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durl
05-29-2009, 12:58 PM
I was reading the Reds MLB page and came across the article about Gomes and his drive to stay in the big leagues. This part really impressed me:


The hot bats made the 90-minute trip up Interstate 71 along with Gomes, who reached safely in all five of his games with the Reds and is batting .429 (6-for-14).

"Everyone can pat me on my back right now, saying, 'Good job,' and what not," Gomes said. "I'm telling them I'm five lousy at-bats away from people not talking to me or possibly wondering if my jersey will still be hung up in my locker. This game is big peaks and valleys. You definitely have to find the happy medium with both of them. You can't keep your head in the sand in the valleys nor your head in the clouds for the peaks."

"Five lousy at-bats..." lets you know this guy is going to be working his behind off to stay in Cincinnati. Gomes knows what he's up against and seems to be prepared to do what it takes to stay with the team. I like that in a player.

That last sentence was great, too.

The last paragraph was interesting:


In a sport that is often associated with having too many trappings of comfort, Gomes doesn't conform to the stereotype.

"Even in the limelight of the big leagues, I'm living in a hotel and my closet is in my car with that rack that goes across the back," Gomes said. "People don't see that. I'm alright with it. As long as I'm healthy and between the lines, it's all good."

redsmetz
05-29-2009, 01:11 PM
It reminds me of this line from Bull Durham:


You know what’s the difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter? About 24 extra hits a season. 6 month season 24 weeks, that’s 1 extra hit a week. You get one extra gork, one more dying quail, one more ground ball with eyes a week, and your playing in Yankee Stadium.

lollipopcurve
05-29-2009, 01:15 PM
To use the modern parlance, Gomes keeps it real. I think there's some pretty interesting chemistry brewing on this team.

Nasty_Boy
05-29-2009, 01:20 PM
To use the modern parlance, Gomes keeps it real. I think there's some pretty interesting chemistry brewing on this team.

Winning will do this

Team Clark
05-29-2009, 01:24 PM
To use the modern parlance, Gomes keeps it real. I think there's some pretty interesting chemistry brewing on this team.

I know that clubhouse "chemistry" means nothing to a great many on Redszone, HOWEVER, it's guys like Gomes that I root for. It's his work ethic and attitude that reflect how I WOULD BE if I were in his shoes. Guys like Gomes rub off on guys like Bruce, Rosales and other younglings who still look around for guidance.

My first Reds game of the year I found myself SCREAMING praise of Gomes after he sprinted from LF to back up 3B after the bad relay from Hairston. He then throws a guy out at the plate. (Although later reversed by a moronic interference call and yes it looked like he was out to me). There are just not a lot of big leaguers that make that play. In a game of inches, HUSTLE can supercede talent in a given situation.

I'm not saying that Gomes will hit like Manny Ramirez or just because he hustles he is a phenomenal ballplayer. He has his pitfalls. Consider this, he has a role on this team and he is playing that role to his maximum ability. Good for you Jonny Gomes!

OnBaseMachine
05-29-2009, 01:33 PM
I've always been a huge Jonny Gomes fan. I can remember starting a thread on here about three years ago where I was pushing for the Reds to acquire him. I thought the Rays were undervaluing him, and I thought he had a chance of developing into an Adam Dunn type of hitter. He hasn't quite reach that level, but he's still a solid platoon player. I'm glad to have him on the Reds.

traderumor
05-29-2009, 01:50 PM
I know that clubhouse "chemistry" means nothing to a great many on Redszone
As long as the players are human beings, this will matter. Just because it can't be quantified doesn't mean it doesn't exist certainly applies to this issue. Bringing up the 70s A's doesn't mean it doesn't exist (they had a team chemistry, after all). Does it translate to what really matters, making it to the postseason? For a team oozing with talent, maybe not so much. For a team with marginal overall talent, it may be a factor that pushes them to exceed "on paper" expectations.

RFS62
05-29-2009, 01:53 PM
I know that clubhouse "chemistry" means nothing to a great many on Redszone, HOWEVER, it's guys like Gomes that I root for. It's his work ethic and attitude that reflect how I WOULD BE if I were in his shoes. Guys like Gomes rub off on guys like Bruce, Rosales and other younglings who still look around for guidance.

My first Reds game of the year I found myself SCREAMING praise of Gomes after he sprinted from LF to back up 3B after the bad relay from Hairston. He then throws a guy out at the plate. (Although later reversed by a moronic interference call and yes it looked like he was out to me). There are just not a lot of big leaguers that make that play. In a game of inches, HUSTLE can supercede talent in a given situation.

I'm not saying that Gomes will hit like Manny Ramirez or just because he hustles he is a phenomenal ballplayer. He has his pitfalls. Consider this, he has a role on this team and he is playing that role to his maximum ability. Good for you Jonny Gomes!


Well said.

:beerme:

TheNext44
05-29-2009, 02:32 PM
I know that clubhouse "chemistry" means nothing to a great many on Redszone, HOWEVER, it's guys like Gomes that I root for. It's his work ethic and attitude that reflect how I WOULD BE if I were in his shoes. Guys like Gomes rub off on guys like Bruce, Rosales and other younglings who still look around for guidance.

