PDA

View Full Version : The Chemistry Couldn't Be Much Worse...



Edskin
07-04-2011, 11:15 PM
Lots of people define "chemistry" as having something to do with how much the players like each other, hang out, etc. I've never defined it like that. To me "chemistry" in sports all stems from how one area of a team responds when another needs help. In football, good team chemistry would be when a powerful offense gets shuts down but their defense steps up and finds a way to win a 13-10 game.

In baseball, it's similar---last year's Reds were very good in this department but no team I'ver ever seen had it like that 1999 team did. On the days when Larkin and Vaughn didn't hit, you could bet that Taubensee or Pokey would.... If our starter got lit up, that is the day the offense would explode.

This year, the Reds have been outright dreadful in those types of situations. It just isn't there and the whole pythag stuff kind of bears it out.

If you have a really talented team top to bottom with few holes then chemistry isn't going to matter a ton because you will win so many games on superiority of talent alone. And if you are like the Giants and have one area of the team (starting rotation) that is so amazing and so reliable then you lean very little on the rest of the team and in turn, their jobs seem easier.

The Reds have a decent roster with solid talent and a good core of younger players both in the bigs and on the farm. But there are holes as well-- and some big ones. For a team like the Reds to win you need a little magic mixed in and this team just does not have it.

I watch all these games, all these close losses, all this tough luck situations and I keep thinking it's BOUND to turn sometime... But much like the guy at the roulette wheel who thinks there is no way it could possibly hit black again...

It's just not there. Those first five games of the year were extremely misleading.

Homer Bailey
07-04-2011, 11:24 PM
No one EVER makes a thread like this after a win. Ever.

Edskin
07-04-2011, 11:33 PM
No one EVER makes a thread like this after a win. Ever.

Of course not. Message boards are for fans, and by nature, fans are emotional. Having said that, with over half the season gone and the Reds stagnating at .500 in the worst division in baseball, I don't think it's just a knee-jerk reaction from one loss.

reds44
07-04-2011, 11:34 PM
The Reds problems have nothing to do with chemistry.

Edskin
07-04-2011, 11:44 PM
The Reds problems have nothing to do with chemistry.

I think the fact that the Reds are one of the higher scoring teams in the league yet in 6 of their last 9 losses have failed to score more than three runs is pretty telling.

Homer Bailey
07-04-2011, 11:47 PM
I think the fact that the Reds are one of the higher scoring teams in the league yet in 6 of their last 9 losses have failed to score more than three runs is pretty telling.

Of what? Chemistry!?

Edskin
07-04-2011, 11:56 PM
Of what? Chemistry!?

If you are looking for a 100% way to measure chemistry (however you define it) then of course you aren't going to find it. In that case you may simply not believe it exists, which is fine--- we just differ there.

Homer Bailey
07-05-2011, 12:02 AM
If you are looking for a 100% way to measure chemistry (however you define it) then of course you aren't going to find it. In that case you may simply not believe it exists, which is fine--- we just differ there.

I believe chemistry exists. I just don't think anything that happened is "telling". I honestly don't know what you mean by telling.

reds44
07-05-2011, 12:19 AM
How does the Reds inability to win a close game have anything to do with how much they like each other?

For the record, this is nearly the same team as last year. The chemistry is the same then as it is now, and I think we do have good chemistry.

Slyder
07-05-2011, 12:23 AM
How does the Reds inability to win a close game have anything to do with how much they like each other?

For the record, this is nearly the same team as last year. The chemistry is the same then as it is now, and I think we do have good chemistry.

With a lot of Regression to the mean. We were so good last year against the bad teams that ANYONE could have told you that wasn't going to happen again, that Scott Rolen another year older couldn't possibly repeat the Renaissance season he had, we didn't improve the team in any department and hoped to repeat a lot of the "little luck" situations again.

TOBTTReds
07-05-2011, 12:23 AM
The Reds problems have nothing to do with chemistry.

This is one of the few times I disagree with you. But for me, I think the poor chemistry is the result of poor play from some and lack of moves from the FO.

I wonder if Votto goes home and fumes at night, knowing that he is the only consistant position player. He feels the pressure on his shoulders. He's been slamming his helmet and bat, and just flat out angry at an all time high this year. I'm guessing he is desperate for some changes. His frustration can wear on others as well.

