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Articles Tagged Clubhouse Chemistry 

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There's a new list of recommended ways to prevent serious elbow injuries. Now, how do we implement them?

On Wednesday, we had a news story involving Drs. James Andrews and Glenn Fleisig and Tommy John surgery. Normally when that’s the case, it means that someone’s season is over (and sadly, that’s been happening a lot lately). But this time, it was the good doctors responding to what they termed an “epidemic” of ulnar collateral ligament transplants (the actual name for Tommy John surgery) and offering some helpful tips to prevent the elbow injuries that require the procedure.

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Think your team has a great clubhouse culture? That's what they all say.

We’re 27 days away from the first pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. We’re also 27 days away from the first reporters reporting,* which means we’re no more than 28 days away from reading quotes about team chemistry.

Chemistry is confusing, and not just for those of us who haven’t played professional sports. Even among players, opinions on its value fall along a wide spectrum from “essential” to “superfluous.” On one extreme, you have Eric Hinske, who believes that one can’t win without chemistry (and whose presence was, conveniently enough, perceived to promote it):

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And why maybe they should more often.

On Thursday’s episode of ESPN’s Baseball Tonight podcast, host Buster Olney, while discussing the Cardinals’ NLDS victory over the Pirates with ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, made a comment that sabermetricians do not often discuss matters of team chemistry or clubhouse culture. (Well, maybe once in a while…) Olney then proceeded to talk about how he believed that one reason for the Cardinals’ success, both within the NLDS and more broadly over the past few years, has to do with the culture that the club has worked to cultivate. Olney cited, among other things, that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, himself worthy of some legitimate MVP support this year, is also one of the hardest workers on the team. Olney pointed out that Cardinals management (Tony LaRussa and, later, Mike Matheny) has gone out of its way to specifically ask its star players to set an example for the rest of the team. He reasoned that other players on the team see this sort of commitment from Molina and are inspired to commit themselves to similarly hard work, and pointed out that it’s rare for sabermetricians give much credence to this as a reason that some teams win while others fall by the wayside.

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Ben and Sam pick a perceived clubhouse leader for each team, then talk about whether teams should ever refuse to sign certain players on moral grounds.

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Ben and Sam talk about whether Kawasaki being sent to the minors tells us anything about chemistry, then discuss how much the Tigers' defense hurts them.

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Ben and Sam talk about Tim McCarver's impending retirement and share their thoughts on broadcasting, then discuss whether changes in players' routines have reduced the importance of clubhouse chemistry.



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An attempt to quantify the effect a good clubhouse guy has on his teammates.

Brandon McCarthy thinks that Brandon Inge is worth 10 wins or so to a team behind closed doors. Jonny Gomes, too. Participating in a player panel at the SABR Analytics Conference earlier this month, McCarthy posited that if Inge and Gomes had been removed from the 2012 Oakland A's, they might have fallen from a 94-win team to a 70-win team, purely by virtue of being deprived of the effect the two players had in the clubhouse. According to WARP, Gomes was worth 2.2 wins last year, while Inge was worth 0.6. So, assuming that if neither had been on the team, they would have been replaced by... well, replacement level players, that means that Inge and Gomes somehow combined for 21.2 wins just by being good guys in the clubhouse.

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Ben and Sam discuss Ben's trip to Phoenix for the SABR Analytics Conference, covering the sabermetrics of marketing, clubhouse chemistry, knuckleballers, bullpen usage, the WBC, Kyle Lohse, and other topics along the way.



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February 26, 2013 5:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Can't Buy Me Chemistry?

10

Russell A. Carleton

Do teams that stick together win together more often than high-turnover teams?

My wife and I have been married for seven and a half years. We dated for four years before that. There are days when it's eerie how in sync we are. We've gotten to the point where someone will say something and we’ll both look up and smile knowingly at each other because we’re both aware that the other's mind just went to the same obscure song lyric from 15 years ago. Yeah, I think we have some chemistry going.

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February 11, 2013 5:00 am

Baseball Therapy: How to Measure Clubhouse Chemistry

25

Russell A. Carleton

How one might go about quantifying the heretofore unquantifiable.

This one is dedicated to the memory of my father-in-law, himself a biochemist. I once tried explaining baseball and sabermetrics to him (he was from Russia). He thought it was nice that I had such an interesting hobby. He will be missed.

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A range of responses from players, coaches, and team executives about the most important qualities for a manager to possess.

Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.

C. Trent Rosecrans is an all-glove, singles-hitting first baseman with 20 speed. That’s why he’s at a keyboard instead of actually playing baseball. Luckily, a complete lack of talent is more marketable in the internet world than it is in professional baseball, so he’s found a way to make some semblance of a living. Currently, it’s the CBSSports.com Eye On Baseball blog that’s paying the bills. Rosecrans was previously the Reds beat writer for the Cincinnati Post and still resides in the Queen City, waiting for Jason Parks to come sample the town’s finest chili with him. While Twitter feels so 2009, he still occasionally tweets @ctrent, but you’re just as likely to find some other silliness there as you are baseball. You can also follow him (as well as Dayn Perry and Matt Snyder) actually discussing baseball @EyeOnBaseball.
 


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Ben and Sam reach a milestone (the 20-minute mark) as they tackle the topics of clubhouse chemistry and whether there's more to Jeff Mathis than meets the eye.

Ben and Sam reach a milestone (the 20-minute mark) as they tackle the topics of clubhouse chemistry and whether there's more to Jeff Mathis than meets the eye. 

Effectively Wild Episode 21: "Typewriter"

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