My first Reds game of the year I found myself SCREAMING praise of Gomes after he sprinted from LF to back up 3B after the bad relay from Hairston. He then throws a guy out at the plate. (Although later reversed by a moronic interference call and yes it looked like he was out to me). There are just not a lot of big leaguers that make that play. In a game of inches, HUSTLE can supercede talent in a given situation.

I'm not saying that Gomes will hit like Manny Ramirez or just because he hustles he is a phenomenal ballplayer. He has his pitfalls. Consider this, he has a role on this team and he is playing that role to his maximum ability. Good for you Jonny Gomes!

I agree with this whole post, but I would like to defend the "anti-chemistry" view.

First, I don't know too many people who claim that chemistry means "nothing." As traderumor points out, it part of human nature to be affected by others personalities. I just personally believe that chemistry is overrated.

But is also is part of human nature to overrate chemistry, as fans reactions to players like Jonny Gomes shows. We love this guy, we want him to succeed. We see his enthusiasm, and it makes us feel better about our team. We then too often make a leap from there to believing that this enthusiasm leads the team to victories.

I am sure there is some causal relationship between a players love for the game, and his teams victories, but I can't see it being big enough to really matter that much. Put it this way. If those quotes from Jonny Gomes came from Darnell McDonald or Corey Patterson or Rheal Cormier or Josh Fogg, would we be talking about how much chemistry matters?

I have no doubt that chemistry matters to some degree, and it sure as hell makes a team more fun to watch, but I am not sure that it really leads to that many more victories. At the very least, it's value is dwarfed majorly by talent.

My personal view is that winning breeds chemistry, not the other way around.

Blitz Dorsey
05-29-2009, 02:55 PM
And it took Dusty Baker a month and a half to figure out that Gomes was better than Darnell McDonald. Or maybe I'm giving Dusty too much credit. Maybe he never came to that conclusion and Jocketty made the decision for him.

Still amazed that Gomes didn't make the team out of ST and McDonald did. But you know what, I think it worked out well in the long run. Gomes proved he has a GREAT attitude. And he didn't just go down to AAA with a good attitude, he hit the cover off the ball (.941 OPS, 9 HR, 27 RBIs) and earned his spot on the team. And now that he's here, he's not taking anything for granted and might be the RH bat we have been looking for in LF. He's not going to be great over the long haul. But he doesn't have to be. He just has to be a good platoon LF with Laynce Nix and I think he can be that.

Tom Servo
05-29-2009, 03:11 PM
http://www.survivinggrady.com/uploaded_images/jonny_gomes-787061.jpg

remdog
05-29-2009, 03:11 PM
I know that clubhouse "chemistry" means nothing to a great many on Redszone, HOWEVER, it's guys like Gomes that I root for. It's his work ethic and attitude that reflect how I WOULD BE if I were in his shoes. Guys like Gomes rub off on guys like Bruce, Rosales and other younglings who still look around for guidance.

My first Reds game of the year I found myself SCREAMING praise of Gomes after he sprinted from LF to back up 3B after the bad relay from Hairston. He then throws a guy out at the plate. (Although later reversed by a moronic interference call and yes it looked like he was out to me). There are just not a lot of big leaguers that make that play. In a game of inches, HUSTLE can supercede talent in a given situation.

I'm not saying that Gomes will hit like Manny Ramirez or just because he hustles he is a phenomenal ballplayer. He has his pitfalls. Consider this, he has a role on this team and he is playing that role to his maximum ability. Good for you Jonny Gomes!

I agree with everything you posted there. I praised that play that Gomes made simply because it showed that he was 'in the game' mentally and was willing to make the effort to backup a play that doesn't even happen on some nights.

The Gomes/Nix platoon could become an acceptable alternative to the 'big bat' that we've all wanted. Nix and Gomes just need to keep their focus day by day, game by game, play by play, pitch by pitch.

I don't doubt that they will have their 'valleys' but it will be interesting to watch their accomplishments.

Rem

Degenerate39
05-29-2009, 03:32 PM
http://www.survivinggrady.com/uploaded_images/jonny_gomes-787061.jpg

Stealing that!

nate
05-29-2009, 03:34 PM
I agree with this whole post, but I would like to defend the "anti-chemistry" view.

First, I don't know too many people who claim that chemistry means "nothing." As traderumor points out, it part of human nature to be affected by others personalities. I just personally believe that chemistry is overrated.

But is also is part of human nature to overrate chemistry, as fans reactions to players like Jonny Gomes shows. We love this guy, we want him to succeed. We see his enthusiasm, and it makes us feel better about our team. We then too often make a leap from there to believing that this enthusiasm leads the team to victories.

I am sure there is some causal relationship between a players love for the game, and his teams victories, but I can't see it being big enough to really matter that much. Put it this way. If those quotes from Jonny Gomes came from Darnell McDonald or Corey Patterson or Rheal Cormier or Josh Fogg, would we be talking about how much chemistry matters?

I have no doubt that chemistry matters to some degree, and it sure as hell makes a team more fun to watch, but I am not sure that it really leads to that many more victories. At the very least, it's value is dwarfed majorly by talent.

My personal view is that winning breeds chemistry, not the other way around.

This.