Now, I'm not saying we are .500 because of the chemistry, but I really think it is horrible right now. It's tough when you get nothing from SS, you have 3 different LF'ers, and the one that plays the best tends to sit the most. Cueto is getting super frustrated with pitching great games and not getting the W's. The dissapointment among the fan base may be effecting them too.

Regardless, things aren't good right now, and there are a ton of issues, but chemistry I'd say is one.

TOBTTReds
07-05-2011, 12:29 AM
For the record, this is nearly the same team as last year. The chemistry is the same then as it is now, and I think we do have good chemistry.

Don't know where this assumption comes from, especially because the captain of the All-World chemistry team is Orlando Cabrera, and he is gone. Essentially replaced by the emotionless and personality-less Renteria. Also, there are two unresolved position battles nearly halfway through the season. That can't help at all.

Just because others are the same, doesn't mean they have the same chemistry. I certainly don't believe Gomes is bringing the same energy he did last year, because he hasn't had that same impact. There's little doubt in my mind that his lack of success/playing has hurt this teams "mojo."

PuffyPig
07-05-2011, 12:29 AM
I wonder if Votto goes home and fumes at night, knowing that he is the only consistant position player.

There are two other postion player all stars on the team, FWIW.

RedsManRick
07-05-2011, 12:48 AM
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/sports.png

Ron Madden
07-05-2011, 12:54 AM
I believe chemistry is just something warm and fuzzy that some folks like to cling to and talk about when a talented team is playing well.

.

signalhome
07-05-2011, 12:54 AM
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/sports.png

Haha, probably my favorite xkcd post.

Brutus
07-05-2011, 01:01 AM
I believe chemistry is just something warm and fuzzy that some folks like to kling to and talk about when a talented team is playing well.

It's also something people like to shrug off when they can't define it, as if it doesn't exist or doesn't have much impact.

I don't think this team has chemistry issues. I really think it just lacks enough talent to do what it did last year, absent an ace, with an aging third baseman that was not going to repeat what he did the first 3-4 months last season and one position where they get no offensive contributions and another that has required a 3-way platoon to get adequate production.

I think this team is no worse than its record, and arguably is better than its record, and I personally don't think chemistry is the issue, but there's no way to know for sure and it's no better to shrug off the original poster's concerns than for him to express them. They could well be legitimate. We just don't know.

Reds/Flyers Fan
07-05-2011, 01:05 AM
I'd rather have a stud RH slugger in left field over all the chemistry in the world.

From all accounts, Josh Hamilton didn't get along with some of the players when he was here, so they shipped him out. But if he's bad for clubhouse chemistry, give me that toxic clubhouse any day.

Ron Madden
07-05-2011, 01:18 AM
It's also something people like to shrug off when they can't define it, as if it doesn't exist or doesn't have much impact.

I don't think this team has chemistry issues. I really think it just lacks enough talent to do what it did last year, absent an ace, with an aging third baseman that was not going to repeat what he did the first 3-4 months last season and one position where they get no offensive contributions and another that has required a 3-way platoon to get adequate production.

I think this team is no worse than its record, and arguably is better than its record, and I personally don't think chemistry is the issue, but there's no way to know for sure and it's no better to shrug off the original poster's concerns than for him to express them. They could well be legitimate. We just don't know.

I never shruged off Edskins concerns or his right to express them.

I just expressed my honest opinion concerning chemistry.

mth123
07-05-2011, 01:29 AM
I go back and forth on my feelings about chemistry, but the concept is misunderstood. Chemistry isn't about the players liking each other. IMO its about how the skills of the individual players fit together and accumulate in a way that makes the whole differ from the sum of the parts. Teams with good chemistry somehow have that something extra emerge that makes the collective somehow perform better than the sum of the individual talents. Teams with poor chemistry perform worse than the individual talents of the players would suggest. It could very well just be luck, but I don't believe that "luck" should be the default explanation for everything that we don't have a formula to explain. OTOH, I'm not sure that "chemistry" being the default explanation is all that much better.

Whatever it is, its not just about how well the players like each other.

REDblooded
07-05-2011, 01:50 AM
I will say that this team doesn't have the same mojo as last years... Last years team won the close games. This one doesn't... If that's just regressing to the means, or if it's telling of a larger issue, who knows... I'm not in the clubhouse... But it's valid to discuss...

Brutus
07-05-2011, 01:53 AM
I never shruged off Edskins concerns or his right to express them.

I just expressed my honest opinion concerning chemistry.

