1/05/2008 12:22:00 AM

Chemistry: And Why The Yankees Need It

Posted by Mark McCray |

Joe Torre had a quote on the Mike Tirico show on ESPN Radio Thursday. It went something like this—“Chemistry does not create winning, winning creates chemistry.”

When I heard Mr. Torre recite those words, I stopped dead in my tracks. Something about that quote just did not feel right to me. “Come on!” I said to myself, “Joe Torre is already one of the most successful managers in the history of the game of baseball, and he doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon. Why is it so hard for you to accept this great baseball mans opinion on the concept of team chemistry?”

The more I thought about it, the more I could not understand how Mr. Torre could possibly feel that way after being a manager in the Major Leagues for two decades. “Chemistry does not create winning, winning creates chemistry?”

On the surface this makes a lot of sense—but under closer examination its enough to make any red blooded Yankee fan wonder. Could Mr. Torre (who is to this day still one of my all time idols) possibly have this concept backwards? Did he mean to say “Chemistry creates winning, and winning creates chemistry” but it just came out wrong?

I can not answer that question, but I can tell you this. I have long respected the words of our once fearless leader, but on this subject I must be honest with myself and flat out disagree.

Vastly underestimated in any team sport is the concept of “team”. If you don’t agree with me, think of your workplace. When you go into work in the morning do you look forward to spending the day with your co-workers or do you do everything you possibly can to avoid them? Well, chances are, whichever way you answered greatly impacts the enjoyment you get out of your occupation.

Well, the same goes for baseball players. After all, baseball is a business right? Just because they make millions of dollars does not mean that they show up to 162 games a year thrilled to be in the company of their teammates. They are human. They to, get annoyed with the guy who always interrupts people.

As a baseball fan, would you rather have a Yankee team who enjoys playing ball together day in or day out or a Yankee team who only has chemistry when they win? As a rational fan (and I assume all of you are) I really hope you chose a team who enjoys playing ball together day in day out.

Baseball is still a game where intangibles can lead to amazing things. All you have to do is look a little closer at the Indians. That club talked all year about being so successful because of the chemistry they shared on and off the field, and you can't help but admit they out played the Yankees in the 2007 postseason.

As a fan who strongly believes in the “team” concept of team sports, I must say I am really looking forward to the 2008 season and all of the new ideas on what it is going to take to win #27. With a new era approaching, a new manager at the helm, and loads of young, enthusiastic and truly quality talent-- the Yankees may once again become a team to fear for many years to come. That is if they don't trade it all away...
P.S.- This article was written as a special "Pinch Hit" For Peter Abraham and his LoHud Yankees Blog so I would like to take a second to thank him for the opportunity. If you enjoyed the post, please stop by more often. I am planning a lot of big changes for the Blog in the months to come. Thanks for reading!!! Go Yankees 2008!!!


Playeditbe4 said...

Your article kind of proves the point that you never played sports in college. We can be the best of friends and lose day in and day out. Yeah of course our goal is to win every game, but at least we are friends.

Now in college, when I was younger. None of us knew each other until we started practicing and going to parties. Well, none of us were really close at all. UNTIL we won a few games into our spring season. Winning is contagious and brings the best out of people. It brings people closer. Chemistry does not mean wins. Winning will create chemistry. I thought you were better than that Mark. Big Yankee fan that never played baseball. C'mon bro, I trusted you!

Mark McCray said...

Okay. Well first off. Thanks for the comments.

Wow. Well. I don't really even know where to begin actually.

I guess I will start with your comments on me not playing baseball before. I played baseball from the time I could walk until I graduated from high school. Same goes with football. However, I chose to not pursue a pipe dream like yourself and decided that I didn't have the talent to make a career out of the game. And I definitely didn't need to go to some lame 150 person Division 5 school in order to prove to myself I had average baseball skills.

Obviously, your baseball career has paid off nicely for you. You can tell people who write blogs for a hobby that they can't be trusted because they didn't play D5 college sports lol.

As far as the whole chemistry thing goes. Do yourself a favor. There is a website called Google. Well with this website you can type in things you want to search for and in the process you might uncover something you didn't previously know. I have a feeling that if you type in "team chemistry" or "team work" or "team concept" you will get some interesting examples of just how underrated chemistry actually is. But thanks to you for your expert opinion. After all. You played baseball in college. Maybe.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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