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Thread: Souhan: All's quiet in Twins clubhouse

  1. #21
    Twins Moderator All-Star ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    This is an interesting discussion and yet, I have a couple of different angles on it.

    1.) From a media perspective, it's always better to have guys who love to talk to media. Morneau and Cuddyer were good. Valencia was good. Hunter loves nothing more than hearing his voice. Makes the job easier to have a go-to guy or six to write stories.

    2.) Having been in the clubhouse 8 days in a row this spring, I understand what Souhan is saying. In fact, there was one morning when the team was on the road, so there were only 5-8 guys in the clubhouse and four or five of them were playing cards together. I said, "Man, it's quiet in here this morning with the team on the road." Souhan said, "It's quiet in here when everybody is in here."

    But again, to be fair, a group of 35 out of the 48 players were on a bus and not there. There aren't numbers and at times half of the people there are trying not to do anything dumb and get noticed.

    Even more, in the clubhouse, there are a 2-5 people in the training room much of that time taping or icing or stretching with a trainer.

    There are guys who get there early and get to the batting cage or Tom Kelly will work with them early on Tom Kelly Field.

    I guess for me, I think that characters are fun, and loud mouths are fun, but I don't know if or how it affects a team. The team hasn't lost so much last year because the clubhouse is pretty quiet. They've lost due to injuries and poor play.

    I saw Mauer having 1-on-1 conversations with players where he was clearly answering their questions about something. He sat with the card players at times and was part of the conversation.

    I overheard Kurt Suzuki talking with Phil Hughes after an outing about some really fine-detail pitching/catching/strategy stuff.

    It may not be exciting, but there are a lot of good things going on in there.
    Seth, thanks for this. Perspective is everything.

  2. #22
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    I have never regretted a comment more than the one I posted at 11:14.
    My bad. You'd think a moderator would know better.

  3. #23
    Twins Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    I don't know what is happening in the clubhouse.

    I've read enough reports about a quiet clubhouse to assume it is. I don't know if that's good or bad in the context of the Twins but I'm loosely tying quiet to the routine baseball that I witnessed from the Twins in 2013... And I have lack of fire on the brain.

    I firmly believe that fire... In all business (Baseball and any other) is what turns things around for the better.

    If we don't have it... I assume we should get some guys who do!
    A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

  4. #24
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    That was a nice balanced article, well done. I am probably in the minority but I tend to agree with Perkins on this one. Winning creates chemistry. The only teams talked about are teams that have been consistently winning so there is a selection bias right there and again ultimately there is no quantifiable proof that chemistry does anything to enhance skills that players already have.

    If a team has more chemistry are they going to hit more home runs? I believe Baltimore hit the most home runs last year and they didn't even make the playoffs. What was there team chemistry like? IMO chemistry is too much perception and not enough scientific evidence.

  5. #25
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dman View Post

    If a team has more chemistry are they going to hit more home runs? I believe Baltimore hit the most home runs last year and they didn't even make the playoffs. What was there team chemistry like? IMO chemistry is too much perception and not enough scientific evidence.
    But the fascinating part of the article to me was that people are actively working on trying to quantify it.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    But the fascinating part of the article to me was that people are actively working on trying to quantify it.
    Agreed. I cannot deny that it has some effect. We all feel better when we have chemistry with someone else. You tend to feel more comfortable, more like being able to be yourself. Not worried about people judging you etc. Chemistry helps and after reading some articles I am convinced that Joe Maddon is a master psychologist and I personally think he does have an influence on his players. How much is hard to say but I think his impact could actually be significant.

    We all operate better when we feel a part of team and that team becomes extended family via chemistry. Maybe in the end you are slightly more focused etc. but it is very hard to say how much that helps.

    The other thing we need to keep in mind is a what is the baseline here. Are Twins completely devoid of chemistry or just few notches below. Anyway I agree it is interesting that they think they can quantify it.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Triple-A D. Hocking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
    Especially because Seth is actually Parker.
    Is this a split personality thing, where sometimes this person is in his Seth persona and sometimes in his Parker persona? People indulge this Seth-Parker person, because of his high mental instability and being afraid he could completely snap if confronted that he is one person.

    I think having a bit more spirt in the clubhouse would help, but I think the perspective on this issue gets shaded by the sport writer's perceptions. I think it bugs some of them that there are not players in the organization right now that go up to them and are all buddy buddy with them. Souhan has mentioned a number of times who Torii would always come up and talk to him when he entered the clubhouse and he considered him a friend. The fact that no one goes out of their way to approach him and shoot the breeze with him is part of the reason why he thinks it is such a quiet group. I do think it is most likely a quieter group, but perhaps one of the reasons it seems so devoid of personality is not that these players are not necessarily boring, but they keep more of a personal distance with the writers. They might be more guarded (esp with how quick things are reported with the current social media - and how things that never used to see the light of day are quickly tweeted to the world.) I think these players might be more gaurded, and that the players might act differently when they are not around.

    Long story short - think chemistry helps, but think the outside view of the locker room might not always be accurate. Also, it goes without saying, if you don't have the talent, personality only gets you so far.

    I apoligize for the disjointedness of this post, it has been interrupted a few times for work and the real world.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Triple-A Danchat's Avatar
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    We need some more action with the pitchers. How about more of Jared Burton punching Brian Duensing! Or something along those lines.

