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Great piece by former OCR writer Sam Miller


True Grich

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http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9749026/oakland-athletics-success-due-player-chemistry-not-metrics-espn-magazine

 

Talks about team chemistry...

 

Excerpt: We had Bezrukova and Spell run a fault-line analysis of this year's A's roster, along with that of the 2013 Angels, preseason favorites to take the division. The researchers found a big gap in Oakland's favor and signs of isolation in the Angels' clubhouse. Without talking to a single player, scouting a single fastball, looking at a single stat or really even knowing all that much about baseball, the researchers would have predicted that the Angels would disappoint and the A's would exceed expectations. Which is exactly what's happened this year.

 

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"We had Bezrukova and Spell run a fault-line analysis of this year's A's roster, along with that of the 2013 Angels, preseason favorites to take the division. The researchers found a big gap in Oakland's favor and signs of isolation in the Angels' clubhouse. Without talking to a single player, scouting a single fastball, looking at a single stat or really even knowing all that much about baseball, the researchers would have predicted that the Angels would disappoint and the A's would exceed expectations. Which is exactly what's happened this year."

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B.S. Tinker and Evers hated each, didn't speak for several years, but were the best DP combo of their era....Bonds and Kent hated each other...everybody who played with Bonds hated him....good players have chemistry because they're good...

We were bad because DiPoto made bade decisions....if he keeps Torii and Santana, stays away from Blanton, Hanson, Madsen and Burnette, we're s lot better...Hamilton and Pujols were bad Arte decisions...

Edited by DMVol
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B.S. Tinker and Evers hated each, didn't speak for several years, but were the best DP combo of their era....Bonds and Kent hated each other...everybody who played with Bonds hated him....good players have chemistry because they're good...

We were bad because DiPoto made bade decisions....if he keeps Torii and Santana, stays away from Blanton, Hanson, Madsen and Burnette, we're s lot better...Hamilton and Pujols were bad Arte decisions...

 

DMVol, I want you to look at it in only black and white, not allow room for any new thoughts in your brain, and completely miss the point of  .  . . oh, what's that? you've already done all that?  good job, you're one step ahead!

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look I'm not saying it's anywhere near as simple as the A's are good because they all get along and like each other, and the Angels suck because they don't.  Lord knows it has a lot to do with the quality of players and sure, pitching has been a big part of it.  But I think we can all agree, baseball teams are much more (or less) than the sum of their parts.  Part of what can account for that is "chemistry".  Yes, the A's have some great young pitchers, but that's a team that plays to their fullest potential, always seems to get the big hit when they need it, and quite clearly play with a lot of confidence.

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Wally: I was probably a little old school over the top, duh...but the A's are good primarily because they can pitch and pitch very, very well...we haven't pitched that well for awhile...that makes for good chemistry, methinks...

 

I guess scoring 767 runs for the season didn't help out that much.

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Team Chemistry happens when one of the best pitchers in baseball skips free agency, gives you loyalty and a hometown discount and then management hands Albert Pujols the key to the safe.

 

Team Chemistry happens when 1st baseman Villa Park hometown product Mark Trumbo comes in 2nd for ROY and then gets displaced by Albert Pujols. Popular teammate Kendrys Morales also gets shipped out. 

 

Team Chemistry happens when your clubhouse leader Torii Hunter is told that money's tight and then they sign headcase Josh Hamilton to $125M.

 

Team Chemistry happens when one of the best players in baseball Mike Trout continues to do all of the heavy lifting but continues to get stiffed.

 

  

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I guess scoring 767 runs for the season didn't help out that much.

They were ok in 2010 with a bad offense, good in 2012 with a mediocre offense and really good this year with a good offense...the constant has been terrific pitching...

Edited by DMVol
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I think if you put the A's lineup in Arlington for a season, they would put up some huge numbers. That stadium they play in is an offensive black hole. Makes their lineup look worse than it is

It IS the black hole

Edited by Carlos
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Have things changed then? The 1972-1974 A's did not get along all that well, but they only won THREE straight WS titles. They won not mainly because of chemistry but because of the fact that Catfish Hunter, Vida Blue, Ken Holtzman, Rollie Fingers, Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Sal Bando, Campy Campaneris, and Gene Tenace were extremely clutch players.

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The only sport I believe "chemistry" is important in is hockey. Being on the same page as your linemates is one of the most important things in that sports.

Talent and coaching is what the Angels lacked this season.

And if we had a better owner, we'd be in much better shape right now.

I liked, although I would only add that football is up there with hockey for need of chemistry.

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Chemistry is important in all team sports. Don't you think its important if a quarterback and the offensive line share mutual respect?

 

But I think we should broaden this a bit and look at chemistry as one aspect of team psychology, which is important for any team, any player, and often separates players of equal physical talent. One can become a scrub, another a Hall of Famer - but with equal talent. Look at the Upton brothers, for instance - both are extremely talented, and both chronic underachievers. Why is that?

 

Players can dislike each other, but on some level there has to be mutual respect. I'm pretty sure Bonds and Kent respected each other on some level.

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I'd also add that if you think team chemistry is unimportant than I'm guessing you weren't a fan during, or were too young to remember, the 2002 season. That team was all about chemistry. The jokes long-time fans make about "grit" is based upon that team - which was all about. It was a team with no superstars and only a few stars. Some of the key players were no more than average major leaguers who played well when it counted most (Scott Spiezio comes to mind). "On paper" that was, maybe, an 85-win team a best. But they played their hearts out and won it all.

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