Sunday, May 31, 2009

Winning Comes First

[No game recap this morning. If you want one, go here, or here, or here.]

You know that magical moving target that sports teams always search for? The secret elixir of success? It's the mystical ingredient that has lead to every single championship in the history of competitive sports. You can't manufacture or force it. It just has to naturally occur within the clubhouse/locker room/sidelines. If organizations could just unlock this one riddle, it would almost guarantee success every season.

Ahh, yes. Chemistry.

Our pal PeteAbe checks in last night/this morning with a report of the Yankees cohesiveness as a unit:
Baseball is a game of individual performance. Being friendly with your teammates doesn’t mean anything when you’re standing at the plate and Jonathan Papelbon is throwing 97 mph on the outside corner.

That said, these Yankees are a good bunch of guys who really do seem to get along.
He details Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher's video game contests, Teixeira and Posada making nice after a nasty collision they had back in 2006, a laser pointer that everyone likes to fuck around with and the two suites that CC rented for everyone to go see the Cavs vs. Magic game (guess I was wrong about it being LeBron's time, btw). 

One point he doesn't bring up, though: Chemistry is easy to come by when you've won 14 of 17 games. Everything looks peachy looking through a victorious lens. That's why every single time a team wins a championship, they look back and talk about what a "great group of guys" they had and explain how the way they got along spurred them to victory. It's always going to look that way in hindsight.

I would say it was a "chicken or egg" situation, but it's obvious which one comes first. Winning breeds chemistry, not vice versa. It's a simple fact of life; when things are going well, it's easier to interact with people, even those you don't really like. Let's see how amusing that laser pointer is after the next time they get swept in a series. 

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