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and, more recently, publications such as Baseball Prospectus, the Twins seemingly have held the line on such supposedly outdated concepts as “makeup” and the “2-through-8 scouting.”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. Pablo Sandoval: “I want to wear [a Giants jersey] for the rest of my career.”

    Oct 31, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

    Pablo Sandoval Pablo Sandoval

    Pablo Sandoval says he wants to retire a Giant. He’s a free agent and is expected to sign a lengthy, expensive contract.

  2. Dodgers decline $14 million option on Chad Billingsley’s contract

    Oct 31, 2014, 7:35 PM EDT

    Chad Billingsley Chad Billingsley

    Chad Billingsley is now a free agent after the Dodgers declined their club option for the 2015 season.

  3. Colby Lewis to test free agency after inability to reach deal with Rangers

    Oct 31, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Colby Lewis Colby Lewis

    Colby Lewis will test free agency after he and the Rangers couldn’t strike a deal.

  4. Jockey gave away “Mad Bum” underwear to Giants fans

    Oct 31, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

    Madison Bumgarner Madison Bumgarner

    Madison Bumgarner’s post-season performance prompted Jockey to make underwear with “Mad Bum” on the backside, a special gift to Giants fans at Friday’s World Series parade in San Francisco.

  5. Rockies exercise option on 42-year-old LaTroy Hawkins

    Oct 31, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

    LaTroy Hawkins Getty Images

    This season Hawkins became one of 16 pitchers in MLB history with 1,000 or more appearances and if healthy he’ll move into the top 10 next season.

  6. Rangers decline Alex Rios’ $13.5 million option

    Oct 31, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT

    Alex Rios AP AP

    Rios is now a free agent coming off a season in which he hit .280 with four homers and a .709 OPS in 131 games.

  7. The Cubs to announce the hiring of Joe Maddon on Monday

    Oct 31, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Joe Maddon Getty Getty Images

    The end of this awkward, orchestrated process is in sight.

  8. Rays exercise $7.5 million option on Ben Zobrist

    Oct 31, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT

    New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays Getty Images

    He’ll be eligible for free agency next offseason at age 34.

  9. Blue Jays claim Andy Dirks off waivers from Tigers

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Andy Dirks AP

    Dirks missed the entire season following back surgery and then a hamstring injury.

  10. The Giants victory parade is going on . . . now!

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    giants logo

    Go O.D. on some hot trolley action.

  11. Eric Chavez joins the Yankees as special assignment scout

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Getty Images

    Chavez played for the Yankees in 2011 and 2012.

  12. HBT Daily: One last look back at the World Series and a look ahead at the Hot Stove Season

    Oct 31, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    Our last HBT Daily of the year gives a brief taste of the coming winter.

  13. Indians exercise $3.5 million option on Mike Aviles

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:18 PM EDT

    Mike Aviles, Asdrubal Cabrera AP

    This season he hit just .247 with a .616 OPS in 113 games and Aviles hasn’t cracked a .700 OPS since 2010.

  14. Should Alex Gordon have tried to steal home on Wednesday night?

    Oct 31, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 1.01.27 PM AP

    Some random, hypothetical musings on a Friday afternoon.

  15. GM says Red Sox will have “a conversation” with free agent Jon Lester

    Oct 31, 2014, 12:12 PM EDT

    Jon Lester Getty AP

    He was drafted by the Red Sox in 2002 and made 241 starts for Boston.

  16. The Tigers exercise their option on Joakim Soria

    Oct 31, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 11.46.21 AM AP

    The only question for next season is what inning he’ll pitch.

  17. Brewers decline Rickie Weeks’ option

    Oct 31, 2014, 10:50 AM EDT

    rickie-weeks-brewers2 AP

    Weeks has spent his entire career with the Brewers after being the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 draft.

Featured video

Final take away from World Series
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Pence (2275)
  2. M. Morse (2247)
  3. J. Panik (2171)
  4. Y. Cespedes (2138)
  5. M. Moustakas (2055)