This story paints the upcoming season for the Cubs as a grand experiment in valuing clubhouse chemistry over paint-by-numbers talent. The team is essentially the same sans a poor-performing Milton Bradley. Silva has performed much better than expected this spring, and is healthy. Of course that complicates my "chemistry experiment" line of thought, somewhat. If Silva performs as an even slightly-better-than-average 5th starter, that outweighs the contributions of what was subtracted. Then again, his addition to the team would've decreased any win projections for the club because his recent history indicates a worse addition than the subtraction of Bradley. Projections aside, the players quoted in this article cite clubhouse energy/enthusiasm as an important factor---players pulling for each other as a vector for increased on-the-field performance. I'm thinking that any chemical addition-by-subtraction argument might only be made in terms of offense since Byrd probably projects as a wash with even an average Bradley. But if the team's offensive numbers improve, then maybe there's something to this whole "chemistry thing." - TL
In thinking about OBP and current or prospective Royals players, perhaps we should think more about the virtues of near-HOFer Andre Dawson. Perhaps having a few Dawsons is what Dayton Moore sees when he pursues a line-up of mixed OBP guys? Here's an interesting quote from Rosenthal:
Among more recently elected Hall of Famers, Eddie Murray was at .359, Reggie Jackson .356 and Dave Winfield .353 — OBPs that would not rank them among the top 50 active players.
Meanwhile, Ryne Sandberg was at .344, Robin Yount .342, Cal Ripken .340 and Gary Carter .335 — not that much better than Dawson.