Fire Jim Tracy

Monday, November 15, 2004

Cliche Overload! Must Purge Systems!

I can't decide which is the worst part of this exchange, the question or the answer:

[Q:] If Shawn Green is traded, won't it affect the team's chemistry? -- Isai R., Baldwin Park, Calif.

[A:] The popular Paul Lo Duca was traded at the July deadline and it rocked the clubhouse, but the team went on to win the division anyway with the kind of unselfish, late-inning heroics that would be impossible if there were chemistry problems. Green is also very popular in the clubhouse, but the truth is that the Dodgers player personnel has turned over dramatically this year and there are more changes on the way. Most of the Dodgers teammates Green was closest to are gone or soon could be. And there's nothing better for team chemistry than talented players.

Put the two bolded sentences together and you have: "...the team went on to win the division anyway with the kind of unselfish, late-inning heroics that would be impossible [without] talented players."

OR

"...the team went on to win the division anyway with the kind of unselfish, late-inning heroics that would be impossible if Juan Encarnacion had been playing right field."

What would selfish, late-inning heroics be like? Frankly, I would take those too. And I would have been far more excited about this season had we gotten some early-inning heroics too.

Seriously. Chemistry. Please. Enough. Now. Chemistry has never, ever won a single baseball game on Planet Earth. I'm reminded of Justice Scalia's description of the Lemon Test, a test sometimes used to determine excessive governmental entanglement in religion, a few years ago:

"Like some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried, [chemistry] stalks our [baseball discussions], frightening the little children and [Dodger fans] of [Elysian Park]. Its most recent burial, [on July 31], was, to be sure, not fully six feet under...The secret of [chemistry's] survival, I think, is that it is so easy to kill. It is there to scare us (and our audience) when we wish it to do so, but we can command it to return to the tomb at will. Such a docile and useful monster is worth keeping around, at least in a somnolent state; one never knows when one might need him."




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