I was reading through Curt Schilling's latest entries today on his blog, 38 Pitches, and I was very interested in this little quote:
"Chemistry is about winning, period. It starts in spring training, where having a good group of guys lays the foundation every year, but it doesn't come into play until the games start counting. No clubhouse has good chemistry if you are losing. That's not to mean it's a bad place, but there's a difference, a palpable difference, inside a winning and losing clubhouse, and that's what the media calls chemistry."
I found it interesting because I've been saying that forever. I've long asserted that chemistry is an overrated part of a team's success. A team has good chemistry because it is winning, it doesn't win because it has good chemistry. This isn't something I can specifically recall discussing here (at least not recently), but I know I've gotten in big arguments over it on some of the forums I frequent. To hear my position backed up by an experienced big leaguer like Schilling was nice.
To take a moment to plug schilling's blog, you really should check it out if you don't already. He's posting a lot because it's spring training, and he says he'll slow down when the season starts, but considering he answers an enormous number of questions several days a week, fewer material still means a lot of words and thoughts. There is a lot to learn from what he says too. I've learned such things as what stats he looks at for a hitter (OBP, P/AB, etc), how he uses umpire stats, and what he feels about newer "designer stats" (he can't use them all for batter approach, but likes a lot of them and knows front offices use a lot of them). He also spends a fair amount of time talking about some of his philanthropic ventures, as well as his start up video game company (he is an avid player of World of Warcraft and other MMORPG's). Just in the last couple days, given a lot of good info on how to scout hitters, how pitchers and catchers work together, how to train young boys good throwing mechanics, written a nice little set of paragraphs on his late father, and had a back in forth with Kevin Millar which involved a full response from Millar. It really is a fantastic thing to read.