Twins Make Big Splash; Hire Baseball America Editor-in-Chief, John Manuel

John Manuel is extremely popular among the baseball community. For some, there is a line in the sand between two different types of “baseball people”. There are the “old-school ball guys (and gals – stay PC)” who believe in what they see and what their experience tells them. Then, there are the analytics people who know 21,451 different baseball statistical acronyms and use those stat categories to judge the baseball they watch.

In reality, 97% of the baseball community falls in the middle. We all watch but most are intrigued by the different numbers and different opinions. Each person falls into their own spot on the “ball guy” to “stat-head” spectrum. Baseball is the most laid-back game played. I love it. But it’s nature allows for the game to be judged in many different ways. It’s part of the fun.

The point before that tangent, was to show how loved John Manuel seems to be, no matter the community you plant your flag with in the baseball world. Everyone in the baseball community today was talking about this move and everyone was glowing about John as a writer and person. I have some of them below.

Manuel started with Baseball America in the mid-90’s and was writing his own column by the early 2000’s. There aren’t too many people in this world who love the game as much as he does. He became the editor-in-chief of Baseball America in 2005 and has given his adult life to the magazine/website, as he says in his Facebook announcement.

He has referred multiple people, who started with Baseball America, to Derek Falvey’s analytic and scouting departments while he was with the Indians. But this time, when Falvey called to find referrals for the Twins, Manuel had more of a “why not me” attitude.

Here are some of his quotes and you can read the whole thing on his Facebook page here.

When Baseball America first gave me a column back in 2001, I took it as an opportunity to write more opinionated coverage of the college baseball beat that I covered at the time. I also made a guide for myself that whenever I could, I would work around using the first person. I’d re-write the sentence or paragraph if I had to, and try to keep the focus on the players, not the writers.


When I was promoted to editor-in-chief, alongside Lingo, in 2005, we had a meeting about the staff with Allan Simpson, and it was understandably contentious. He’d started the magazine in his freaking garage, and here I was now in charge of the editorial product, not him. Allan was lamenting that the staff had too many “journalism guys,” and not enough “baseball guys.

I asked him, “Which do you think I am?” And he replied, “You’re a journalism guy.

Not anymore. Oct. 31 will be my last day at Baseball America. I’m becoming a ‘baseball guy,’ taking a job in the pro scouting department of the Minnesota Twins.”


Last spring, the Wall Street Journal featured all the BA alumni who work for the Cleveland Indians, and Derek Falvey was the one who started that. Derek called me as a reference for Matt Forman back when he was hiring Matt as an intern in the Tribe’s baseball operations department. Derek and Matt went on to bring in more BA alums—five others so far—to Cleveland’s scouting department. So when Derek inquired to me about candidates to pro scout for the organization he now leads, the Twins, I couldn’t help myself.

I asked him, “What about me?”

Twitter Reaction to the move:

Eric Strack
Minnesota Sports Fan @RealMNSportsFan

Photo: AP Photo/Jim Mone

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