Chemistry is an underdog that never wins by himself. Pair him with Tools, Talent and Execution and he'll become the most popular member of the gang. Even if all he does is mooch smokes and call shotgun.

Mario-Rijo
05-29-2009, 03:40 PM
I agree with this whole post, but I would like to defend the "anti-chemistry" view.

First, I don't know too many people who claim that chemistry means "nothing." As traderumor points out, it part of human nature to be affected by others personalities. I just personally believe that chemistry is overrated.

But is also is part of human nature to overrate chemistry, as fans reactions to players like Jonny Gomes shows. We love this guy, we want him to succeed. We see his enthusiasm, and it makes us feel better about our team. We then too often make a leap from there to believing that this enthusiasm leads the team to victories.

I am sure there is some causal relationship between a players love for the game, and his teams victories, but I can't see it being big enough to really matter that much. Put it this way. If those quotes from Jonny Gomes came from Darnell McDonald or Corey Patterson or Rheal Cormier or Josh Fogg, would we be talking about how much chemistry matters?

I have no doubt that chemistry matters to some degree, and it sure as hell makes a team more fun to watch, but I am not sure that it really leads to that many more victories. At the very least, it's value is dwarfed majorly by talent.

My personal view is that winning breeds chemistry, not the other way around.

I agree with TC and yourself to some extent. I do believe that talent is a must and all the chemistry in the world can't help a substantial lack of talent. I don't believe TC did or would refute that. However there is a reason that we often see the teams who on paper should win, don't win. Who had the Phillies and the Rays in the W/S last year? Yes winning most often breeds chemistry but I think that chemistry can then help a team win games it maybe shouldn't or wouldn't had they not gained that chemistry through hard work and sacrificing for each other. I think that's the difference between the teams on paper and on the field some want to win for themselves and some win for each other. And if the talent is at all close that latter team will win the vast majority of them.

Talent is a great thing and perhaps the most important but without the intangibles guys don't usually make the most of their god given talent.

bucksfan2
05-29-2009, 03:42 PM
I agree with this whole post, but I would like to defend the "anti-chemistry" view.

First, I don't know too many people who claim that chemistry means "nothing." As traderumor points out, it part of human nature to be affected by others personalities. I just personally believe that chemistry is overrated.

Personally I believe you underestimate chemistry almost to the exact extent that i overestimate chemistry. Its hard to say how much it matters but it is also hard to say how many teams long for good chemistry.


But is also is part of human nature to overrate chemistry, as fans reactions to players like Jonny Gomes shows. We love this guy, we want him to succeed. We see his enthusiasm, and it makes us feel better about our team. We then too often make a leap from there to believing that this enthusiasm leads the team to victories.

I am sure there is some causal relationship between a players love for the game, and his teams victories, but I can't see it being big enough to really matter that much. Put it this way. If those quotes from Jonny Gomes came from Darnell McDonald or Corey Patterson or Rheal Cormier or Josh Fogg, would we be talking about how much chemistry matters?

We tend to love players how succeed, play hard, and endear themselves to fans. It happens all the time and if a player struggles no matter what he says or what he does, performance will be the ultimate key.

I find this interesting but many were amazed at the play Gomes down the 3b line to throw Seizemore out at the plate. The sad part about that is Gomes was doing exactly what he should have been doing. I have heard the saying "right place at the right time" or "he was lucky". In sports players don't luck themselves into much. He wasn't at the "right place at the right time" he was doing what he was supposed to do.


I have no doubt that chemistry matters to some degree, and it sure as hell makes a team more fun to watch, but I am not sure that it really leads to that many more victories. At the very least, it's value is dwarfed majorly by talent.

My personal view is that winning breeds chemistry, not the other way around.

Talent trumps most things. But to be honest players don't make it to the big league level without talent. There have been many more talented teams that have failed miserably because the team was lacking. Is it just a coincidence that the Mets have faltered at the end of the season for the past two years? Why do the Cubs always seem to falter and blame non baseball things when the inevitably fail at the end of the year? Why has the best player in baseball, Alex Rodriguez, never been able to put his team over the top in the post season? We have all seen it before that a better team on paper gets beat by a much inferior team on paper. It may not all be chemistry, and chemistry may not even be in the equation, but a lot of the time it isn't just talent that separates the good teams from the average teams.

HumnHilghtFreel
05-29-2009, 03:46 PM
Great to hear. Something tells me an attitude like that will make him popular in Cincy

nate
05-29-2009, 03:59 PM
The whole chemistry reminds me of an old Jazz yarn. Charlie Parker doing a tour in the Midwest and to maximize his money, he just hired local musicians rather than bring a band on the road with him. Well, at one particular stop the local band were a bunch of friendly, well-respected community members. They invited Parker in, made him feel at home, told him how much they loved his music, etc. When the downbeat came and they started playing, the music just wasn't happening. Parker soldiered through the night but it was easy to tell he wasn't feeling the local cats.

During the break, the manager comes over to Parker and says, "So what do you think, Bird? Aren't the guys in your band the nicest folks you'd ever want to meet?"

Parker said, "Yeah, they're real nice. Get me four pricks who can play."

redsmetz
05-29-2009, 04:17 PM
And it took Dusty Baker a month and a half to figure out that Gomes was better than Darnell McDonald. Or maybe I'm giving Dusty too much credit. Maybe he never came to that conclusion and Jocketty made the decision for him.

