronto with this first-inning solo blast …

  17. A.J. Burnett throws 70-pitch bullpen session, aims to return to Pirates rotation in two weeks

    Aug 30, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    A.J. Burnett AP

    A.J. Burnett has been out since late July with a strained flexor tendon in his right arm. There was some thought initially that the injury would be a season-ender (and thus career-ender) for the 38-year-old, but he’s beginning to make significant progress.

  18. Carlos Correa out fourth straight game with hamstring injury

    Aug 30, 2015, 11:59 AM EDT

    Carlos Correa AP

    This is probably a case of the ‘Stros playing it safe with a young star. They do have a four-game lead in the American League West standings and Correa has been pushed hard over the last three months.

  19. Lance Lynn expects to make next scheduled start despite suffering ankle injury Saturday

    Aug 30, 2015, 11:01 AM EDT

    Lance Lynn, Mike Matheny AP

    Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn rolled his right ankle in the eighth inning of a shutout bid Saturday against the Giants and had to be pulled from the game, but it sounds like he is going to be fine.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. G. Stanton (2365)
  2. B. Crawford (2306)
  3. Y. Puig (2282)
  4. G. Springer (2055)
  5. D. Wright (2009)
  1. J. Hamilton (1991)
  2. J. Fernandez (1969)
  3. D. Span (1912)
  4. H. Ramirez (1877)
  5. C. Correa (1844)