It sounds cliché, right? Team chemistry? What’s the benefit of that? Especially in a sport like baseball, which has numbers attached to everything.
Well, A’s newly acquired designated hitter Mitch Moreland talked a bit on the matter Wednesday when asked about the bond a team has on the field. The one that doesn’t show up on FanGraphs or Baseball-Reference.
“I mean I think it’s very important,” Moreland said Wednesday on a video call with reporters. “I’ve been fortunate to play on some really good teams and every one of them have had that. They’ve always had a good clubhouse you know, a great group of guys, some guys that could kind of lead the way, and lead by example. Just from the first couple days of being here and being around the guys, this team’s got it all when you look at that.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good stat line and people salivate when the numbers are boastful, but the tiny things you get to watch with guys just being dudes remains undefeated in a lot of cases.
“It’s kind of a dying breed,” Moreland added. “But that's as important as anything when you tackle the ground of a 162-game season, to be able to have fun at the ballpark every day, ready to play and keep your mind right, that’s as important as anything.”
Plus, shortly after the A’s reportedly acquired Moreland, former teammates of Moreland's were eager to tell me he was a fantastic guy to have on any team. Not one of them brought up playing abilities -- not that they weren’t worthy of being mentioned of course.
A’s manager Bob Melvin has only seen Moreland in the green and gold for a short amount of time, but he did say he was glad he doesn’t have to see the 2018 All-Star hitting balls off of the Coliseum coming out of the opposing dugout. Moreland absolutely dominates in Oakland.
Melvin also said Moreland is happy to be in A’s camp, and one thing that’s consistent is the fun the squad has. Sure, the winning record helps, but historically, well …
See? So fun.