Still amazed that Gomes didn't make the team out of ST and McDonald did. But you know what, I think it worked out well in the long run. Gomes proved he has a GREAT attitude. And he didn't just go down to AAA with a good attitude, he hit the cover off the ball (.941 OPS, 9 HR, 27 RBIs) and earned his spot on the team. And now that he's here, he's not taking anything for granted and might be the RH bat we have been looking for in LF. He's not going to be great over the long haul. But he doesn't have to be. He just has to be a good platoon LF with Laynce Nix and I think he can be that.

It's great to amazed that he didn't make it, but why does something like this always fall at the feet of Baker? Perhaps the call was his alone, maybe it was one made in conjunction with Jocketty and the rest of the staff. I do recall reports at the start of the season that the team wanted Gomes to go down to Louisville and work on some things. Perhaps that's what has happened they decided to make the move particular seeing that McDonald was not getting the job done.

I'll go a step further. I think this new chemistry could have a lot to do with Baker himself, as much as it would kill some folks here to admit that. He's juggling quite a lot of players and we're getting good performances from a lot. It's not out of the realm of possibility that maybe Dusty knows a thing or two about the game of baseball.

Falls City Beer
05-29-2009, 04:19 PM
Ask anyone who works with a lot of other people toward one goal: morale matters.

VR
05-29-2009, 04:30 PM
Ask anyone who works with a lot of other people toward one goal: morale matters.

No doubt about it.

Have to have a certain level of talent/ experience/ knowledge etc......but once those are assembled, you've got to have a common ground that is established so team members can thrive.
Hidden agendas, preferential treatement, egos, poor communication, unknown roles, unknown goals....all play a part in organizational disfuntion.
People often mistake this as too touchy feely to equate to being successful, especially in sports, but it is a critical error to overlook the importance of chemistry/ morale/ culture....however you choose to categorize it.

bucksfan2
05-29-2009, 04:31 PM
The whole chemistry reminds me of an old Jazz yarn. Charlie Parker doing a tour in the Midwest and to maximize his money, he just hired local musicians rather than bring a band on the road with him. Well, at one particular stop the local band were a bunch of friendly, well-respected community members. They invited Parker in, made him feel at home, told him how much they loved his music, etc. When the downbeat came and they started playing, the music just wasn't happening. Parker soldiered through the night but it was easy to tell he wasn't feeling the local cats.

During the break, the manager comes over to Parker and says, "So what do you think, Bird? Aren't the guys in your band the nicest folks you'd ever want to meet?"

Parker said, "Yeah, they're real nice. Get me four pricks who can play."

How many bands have broken up because they couldn't stand each other?

Ravenlord
05-29-2009, 04:34 PM
This.

Chemistry is an underdog that never wins by himself. Pair him with Tools, Talent and Execution and he'll become the most popular member of the gang. Even if all he does is mooch smokes and call shotgun.

i believe that is the most perfect summation i've ever heard for team chemistry.:beerme:

Ltlabner
05-29-2009, 04:37 PM
How many bands have broken up because they couldn't stand each other?

How many bands have stayed together despite not really being any good?

lollipopcurve
05-29-2009, 04:42 PM
You know, the argument that winning = chemistry has a lot of merit, but it ignores the fact that it takes a while for a team to establish itself as a "winner" or "loser" in a major league baseball season. Could it be that good team chemistry increases the chances that a team will push through and establish itself as a winning club? I'm inclined to think so.

Chip R
05-29-2009, 04:45 PM
Chemistry's like any other attribute; power, speed, pitching, defense. You have to decide if you want it and how much you want to pay for it. The Reds made a decision last year that they didn't want to pay for power. I'm sure if they knew they could get someone to replace Dunn and Jr's power for the league minimum they would have taken it. But they decided their price was too rich for their blood. The problem that some teams have is that they pay too much for something like chemistry. Who was a better clubhouse guy than Sean Casey? Should some team paid him whatever salary he asked to be their chemistry guy? He may only play in a few games but, by God, they would have great chemistry. Last year, the Reds kept Hatteberg around. Great guy but he was eventually proved redundant with Votto's emergence. In a case like that, should the team keep that player on the squad because he's a good guy or should they let him go and risk the effect his absence has on the clubhouse? Do you keep an older player well past his prime who really can't play well anymore on the roster because he helps the younger players out? And if you do, how much do you pay him?

traderumor
05-29-2009, 04:45 PM
How many bands have stayed together despite not really being any good?Like Scrantonicity? They may stay together, but does "jamming" in the garage count as staying together. Positive chemistry might not make you "good" in and of itself, but it will certainly make you better.

nate
05-29-2009, 04:45 PM
How many bands have broken up because they couldn't stand each other?

The drummer usually dies before that happens.

nate
05-29-2009, 04:46 PM
Like Scrantonicity? They may stay together, but does "jamming" in the garage count as staying together. Positive chemistry might not make you "good" in and of itself, but it will certainly make you better.

Unless it doesn't.

nate
05-29-2009, 04:48 PM
Regarding the original post, awesome! Gomes understands streaks and the grind of the baseball season. Cool!