You didn't shrug off his right to express them by any means, I don't mean to suggest that. But passing it off as "something warm and fuzzy" to talk about when teams are losing is pretty much shrugging off the idea that chemistry could/does have an impact, does it not?

Ron Madden
07-05-2011, 02:21 AM
I believe chemistry is just something warm and fuzzy that some folks like to cling to and talk about when a talented team is playing well..

I just stated my opinion without malice to Edskin or anyone else.

I could be wrong but that's my opinion and I'll stand by it until it's proven wrong or until I'm given substantial reason to change my mind. I really don't feel up to arguing with you so I'll say no more about it tonight.

Captain Hook
07-05-2011, 02:26 AM
Chemistry might play into things in baseball some but nowhere near as much as it does in basketball and football.In football the offense and defense are somewhat connected with the common goal of establishing field position.One directly effects the other.It's not just as simple as the offense was bad so the defense won a game for the team.In basketball players really depend on each other on the defensive end and almost as much on the offensive end.I guess what I'm saying about chemistry is I'd define it by just how much one players performance directly affects another players performance and how far that goes to equating to a win for the team.I'm not sure how much effect Bronson Arroyo pitching poorly has on Jay Bruce hitting.I would say very little and would doubt that chemistry has much to do with it.

IMO the Reds have good chemistry if any.They all seem to get along and support each other.They're also led by one of the ultimate players coach.I think that's what chemistry is about in baseball.

signalhome
07-05-2011, 03:36 AM
Chemistry might play into things in baseball some but nowhere near as much as it does in basketball and football.

Spot on. In football, it's pretty hard to make the argument that how well a quarterback and receiver "click together" doesn't have a significant impact on the passing game. The same can be said in basketball regarding how well a PG and PF execute the pick and roll, or how well defensive teams handle switching on said pick and rolls. Like mth pointed out earlier, I don't think of chemistry as how well a team gets along, but rather how well their skills mesh together, or how well someone plays off of another player. Malone and Stockton could have hated each other for all we know, but there's no denying that they had a lot of chemistry working together. Same goes for Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison.

In baseball, there just isn't a whole lot of room for that, except for the dynamic between pitcher/catcher and 2B/SS -- and both of those are standing on pretty shaky foundations, especially when compared to the undeniable importance of interaction required in the other two major sports on a near-constant basis. It's also why I'm a much firmer believer in statistics when it comes to baseball as opposed to football. Baseball is a sport where individual performance is for the most part unaffected by teammates -- except in the case of ERA, I suppose, where team defense can play a pretty huge role. Generally speaking, though, Joey Votto's OBP isn't affected a whole lot by Brandon Phillips.*

*It should be noted, however, that there is a noticeable increase in wOBA with a runner on first base and less than two outs, especially for LHB; this is because the 1B has to play close to the bag, leaving a large hole between 1B and 2B. Quoted from The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball (great book, I highly recommend it to anyone obsessed with statistics): "A runner on first with less than two outs is an enormous disruption on the defense. The batter gains 14 points to his wOBA." Something like this, though, isn't exactly what I'd consider chemistry.

cumberlandreds
07-05-2011, 08:26 AM
I think the fact that the Reds are one of the higher scoring teams in the league yet in 6 of their last 9 losses have failed to score more than three runs is pretty telling.

That's clutch hitting not chemistry, IMO. Chemistry, in sports, is how well teammates get along and how much they sacrifce to each other and of themselves for the good of the team. I don't really see a problem with that on this team. This team needs clutch hitting period. If they had what they had last season they would be 7 or 8 games in front. But for whatever reason they don't have it in 2011.

Caveat Emperor
07-05-2011, 09:25 AM
They aren't winning close games this year. That's as much a function of luck and random chance (a bloop single landing, a broken-bat grounder scoring a run from 3rd) as it is anything else, IMO.

Chemistry? Liking your teammates and having a healthy clubhouse are nice, but good feelings don't translate into bail-out swings turning into base hits at a timely moment.

cumberlandreds
07-05-2011, 09:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Hook
Chemistry might play into things in baseball some but nowhere near as much as it does in basketball and football.


Totally agree with this by Captain Hook. You need chemistry the most in basketball. Football is next and then baseball the least. There have been plenty of MLB teams that had teammates tha seemed to hate each other. The 70's Oakland A's routinely had fights in their clubhouse. Also those late 70s early 80's Yankees didn't get along very well either. But they both did just fine on the field.

gonelong
07-05-2011, 09:56 AM
How hard will you work for yourself and for the guy next to you? How deep will you dig when you are exhuasted? Can I count on you to gut it out? How will you prepare and help the guy next to you prepare? IMO, that is chemistry.

