Yesterday I had the pleasure, and it truly is pleasure, of listening the magnificent Tom Hamilton call the Indians-White Sox game. Along the way, the subject of the Indians chemistry came up. Hamilton proposed the classic question: had the Indians strong play fostered the great team chemistry of had the great chemistry in the clubhouse caused the Indians to play well?
Now I think we all know the true answer to that question, which is not to bash Hamilton; a lot of great sports minds have also pondered the same question. It’s a product of a bygone era, where the will to win was the foremost attribute a player could posses.
But then the subject turned to the White Sox and there struggles this season, to which Hamilton suggested that the White Sox “have struggled with chemistry this year.”
Um, no. The White Sox are not struggling because of chemistry issues. The White Sox are struggling because of performance issues. The White Sox are struggling because they can’t get on base (currently sitting at .299 OBP as a team). The White Sox are struggling because they give regular at-bats to Jeff Keppinger (.247 OBP, who they just handed a three year, $12 million contract), Tyler Flowers (.271 OBP), Dayan Viciedo (.271), Adam Dunn (.304 OBP, which is actually impressive since he’s hitting .196), and Alexei Ramirez (.306). The White Sox are struggling because the highest OBP among their regulars is Alex Rios at .331.
I’m no science major, but maybe the White Sox would have better chemistry if they had a couple players that would take a walk. They certainly won’t be able to fix their on-base skills or their overall record by being nicer to each other, because the last time I checked they still do the team handshakes after a win, not before. Not that the White Sox would know.