Tom Servo
05-29-2009, 04:50 PM
Like Scrantonicity? They may stay together, but does "jamming" in the garage count as staying together. Positive chemistry might not make you "good" in and of itself, but it will certainly make you better.
If only they could have played at what would have been the Anderson/Beasly wedding, the Lapin/Vance one just wasn't the same.

RANDY IN INDY
05-29-2009, 04:50 PM
Chemistry's like any other attribute; power, speed, pitching, defense. You have to decide if you want it and how much you want to pay for it. The Reds made a decision last year that they didn't want to pay for power. I'm sure if they knew they could get someone to replace Dunn and Jr's power for the league minimum they would have taken it. But they decided their price was too rich for their blood. The problem that some teams have is that they pay too much for something like chemistry. Who was a better clubhouse guy than Sean Casey? Should some team paid him whatever salary he asked to be their chemistry guy? He may only play in a few games but, by God, they would have great chemistry. Last year, the Reds kept Hatteberg around. Great guy but he was eventually proved redundant with Votto's emergence. In a case like that, should the team keep that player on the squad because he's a good guy or should they let him go and risk the effect his absence has on the clubhouse? Do you keep an older player well past his prime who really can't play well anymore on the roster because he helps the younger players out? And if you do, how much do you pay him?

Insert Tony Perez, circa 1977, and I say yes. He was winding down, but he still had a lot in the tank. The Reds were never the same. Depends on the player.

Ltlabner
05-29-2009, 04:52 PM
Has chemistry ever really been defined?

Is it working well together?

Is it having good morale?

Is everybody pushing each other to be better?

Is it the natural residue of talented people working together?

Is it people who "click" and understand each other?

Or is it just that certain indescribable jazz that a group of people either has or doesn't have?

traderumor
05-29-2009, 04:53 PM
Unless it doesn't.You know, we could go around in circles for days, because neither one of us can quantify this. But, like I said earlier, just because you cannot slap a formula on it and quantify doesn't mean it isn't a factor.

remdog
05-29-2009, 04:57 PM
You know, we could go around in circles for days, because neither one of us can quantify this. But, like I said earlier, just because you cannot slap a formula on it and quantify doesn't mean it isn't a factor.

I'd say that the above quote is a good sumation of the subject.

Rem

nate
05-29-2009, 05:04 PM
You know, we could go around in circles for days, because neither one of us can quantify this. But, like I said earlier, just because you cannot slap a formula on it and quantify doesn't mean it isn't a factor.

I think in terms of things that make a team win, chemistry is more result than ingredient. If it is ingredient, it's like those multi-colored sprinkles on ice cream: short on flavor, big on appearance. Would I rather have sprinkles than pickles? Yes. However, I'd be happy with the best ice cream in the world and no sprinkles over a handful of sprinkles.

In other words, would we be talking about chemistry if the team was 10 games under .500 with the same players?

remdog
05-29-2009, 05:13 PM
In other words, would we be talking about chemistry if the team was 10 games under .500 with the same players?

Yes. It's been brought up a number of times on this board over the years. And, considering that most of the years that this board has exsisted the Reds have had loosing records, the fact that they have a winning record doesn't change the fact that it's an area that's fairly often brought up.

Rem

Chip R
05-29-2009, 05:15 PM
Insert Tony Perez, circa 1977, and I say yes. He was winding down, but he still had a lot in the tank. The Reds were never the same. Depends on the player.


That's a bad example because he still was a very good player for about 5-7 more years.

TheNext44
05-29-2009, 05:44 PM
First, on the original post, that makes me psyched about Gomes and instantly one of my favorite current Reds.

Just one thought on the chemistry issue.

I think that positive chemistry can only be a good thing, but I am not sure how good. It might lead to more wins, but that effect is minimal in my opinion.

However, negative chemistry may not always be bad, but when it is bad, it can severely hurt a team and lead to many losses.

So I think is it more important to stay away from the bad apples than it is to focus on acquiring happy campers.

Just my take on it.

traderumor
05-29-2009, 06:13 PM
I think in terms of things that make a team win, chemistry is more result than ingredient. If it is ingredient, it's like those multi-colored sprinkles on ice cream: short on flavor, big on appearance. Would I rather have sprinkles than pickles? Yes. However, I'd be happy with the best ice cream in the world and no sprinkles over a handful of sprinkles.

In other words, would we be talking about chemistry if the team was 10 games under .500 with the same players?It has been made clear that everyone understands that there is both sides of the chemistry coin. In fact, I used to poke fun at the Casey Reds for turning chemistry into beer league baseball, where it is great if you win, but we're still having the beer and the bbq after the game win or lose. That was chemistry, and I didn't like it for a major league team. And most of those teams lost. So, yes, folks do generally see both sides of the coin here.

RANDY IN INDY
05-29-2009, 06:23 PM
That's a bad example because he still was a very good player for about 5-7 more years.

It is not a bad example as the Reds didn't think that was the case,at the time they traded him. They didn't exactly get equal value in that trade. He not only was still a good player, but he was the key in the clubhouse. Didn't seem to matter to the Reds because they thought he was on the way down.