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  10. #29
    Twins Moderator All-Star ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D. Hocking View Post

    I think having a bit more spirt in the clubhouse would help, but I think the perspective on this issue gets shaded by the sport writer's perceptions. I think it bugs some of them that there are not players in the organization right now that go up to them and are all buddy buddy with them. Souhan has mentioned a number of times who Torii would always come up and talk to him when he entered the clubhouse and he considered him a friend. The fact that no one goes out of their way to approach him and shoot the breeze with him is part of the reason why he thinks it is such a quiet group.
    I think is a very fair thought. The article read to me in such a way as Souhan pining for the 'old days' where he had a different sort of relationship with the players and this is his explanation.

  11. #30
    Senior Member Triple-A D. Hocking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiTownTwinsFan View Post
    I think is a very fair thought. The article read to me in such a way as Souhan pining for the 'old days' where he had a different sort of relationship with the players and this is his explanation.
    You said in one concise sentence, what I wanted to say, but instead rambled on incoherently. Well done.

  12. #31
    Senior Member All-Star crarko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D. Hocking View Post
    You said in one concise sentence, what I wanted to say, but instead rambled on incoherently. Well done.
    I do wonder if Miller, Bollinger, and Berardino are treated a bit more warmly. Souhan may have burned a bridge or two.

  13. #32
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    I wouldn't necessarily equate "chemistry" with "boisterous" or "loud". If most of the team like things more quite and laid-back - or perhaps they would consider it more "serious" - then that's just as much a legitimate "chemistry" as a team full of jokers taking batting practice in nothing but a jock strap. Both vibes can be called chemistry - as long as it's an atmosphere where the players feel comfortable with each other, supported, appreciated, motivated, etc. It depends on the personality of the players, not what Souhan wishes it was.

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  15. #33
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
    Only if it's something other than Aqualung.
    I'm a "Cross-eyed Mary" fan myself. "Living in the Past" is my mantra, as well.

  16. #34
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer gil4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
    And when you and I were their age, we curled up with a book or sat with headphones while listening to our new hi-fi we got for Christmas, and uttered a grunt if one of the elders tried to strike up a conversation.
    A book? On Christmas? Are you nuts?

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
    I do wonder if Miller, Bollinger, and Berardino are treated a bit more warmly. Souhan may have burned a bridge or two.
    Nope. I am pretty sure that Souhan has not burned any bridges and, unlike the beat writers who report what happens, Souhan as a columnist has the freedom to be the Twins' mouthpiece when certain players need to be publicly thrown under the bus. And he has served in that capacity pretty well. Rewind his columns to read what he said about Kevin Slowey, Danny Valencia, Luke Hughes and others, for example. And two of the aforementioned three, were not quiet guys in the clubhouse.

    I don't know what Souhan meant by quietness, but there are quiet leaders out there. A couple of examples are Killebrew and Allison. They were not loud, or having team meetings or giving good quotes out, but when they needed, they grabbed some of their teammates aside on an 1-1 basis and set them straight. This is leadership and this is what the Twins need. Quiet or not...
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  19. #36
    Senior Member Triple-A D. Hocking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
    Souhan may have burned a bridge or two.
    This is not entirely inconceivable.

  20. #37
    Twins Moderator MVP ashburyjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D. Hocking View Post
    This is not entirely inconceivable.
    You keep not entirely using that word. I do not not entirely think it means what you think it not entirely means.

    romanov.jpg

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  22. #38
    Great thread starter, Parker, and nice reference back to the Sam Miller article. Research into quantifying "chemistry", like any social science research, will have to spend a fair amount of time figuring out how to operationalize the term. It sounds like the Rutgers' profs have found that "cross-cutting cleavages"--which sounds like a single sub-type of the concept of "chemistry"--is a way to do this.

    Two things: 1) this does not preclude *other* operationalizations of the concept from potentially playing a role (e.g. aggregate overlapped time spent in the minors by MLBers, etc.); and 2) this does not mean that greater "chemistry" leads to more wins; only an increase in overlapping cleavages. From a team's perspective, this represents a gain or loss at the margins; obviously having good talent is the baseline.

    With specific regards to the Twins, it sure sounds like the next two waves of prospects to come up have personality and come from multiple countries--and most importantly, they are talented.

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  24. #39
    Senior Member Double-A Jdosen's Avatar
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    On the Mauer subject, I don't think he can be bashed too much for the way he is in the clubhouse. It's just not his personality to be a "rah rah" guy and if he tried to be, I think his teammates would see right through it. If you remember those 2004-06 teams, Mike Redmond was one of the biggest vocal leaders in the clubhouse, one of the biggest chemistry guys. And he was the backup catcher. I don't think it per se is on the best guy on the team to be that guy. It takes a certain type of personality to be a clubhouse leader, and it doesn't have to be the best guy.
    I just started the blog Troy Williamson's Hands which is about MN sports and whatever else I want to write--you can find it at http://troywilliamsonshands.blogspot.com/
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  25. #40
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    I don't know if winning begets chemistry exactly, but it's just easy to be interested in the team (and focus on THE TEAM) when they are winning. This applies to fans, sportswriters, and even the players themselves, I imagine.

    On the flip side, when the team is struggling, one has to work to generate/maintain interest, focus is shifted almost entirely to individuals rather than the collective team, and the results usually lean negative, like a lot of the talk on this board the last few years, and this article by Souhan. I imagine there has been a lot of negativity in the clubhouse too about individual poor performances, injuries, job security or lack thereof, etc.

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