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Gleeman And The Geek: Was Nishi A Scouting Error Or Revenue Driven?

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:12 PM

Who is to blame for the Nishioka disaster? The scouting department, or did the Twins sign Nishioka for revenue reasons?

#2 one_eyed_jack


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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:24 PM

The "Who's to blame for Nishi?" question has been asked many times in these parts. My response: who cares? The important thing is not who got it wrong last time, but how to get it right next time.

I am reminded of a line from Sean Connery's character in the movie Rising Sun:

The Japanese have a saying, “Fix the problem, not the blame.” Find out what’s screwed up and fix it. Nobody gets blamed. We’re always after who screwed up. Their way is better.

.  [/HR]

#3 Seth Stohs

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:46 PM

Both. But it was clear at the time that the Twins wanted to get into the Japan market and thought Nishioka was the way to do that.

I like that quote one-eye. Speaks to the Twins philosophy of continuity. Instead of always trying to place blame, figure out what's wrong and help each other fix those problems. I like it.

#4 greengoblinrulz


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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:47 PM

it was basically started by Gardy's dislike of JJ Hardy

#5 The Greatest Poster Alive

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:50 PM

And it only takes 3 replies to get to the real issue nobody will ever dare bring up. Trading JJ Hardy was a disaster.

#6 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:10 AM

I have always wondered how much add'l revenue the Twins could reasonably expect to capture via Japan. I can't imagine it's much.

I guess that's my way of saying I doubt the Nishioka decision was revenue driven. Just another disastrous baseball decision by Bill Smith. Occam's razor and all that.

#7 Willihammer



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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:57 AM

Yeah, they bid on Nishi before trading JJ. The Twins viewed JJ as injury prone, esp. prone to the debilitating condition of being a middle infielder who wasn't a switch hitter that they could slot in the 2 hole.

#8 JB_Iowa


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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:33 AM

I've gotten to the point where I don't care -- as long as they take steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.

There will always be mistakes in scouting. Those mistakes should not be compounded by emphasizing non-baseball factors. A good PR department can "make hay" with any player regardless of personality (okay if they turn out to be a mass-murderer that may not work although sensationalism does sell). But the same is not true. A PR department can't turn a bad player into a good one (and for the most part, can't produce a sleight of hand to convince the public that the player is good).

Make the baseball decisions first then worry about marketing. It should work better that way.

#9 Winston Smith

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 11:46 AM

Don't you have to recognize a problem before you can attempt to fix it? We will likely never know what scout or scouts recommended Nishi but can hope that they do evaluate the scouts yearly and replace the ones that are failing.

If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.


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#10 StormJH1


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Posted 03 October 2012 - 01:16 PM

I heard John on the G & G podcast, and I just don't really feel like the "marketing" angle made any sense. Minnesota does not have any significant Japanese population to appeal to, and it's not like the St. Louis Cardinals became "Japan's" team after So Taguchi started playing for them. It isn't like lit was when Nomo, Ichiro, and even Hideki and Kaz Matsui came over - there's actually fair number of Japanese players all over the big leagues now, even in smaller markets.

I will say that I was in Vancouver a few years ago, and there were some Asian owned drug stores there. Even though it was Canada (and Vancouver obviously has no MLB team), the drug stores sold jerseys of several well-known Japanese players from around MLB.

Then again, Nishioka's jersey was discounted at the Mall of America to $30 not even two months into the 2011 season (no joke). It just seems like the Twins are risk averse with money - there was much more chance that Nishioka would fail and they'd lose money that way than there ever was of Nishi being moderately successful AND the team making back the additional money they paid him in endorsements/merchandising, etc.