Team Clark
05-30-2009, 01:37 AM
You know, we could go around in circles for days, because neither one of us can quantify this. But, like I said earlier, just because you cannot slap a formula on it and quantify doesn't mean it isn't a factor.

Impossible for me to say it any better. :thumbup:

Topcat
05-30-2009, 02:29 AM
I agree with TC and yourself to some extent. I do believe that talent is a must and all the chemistry in the world can't help a substantial lack of talent. I don't believe TC did or would refute that. However there is a reason that we often see the teams who on paper should win, don't win. Who had the Phillies and the Rays in the W/S last year? Yes winning most often breeds chemistry but I think that chemistry can then help a team win games it maybe shouldn't or wouldn't had they not gained that chemistry through hard work and sacrificing for each other. I think that's the difference between the teams on paper and on the field some want to win for themselves and some win for each other. And if the talent is at all close that latter team will win the vast majority of them.

Talent is a great thing and perhaps the most important but without the intangibles guys don't usually make the most of their god given talent.

Bucky F'n Dent says high as does Denny Doyle, Ed Armbrister, John Lowenstien, Bernie Carbo etc. Room guys and chemistry matters more than people realize. It can not be measured or calculated. It is the behind locker room intangible and yes the Bronx zoo and the A's teams of past are exceptions but not the standard.

Razor Shines
05-30-2009, 04:08 AM
I agree with this whole post, but I would like to defend the "anti-chemistry" view.

First, I don't know too many people who claim that chemistry means "nothing." As traderumor points out, it part of human nature to be affected by others personalities. I just personally believe that chemistry is overrated.

But is also is part of human nature to overrate chemistry, as fans reactions to players like Jonny Gomes shows. We love this guy, we want him to succeed. We see his enthusiasm, and it makes us feel better about our team. We then too often make a leap from there to believing that this enthusiasm leads the team to victories.

I am sure there is some causal relationship between a players love for the game, and his teams victories, but I can't see it being big enough to really matter that much. Put it this way. If those quotes from Jonny Gomes came from Darnell McDonald or Corey Patterson or Rheal Cormier or Josh Fogg, would we be talking about how much chemistry matters?

I have no doubt that chemistry matters to some degree, and it sure as hell makes a team more fun to watch, but I am not sure that it really leads to that many more victories. At the very least, it's value is dwarfed majorly by talent.

My personal view is that winning breeds chemistry, not the other way around.

Really good post. That's pretty much where I am as well. Chemistry has to matter in some way or another, I just think that it is has a somewhat small impact on performance.

Highlifeman21
05-30-2009, 09:43 AM
I've always been a huge Jonny Gomes fan. I can remember starting a thread on here about three years ago where I was pushing for the Reds to acquire him. I thought the Rays were undervaluing him, and I thought he had a chance of developing into an Adam Dunn type of hitter. He hasn't quite reach that level, but he's still a solid platoon player. I'm glad to have him on the Reds.

Consistent, but strikes out too much, and doesn't hit for a high average w/ RISP?

;)



In all seriousness, I don't think Gomes has the eye/discipline of Dunn, but he certainly has most of Dunn's power, and unlike Dunn can rake against LHP.

I really think the GoNix LF platoon is at least a solution for the Reds until 2011.

Highlifeman21
05-30-2009, 09:48 AM
You know, we could go around in circles for days, because neither one of us can quantify this. But, like I said earlier, just because you cannot slap a formula on it and quantify doesn't mean it isn't a factor.

So chemistry and clutch are family members?

They exist (to some extent), but we can't quite put our collective fingers on either of them, or how to define them?

Or maybe they're both like the Loch Ness Monster? They only "exist" b/c we want to believe they exist, but we can't offer an ounce of proof to back up any assertions?

RANDY IN INDY
05-30-2009, 10:20 AM
When worlds collide.

traderumor
05-30-2009, 10:37 AM
So chemistry and clutch are family members?

They exist (to some extent), but we can't quite put our collective fingers on either of them, or how to define them?

Or maybe they're both like the Loch Ness Monster? They only "exist" b/c we want to believe they exist, but we can't offer an ounce of proof to back up any assertions?Who said there is not any proof? I simply said you cannot quantify it, as in come up with a number, which is where I think the discomfort comes from detractors. Bengals fans should know better as well. In a team game, the human factor is going to have bearing on the collective efforts over the course of a long season.

The other problem I see in the detractors is creating a strawman that "team chemistry" is just about "getting along," when I am certainly talking more about teamwork aspects than if the guys have beers together. And of course, expect snide remarks after any loss :rolleyes:

remdog
05-30-2009, 11:53 AM
To paraphrase the old quote about obsenity: 'I can't define team chemistry but I know it when I see it'.

Rem

durl
05-30-2009, 01:22 PM
I think we should all just agree that it takes talent and determination to win; chemistry is the oil that makes everything work better. :D

RANDY IN INDY
05-30-2009, 01:26 PM
You don't make it to the bigs without talent. What is determination? Work ethic? Does it have any link with chemistry?

Team Clark
05-30-2009, 03:09 PM
You don't make it to the bigs without talent. What is determination? Work ethic? Does it have any link with chemistry?