You may be able to build the "want to" for each other by taking in a few movies and a backyard BBQ, but nothing says I am in it with you other than blood, sweat, and tears.

GL

bucksfan2
07-05-2011, 09:59 AM
They aren't winning close games this year. That's as much a function of luck and random chance (a bloop single landing, a broken-bat grounder scoring a run from 3rd) as it is anything else, IMO.

Chemistry? Liking your teammates and having a healthy clubhouse are nice, but good feelings don't translate into bail-out swings turning into base hits at a timely moment.

The stat lean guys will say that the winning of close games will balance out as the season goes along. The number of close games you win should be the same as the number of close games you lose.

Personally I am starting to think its a poorly constructed offense. You have Votto who is the only consistent hitter in the lineup. You also have guys who are boom or bust type in Bruce, Stubbs, Heisey, Gomes, etc. Guys who when hot can light it up but when cold have a tough time hitting the ball. I have a feeling that unless something changes this inconsistant streaky offense will continue to produce some big output games but will struggle scoring runs at other times. Everything will begin to regress to the mean, right?

nate
07-05-2011, 10:24 AM
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/sports.png

High five!

I don't believe chemistry has a significant effect on the record.

I believe it's entirely possible to be a top scoring team and go through stretches where scoring is scarce. In fact, I expect that more than going through any stretch where a team scores their average runs per game.

traderumor
07-05-2011, 10:39 AM
The whole premise of the original post begs the question of whether a team can "will" wins. I've never actually seen "chemistry" defined as scoring runs at the right time, as if that is possible.

nate
07-05-2011, 10:39 AM
No one EVER makes a thread like this after a win. Ever.

Great point. How many losing teams were noted for their "great chemistry?" Other than the Jim Bouton Seattle Pilots, that is?

Winning = good chemistry..and tiger blood.

:cool:

traderumor
07-05-2011, 10:40 AM
Great point. How many losing teams were noted for their "great chemistry?" Other than the Jim Bouton Seattle Pilots, that is?

Winning = good chemistry..and tiger blood.

:cool:Sean Casey's Reds. "We lost? Oh, shucky darn. Who's coming over to my house for beer and brats?"

Edskin
07-05-2011, 10:54 AM
Again, I don't think chemistry has anything to do with how much the players like each other. To me, it's all about how one area of team is either able or unable to pick up other areas in a given situation.

And chemistry doesn't mean much for really bad teams or really good teams. The only time I think chemistry really comes in to play in baseball is for teams in the middle that could go either way from a talent standpoint.

I don't think it gas anything to do with "willing" runs and I do think it's based somewhat in luck for sure. I don't think it's something you can just turn on. I'm sure the Reds wanted to score in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings against Cleveland on Saturday, but no on was able to get it done... Even when just a flare base hit could have done the trick.

Maybe "timing" is a better word than chemistry? Call it what you want. Whatever it is, ours sucks.

traderumor
07-05-2011, 11:07 AM
Again, I don't think chemistry has anything to do with how much the players like each other. To me, it's all about how one area of team is either able or unable to pick up other areas in a given situation.

And chemistry doesn't mean much for really bad teams or really good teams. The only time I think chemistry really comes in to play in baseball is for teams in the middle that could go either way from a talent standpoint.

I don't think it gas anything to do with "willing" runs and I do think it's based somewhat in luck for sure. I don't think it's something you can just turn on. I'm sure the Reds wanted to score in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings against Cleveland on Saturday, but no on was able to get it done... Even when just a flare base hit could have done the trick.

Maybe "timing" is a better word than chemistry? Call it what you want. Whatever it is, ours sucks.Yet this same crew had great "timing" last year. Maybe Ocab was the xfactor

Edskin
07-05-2011, 11:12 AM
Trade-

It can absolutely vary year to year even if many parts remain the same. And maybe Ocab does make a difference? I certainly can't say that for sure but he does seem to find winners. It wouldn't matter on a bad team, but let's just say he brings something intangible that translates to a few extra wins over the course of a season-- could be huge for a team like the Reds.

traderumor
07-05-2011, 11:18 AM
Trade-

It can absolutely vary year to year even if many parts remain the same. And maybe Ocab does make a difference? I certainly can't say that for sure but he does seem to find winners. It wouldn't matter on a bad team, but let's just say he brings something intangible that translates to a few extra wins over the course of a season-- could be huge for a team like the Reds.I don't think it has any skill attached to it and it suffers greatly from observation bias.

