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Harsh science: Twins third-least (physically) attractive team in baseball

Do you guys come here often? Here being Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. Oh you do?

Do you guys come here often? Here being Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. Oh you do?

The Minnesota Twins are not a hot baseball team.

They just got swept by Detroit, three straight losses, and have lost eight of their last 10. They're tied with the Atlanta Braves for the worst record in Major League Baseball.

Now, thanks to a scientific tool in the hands of an industrious Reddit user — and everything that follows that phrase must be taken seriously — comes a report that adds insult to injury. According to a website that analyzes facial photos, the Twins aren't all that hot off the field, either.

In fact, the Twins' performance in this study is about as good as their win-loss record this year: On the team average rating, they're third from the bottom.

As Reddit poster harmancombe explains, he'd tried asking the same question to users of the r/baseball thread about a month before, and was met with almost total silence. No one wanted to subjectively rate the attractiveness of ballplayers. Unsatisfied, harmancombe set out for an objective answer from science.

More specifically, he uploaded photos of every single player in the league to the website howhot.io, a visual assessment tool developed by researchers at the ETH Zurich University in Switzerland. The results are skewed slightly, as the tool was unable to properly analyze a number of the photos submitted. 

The mean science says young slugger Miguel Sano is just "Ok." That's 2 out of 10.

The mean science says young slugger Miguel Sano is just "Ok." That's 2 out of 10.

That snag affected the Twins, who had just 16 players evaluated, about 10 fewer than most other teams, and just half the 32 Texas Rangers judged by the software. 

As it stands, the results are not too flattering for Minnesota, which rated a combined 3.5 (out of 10!) on the rating system. Only the New York Yankees (3.28; and might we add, ha!) and Philadelphia Phillies (2.95) scored worse.

Tops in the league, with an average hotness score of 5.73, were the Cincinnati Reds, followed by the Oakland A's (5.63) and the Atlanta Braves (5.5). 

Five Twins were deemed to be "Hot," which equates to a "6" on the howhot scale. Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Phil Hughes, Darin Mastroanni, and Trevor Plouffe made that list. Seven players were judged to be just "Ok," which means they scored a 2.

There are a bunch of caveats here: First, as mentioned, about half the team is missing from this rating, and it's possible their faces are just too  hot for existing technology.

Second, the Reddit user, in the name of fairness, simply grabbed players' profile pictures of the MLB.com website. While this does level the playing field in a way, it could also mean Twins guys just don't like sitting and smiling straight into the camera. (Click here to see the profile pics that made it into this "study.") Maybe they're a lot more comfortable, and therefore attractive, in a more natural setting.

And lastly, maybe we're not quite ready to cede final judgment of "hotness" to computers just yet. People are attractive for all different kinds of reasons: confidence, style of dress, intelligence, personality. Ability to hit a fastball with runners on base. Whatever does it for you.

In the name of homerism, we demand an umpire's review. Dammit, if a square-jawed leading man like Joe Mauer gets a 6 out of 10, most cretins out on the street would be lucky to crack 0.1. 

For now, though, know this: At least we're better looking than the Yankees.