I think so. I would even go this far. Look at the effect that Junior had on a young Austin Kearns and Adam Dunn. It wasn't so much their performance that made them popular or unpopular. It was the behind the scenes behavior and attitude that began to leak out into the press over time that killed their "persona". Dunn put up big numbers but only won over a certain contingent of fans. I'm not blaming Jr. or saying he did anything intentional. (Know him, like him and miss him.) What I am getting at is I know how Jr. acts. Jr. CAN act that way. Popmpous, aloof, funny, mad, silent, boastful....all in 5 minutes. As Jr. was so fond of pointing out "look at the back of my bubblegum card". He felt he was entitled to do whatever he wanted. His wish was granted on a consistent basis.

Dunn and Kearns tried to emulate him far too quickly and it really rubbed off the wrong way to the press and to some extent their teammates. (This goes waaaay beyond Dunn and Kearns but people are more familiar with their stories) Dunn, fortunately, had a great spirit and was quick with the self depreciating humor. He became "cool" in the clubhouse and eventually matured enough to get away from Jr's cloud. There is no doubt he is a POSITIVE influence in Washington. Kearns has never recovered and never will.

Junior had a LONG leash because of an overabundance of God given talent and the fact that he was Jr. Dunn and Kearns didn't come with that tag. Not their fault.

How does this lead to chemistry? When you have young players watching and listening to you talk about how much money you have, showing off a $3 million dollar check, talk about how big your boat is, listen to you talk about how "easy" this game is, and watch you walk to first after hitting a ground ball.... they take notice. When a guy who usually hustles "forgets" and gets made an example of by being benched he points the finger at the STAR and says "Hey, he doesn't hustle". This takes a toll on chemistry.

Winning naturally makes Chemistry stand out. Everyone is hunk dory. Life is good, everyone loves their role. People who break the rules and get away with being held accountable tend to get away with it even more in some clubhouses. If you have good clubhouse leadership these issues get handled. Chemistry has a lot to do with accountability and being responsible to your teammates. Are you doing EVERYTHING you can to help this team win? Quite frankly there are a lot of guys who could care less about the 24 other guys sitting around them. "Where's my check?", "Who cares if I stay out all night?", "You don't have my kinda money".... those kind of things eat away at chemistry. The flip side is the guys like Gomes who make an effort to do things right. Appreciate what they have, respect the game, talk to others with respect, play the game with some intensity and enthusiasm. Guys like Gomes show up early, work on their faults, seek out coaches for extra work and don't worry about the frivolous BS.

Gomes played on some crappy teams. No doubt, but I don't recall at any point in time those guys not hustling, not getting better, not playing hard. I just don't. They were bad because they were AAA players playing at a big league level. They stuck together and before long they pulled it together. Same thing goes for the young guns in LA. Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Billingsley, Martin, etc... They have great chemistry too.

RANDY IN INDY
05-30-2009, 04:16 PM
Right on the money, TC. Teams take on the persona of their star(s). I loved Griffey but I never felt that he was a good leader for the young guys. What he was, was a "freak" and I mean that in the kindest terms. The things that he did on the field were natural and he was blessed with so much ability. The things that he could do on the field spoke volumes, but he never said much. He had an aloof personality. He did his own thing. I'm sure he was a good teammate in his own way, but I never got the feeling that he had any interest in leading that clubhouse and he didn't have another player on the team that could touch him, from an ability standpoint, to step up and be the leader. What Griffey needed in Cincinnati was Barry Larkin in his prime and a couple of roughnecks like Sabo and Dibble.

Ltlabner
05-30-2009, 06:12 PM
So the rubric of "chemistry" includes:

Leadership
Tutorship abilities
Determination
Hustle
Work Ethic
Drive
Ability to inspire
Willingness to bust heads of those not pulling their weight
Take baseball seriously
Respect the game

I'm seriously not posting this as a snide dismissal of "chemistry". But it does seem that chemistry is a bit like nailing jello to the wall. It's sort of a catch all of various character traits and as such it's a "know it when you see it" sort of thing.

Team Clark
05-30-2009, 06:19 PM
So the rubric of "chemistry" includes:

Leadership
Tutorship abilities
Determination
Hustle
Work Ethic
Drive
Ability to inspire
Willingness to bust heads of those not pulling their weight
Take baseball seriously
Respect the game

I'm seriously not posting this as a snide dismissal of "chemistry". But it does seem that chemistry is a bit like nailing jello to the wall. It's sort of a catch all of various character traits and as such it's a "know it when you see it" sort of thing.

It's all those things on your list, with a common "buy in" from a vast majority of the players. Chemistry is a dynamic that changes with every other dynamic. A moving target so to speak. As the personalities and performances change so goes the chemistry. Chemistry may be as difficult to describe as love... LOL :thumbup:

remdog
05-30-2009, 06:20 PM
I'm seriously not posting this as a snide dismissal of "chemistry".

Sure, you're not. Just as I'm not thinking that you were. :)

Rem

Mario-Rijo
05-30-2009, 06:58 PM
It's all those things on your list, with a common "buy in" from a vast majority of the players. Chemistry is a dynamic that changes with every other dynamic. A moving target so to speak. As the personalities and performances change so goes the chemistry. Chemistry may be as difficult to describe as love... LOL :thumbup:

:D You are killing me with your depth. :thumbup:

Ron Madden
05-30-2009, 07:21 PM
I can't define team chemistry, I'm sure that it does exist.

