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Don't Know Much About History...

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Chemistry in the clubhouse: this issue was the centerpiece of an article in today's S.F. Chronicle. How important is chemistry? (Apparently not important enough to convince Cindi to study for her last midterm, but that's another diary.) Some of the quotes in today's Chronicle story raise some interesting questions...

According to the article, newly acquired starter Matt Morris insists that the rah-rah stuff is not overrated, and is quoted as saying, "When the team is out there trying to win, you don't want to be in the clubhouse having cookies and milk. Some guys on this team are not going to allow this to happen. I'm going to be sitting on the bench, and if some guys need to be slapped on the butt, I know some guys are going to do it." Many members of AN may wonder, "Does Matt need some volunteers to help with Noah Lowry?" and "Has Barry Bonds been seen walking around with a milk moustache?"

But it also begs many other questions...Will Matt Morris' value be determined by his stats, or is a player's part in enhancing, destroying, or facilitating chemistry significantly relevant to his value, his overall performance, and his overall worth? Will the A's performance on the field, and in the win column, be a little worse for losing the glue known as Scott Hatteberg, or will the A's performance on the field, and in the win column, be improved for losing the aging singles-machine-without-so-many-singles known as Scott Hatteberg? Will Jason Kendall be the weak link on the team if he repeats his .271 average, .321 slugging percentage, and "once per blue moon" percentage of throwing-out-baserunners, or will he still be a valuable piece for his ability to lead the league in "grit and determination"? Are the Angels wise to keep Darin Erstad, who has started an offensive decline known as Hatteberg Syndrome, because in Steve Finley's words, Erstad was a substantial part of the Angels' "unbelievable chemistry...Darin Erstad, the way he went about his work on a daily basis, it just overflowed to everybody"? Is this contagious enough that Erstad should remain in the everyday lineup even if he hits only .260? .245? .220? Am I asking too many questions?