Ocab must be one heck of a pitching coach, because the last two years, the starters have performed above expectations on his teams ;) That has more to do with "his" teams winning than any x-factor.

Edskin
07-05-2011, 12:36 PM
Trade--- our starters have dipped, but we also continue to lose games when they are stellar despite having one of the highest scoring offenses in the league. It's all "off" and nothing seems to fall in place at the right time. Perhaps that is just randomness and/or luck, but that is what I define as chemistry.

mace
07-05-2011, 01:10 PM
. . . our starters have dipped, but we also continue to lose games when they are stellar despite having one of the highest scoring offenses in the league. It's all "off" and nothing seems to fall in place at the right time. Perhaps that is just randomness and/or luck, but that is what I define as chemistry.

I believe this is very evident. Neither the hitting nor the pitching has been utilized to an optimum extent. It's not clicking. That alone could qualify as somebody's definition of chemistry.

To me, there are a couple different levels of chemistry on a ballclub: on the field and in the clubhouse.

On the field, it could have to do with the way the players' talents complement each other. Ichiro might make Dunn better and Dunn might make Ichiro better, but would Dunn make Mark Reynolds better? Offensively, the Reds' problem is pretty clearly that they don't have either a true leadoff or true cleanup hitter. Those are pretty significant issues, especially when they coexist. That might be considered chemistry (or lack of). The various parts are pretty good, individually, but they just don't blend to the best effect. Yet, the team leads the league in runs scored. On the other hand, it has been conspicuously inconsistent and, in that respect, inefficient. It adds up to .500.

In the clubhouse, I fully agree with everyone who has said that chemistry is not about getting along or liking each other. That may help, but it's not what it's about. It's about everybody's personalities and makeups blending effectively with everybody else's. A guy like Cabrera, for instance, is a good-humor guy. Maybe that plays well with somebody like Votto, who is hyper-serious. Everybody clicks differently with different people, don't they? Why wouldn't the same apply in a clubhouse? A team full of veterans maybe doesn't need somebody like Greg Vaughn or Kirk Gibson to come in and put everybody in their place. But maybe a young, loose, impressionable team does. That which a player offers will be received and utilized to varying degrees by various players. When it's received and utilized to a high degree, that's good chemistry.

In either case--field or clubhouse--chemistry is about players making other players better. It happens.

traderumor
07-05-2011, 01:49 PM
Trade--- our starters have dipped, but we also continue to lose games when they are stellar despite having one of the highest scoring offenses in the league. It's all "off" and nothing seems to fall in place at the right time. Perhaps that is just randomness and/or luck, but that is what I define as chemistry.I just call it "maybe this isn't our year," which comes from following season after season for closing in on 40 years. It is observable and real, but I just don't think it is anything that you can identify then fix. Teams try, such as juggling lineups, replace low performers and hope that the replacements shake things up, fire GMs, managers or specialty coaches, but it is so much trial and error. The funny part of it is watching the cause-effect relationships being developed when the changes are made.

westofyou
07-05-2011, 01:54 PM
Great point. How many losing teams were noted for their "great chemistry?" Other than the Jim Bouton Seattle Pilots, that is?

Winning = good chemistry..and tiger blood.

:cool:

Late 50's Reds were Chemistry + Home Runs = Fond memories (and that's about it)

Roy Tucker
07-05-2011, 01:56 PM
I thought drug testing was supposed to lessen the chemistry factor.

;)

traderumor
07-05-2011, 01:58 PM
I thought drug testing was supposed to lessen the chemistry factor.

;)Apparently not. Pujols is ready to come back in two weeks :)

Edskin
07-05-2011, 02:54 PM
I just call it "maybe this isn't our year," which comes from following season after season for closing in on 40 years. It is observable and real, but I just don't think it is anything that you can identify then fix. Teams try, such as juggling lineups, replace low performers and hope that the replacements shake things up, fire GMs, managers or specialty coaches, but it is so much trial and error. The funny part of it is watching the cause-effect relationships being developed when the changes are made.

I totally agree that you can't fix it all. The only thing you can do is fix the tangible stuff and hope the intangible stuff follows.