I happen to think it is overrated when compared to talent, determination and execution. I also believe that winning leads to good team chemistry not that good team chemistry leads to winning.

Just my humble opinion.

traderumor
05-30-2009, 07:36 PM
I can't define team chemistry, I'm sure that it does exist.

I happen to think it is overrated when compared to talent, determination and execution. I also believe that winning leads to good team chemistry not that good team chemistry leads to winning.

Just my humble opinion.I could just as easily argue that good team chemistry will increase determination and execution. Talent can turn from potential to performance when a guy gets in the right environment. A guy with a boatload of talent can also be a detriment to the team if he does not care about anyone but himself (Leon anyone? Terrell Owens?)

I think that a lot of times when folks are looking for answers when it comes to teams that underperform based on their talent, this is a big reason why. Synergy matters ;):p:

Team Clark
05-30-2009, 11:44 PM
I could just as easily argue that good team chemistry will increase determination and execution. Talent can turn from potential to performance when a guy gets in the right environment. A guy with a boatload of talent can also be a detriment to the team if he does not care about anyone but himself (Leon anyone? Terrell Owens?)

I think that a lot of times when folks are looking for answers when it comes to teams that underperform based on their talent, this is a big reason why. Synergy matters ;):p:

Well said:thumbup:

TheNext44
05-31-2009, 12:31 AM
So the rubric of "chemistry" includes:

Leadership
Tutorship abilities
Determination
Hustle
Work Ethic
Drive
Ability to inspire
Willingness to bust heads of those not pulling their weight
Take baseball seriously
Respect the game

I'm seriously not posting this as a snide dismissal of "chemistry". But it does seem that chemistry is a bit like nailing jello to the wall. It's sort of a catch all of various character traits and as such it's a "know it when you see it" sort of thing.

This is the big question, and really needs to be tackled before trying to answer any question about team chemistry. Bonus points for continuing to bring it up.

My take, and it is based only on observation an opinion, not any research or data, is that Chemistry is anything that effects the mental attitude (is that redundant?) of other players, or the team as a whole.

Good Chemistry is being happy, loose, confident, or driven, inspired, serious, or any other attitude that is focused on winning and helping team.

Bad Chemistry is fighting, insulting, destructive, or selfishness, pettiness, divisiveness, or any other attitude that is focused on your own issues rather than the team's.

My take is that I have seen many teams that are full of good chemistry, that never contend. However, I have also seen very few teams that are full of bad chemistry that do contend.

Chip R
05-31-2009, 01:23 AM
Bad Chemistry is fighting, insulting, destructive, or selfishness, pettiness, divisiveness, or any other attitude that is focused on your own issues rather than the team's.

My take is that I have seen many teams that are full of good chemistry, that never contend. However, I have also seen very few teams that are full of bad chemistry that do contend.


Your latter point is a good one.

I would agree about your former point but there are some cases where those issues can be used to a team's advantage. We talk about the A's of the early 70s as an example. They fought and had issues but they won. One of the reasons was that while they all didn't get along with each other, they had one thing in common: they couldn't stand Charlie Finley. There was that one point which they could be together on and that may have made them the team they were. But these are usually exceptions to the rule.

As for this team, it looks promising but it's really too early to tell. The 2006 team was a pretty good one until the ill-fated west coast trip in September. Now it's lumped in with all the other teams of this decade. If this road trip is the beginning of the end for this current team, I don't care how many Rosaleses and Gomeses and Nixes you got on this team, it's going to be lumped in with all the other teams of this decade. If they finish with 75 wins and another 3rd or 4th place finish, a year from now or 2 years from now, no one will care about what kind of chemistry they had on the 09 team because they will say they still sucked just like every other team of this decade. And the opposite is true as well. If they hang in there all season long, people are going to say that they haven't seen chemistry like this since 1999.

vaticanplum
05-31-2009, 10:45 AM
Good Chemistry is being happy, loose, confident, or driven, inspired, serious, or any other attitude that is focused on winning and helping team.

Bad Chemistry is fighting, insulting, destructive, or selfishness, pettiness, divisiveness, or any other attitude that is focused on your own issues rather than the team's.

Isn't this just...maturity?

I do believe that chemistry plays a role on successful teams, but I think we're taking it a bit too far into areas that are quantifiable and, frankly, should be expected of major league baseball players. What I define as chemistry has less to do with individuals and their attributes/efforts and more to do with how a team happens to come together. And I don't believe you can pay for that or put together a team based on it. If you're a certain type of manager, you can help it come together, but that's about it.

Work ethic has come up a lot. Work ethic is pretty quantifiable; it isn't chemistry. A lot of good teams have bad chemistry, but few good teams are full of lazy players. A lot of bad teams have terrific chemistry, but don't necessarily work the hardest.

The first post in this thread is full of quotes that reflect well on Gomes's prospects of getting the best he can out of the game. It also could mean that the team will respond to that and he could set and example. It makes me like him a lot. It doesn't mean he'll be a good player relative to others in MLB. It means that he's mature and has a good outlook and work ethic -- not that he has "chemistry".