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Schuster: Team Chemistry Vital To Success

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Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko

Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: David Banks)

David Schuster David Schuster
I have been covering the local sports scene for the last 30 years and...
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By David Schuster-

MESA, Ariz. (CBS) – Chemistry and camaraderie are extremely important to winning in baseball, if you believe most players.

Here’s a sample from both ends of town on the subject.

“I’ve mentioned for a long time it’s ultra-important in baseball, and especially so at Wrigley Field” said Cubs pitcher, Jeff Samardzija. “It’s a small clubhouse and we’re right on top of each other and you need to have a close team and need to understand each other. There are going to be some run ins, but as long as you have that foundation and have everybody pulling for each other, you can brush those things aside and move on.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, White Sox pitcher John Danks couldn’t agree more.

“You have to like coming to the ball park, so I think it’s critical,” he said. “You have to enjoy coming to work and if you don’t like your teammate or have a problem with some guys, you’re not going to enjoy it. Fortunately, we have a great group of guys and everyone gets along.”

Danks knows if ever there is a problem, then the team captain Paul Konerko will intervene.

“Paulie is a guy we lean on,” Danks said. “He’s the captain for a reason. He goes about it the right way and has the respect of everybody.”

Gordon Beckham has only been in the majors for a short period of time, but he also knows the value of having a tight clubhouse.

“You can have all the talent in the world and not have a good bond between your teammates and it can suffer,” Beckham said. “Fortunately, we do have a good group of guys and we do have fun”.

But leave it to Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski to put a slightly different spin on the subject.

“It’s important, but the old saying is chemistry is always good when you win and always stinks when you lose,” the catcher said. “It’s one of those things that is hard to define. Last year, we had great guys and we all got along great, and we didn’t win, so you never know. In 2005, we had some guys who hated each other’s guts at times, but when we got on the field, we all pulled for each other and had each other’s backs. I think the most important thing is chemistry on the field. Off the field and in the club house, it’s a bit overrated”.

For more Cubs spring training coverage from Mesa, Ariz, click here. Find all of David Schuster’s spring training blogs here and follow him on Twitter (@schumouse).

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