You know, the Twins' whole we-don't-know-what-DIPS-means thing was really cute when they were winning division titles every year or two. Now that they're finishing last every year, it's not as cute.
But maybe the Twins aren't as DIPS- and FIP-ignorant as we think? Here's an update, via TwinsCentric's Twins Daily's Parker Hageman:
Over the last decade, the Minnesota Twins have developed a reputation of being an organization run on scouting or traditional ways. Just three years ago, the team’s assistant general manager, Rob Antony, acknowledged that the organization – born of harden scouts like Terry Ryan and Mike Radcliff – had been more focused on the traditional way of thinking. Stats, analysis and research were ignored. Goin would be given the difficult task of providing analysis to decision-makers who have, by and large, been resistant to the analysis.
The truth is, Goin says, they view themselves as a middle-of-the-road team when it comes to using statistical analysis. There are the overachievers, there are a few on the bottom and the rest, like the Twins, reside somewhere in between.
One way in which they have progressed in just a few shorts years is that Goin has turned to MLBAM’s Pitch F/X system – a relative unknown to the staff as recently has 2010 – when attempting to analyze potential free agent pitchers.
Man, those harden scouts ... so tough to convince!*
* Memo to Rich Harden's agent, though: Add Terry Ryan to your speed-dial. Stat.
Anyway, here's the big finish:
Other teams too are embracing this philosophy and expanding their research departments – like the Kansas City Royals who appeared to be one of the non-stats teams just a few short years ago as well. This is a fact that does not seem to be missed on Goin and the lack of manpower is the biggest barrier for the Twins to do those types of analysis.
"That’s definitely where the game is going. Sometimes it is a budgetary thing, sometimes it is getting the people who make the decisions to believe this is what we need to do."
Okay, I have one small point to make, and one medium point.
The small point: Frenchy Francoeur.
The medium point: In a world in which Anibal Sanchez makes $16 million per season, worrying about spending another 100K on a couple of nerds seems the height of penny-wise/pound-foolish, if not abject idiocy.
I don't mean to suggest that Sanchez isn't worth $16 million. In today's economic climate, he's probably worth exactly $16 million (you know, give or take a few shekels here or there). What I do mean to suggest is that if you're willing to invest ... oh, let's just say $10 million in Kevin Correia and his Incredibly Large Contact Rate, you'd also be willing to invest $100,000 in some guys who might ... oh, let's just say convince you that maybe Kevin Correia's not worth $10 million?
I kid the Twins because I love them. Well, not the Twins baseball team. But I do love these fellas!
No, but seriously, when the guy who's in charge of baseball analysis doesn't mention the "budgetary thing" -- and I'm guessing his thing isn't as large as he'd like -- I'll take his club's commitment to modern analysis seriously. Also: Kevin Correia.