Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dodgers Win, Even If Chemistry Isn't Obviously Evident

Let's see where the Dodgers end up this postseason, but Mark Saxon of notes that the Dodgers don't exactly have full team chemistry (bubble machine antics notwithstanding, I suppose):

The Los Angeles Dodgers earned something of a reputation this season as a talented bunch of players with the salaries and egos to match, a team assembled with the power of the dollar from all corners of the world and plucked from the rosters of other organizations. Throughout the season, at various points, discontent crept into their clubhouse. There were rumblings that infighting was common and unity was always a question mark.

In short, the same storyline that ushered them into the 2013 season -- did they have team chemistry? -- lingered all season. But as usual with teams like this, winning produces chemistry, not the other way around. And if you noticed, the Dodgers always seemed to be having the most fun in the vicinity of the field, when they were bobbing en masse in the dugout celebrating home runs with their bubble machine or, after they clinched their second straight National League West title with a 9-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, with their vigorous celebration in the clubhouse.

They may not have had dinner together often, they may not attend each others' weddings, their kids' baptisms or bar mitzvahs, but they win games together. Which do you think their fans would rather have? Which do you think their owners, who are paying them collectively more than $240 million, would rather have?

"I've been on teams where every single guy gets along great, and when you get on the field, you don't know how to win," Adrian Gonzalez said. "We've got the right group of guys, we've got the right mix and we're professional guys."

Hanley Ramirez stated it more bluntly, more emotionally: "We're one team. We love each other. We win together, we lose together."

There are some nice insights on Matt Kemp's burgeoning leadership, Andre Ethier's quiet (and understandable) sulking, and Hanley Ramirez' boycott given his lack-of-extension situation. It's worth a read.


Hideo Nomo said...

How many Dodgers' kids had bar mitzvahs this year?