Cause you've got personality

I’m not much of a believer in the impact of "chemistry" on winning and losing. For the most part, I believe that things like talent and health have the most affect on whether a team wins or loses games. In my observation, winning creates chemistry more than the other way around — and the 2006 Cardinals are a great example of that. There are some personal matters that can make a big difference in individual performance, but often it’s overstated.

But with that said, it doesn’t mean I don’t think chemistry matters at all. This game is hard, and if you’re distracted or not motivated, it gets even harder. Besides, the clubhouse mix matters in the same way it matters whether you or I like the people we work with. When you’re around the same people ALL the time, it’s not much fun if you don’t all get along.

All of which, I suppose, is a pretty big contradiction. And none of which, really, is the point of this post. The point of this post is to point out the value one or two fun guys can have in a lockerroom. A lot of people point to what glue Mike Matheny was in the Cardinals clubhouse, and it’s true; Matheny had a lot of value. Larry Walker was an important guy too.

But I’m of the opinion that nobody’s departure in the past few years has had more effect on the day-to-day vibe in the clubhouse than that of Reggie Sanders. Reggie was the kind of guy who brought everybody together, talked to everybody in all corners, made everybody laugh, gave everybody a hard time. When he moved on, the clubhouse had a different feel.

Now, it seems, there’s been something of a replacement for Sanders. Preston Wilson has taken on some of that role, and it was evidenced today. He was holding court on astronaut Lisa Nowak, garnering laughs from different quarters of the room. He took grief for his outfit from a couple of different places.

Maybe it won’t have any effect on how many games this team wins. But just adding one or two guys like that can make a difference in the daily life of a ballclub. And that’s worth something, for sure.


(currently playing on the iPod: Garbage, Beautiful Garbage)

1 Comment

I could definitely see that being a significant factor. All sport is emotional. Life is emotional. I’m sure we’ve all worked with people who’ve brightened their workplace. And also worked with people who’ve ****** all the energy out of a room and replaced it with a negative abyss.

If you’re around someone who always makes you smile, it has an effect on you on many levels. People react to it. It’s real.

I hope Preston can be “the glue”, but I think that sort of special player also really has to produce. Reggie and Matheny were able to fill that role, but if you don’t perform well, I don’t think it elevates people’s game. They lead by example in addition to having winning personalities.

(currently listening to The Apples in Stereo, New Magnetic Wonder)

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