Over the course of the last two seasons as the Los Angeles Dodgers won two NL West division titles there weren’t questions regarding the team’s talent.
There were however, questions as to how well the players meshed together and if positive chemistry existed. There were rumblings last season Yasiel Puig’s stumbles along the way rubbed some the wrong way, and it was Puig who Matt Kemp shouted at in the dugout this season.
Newly-hired president of baseball operations, Andrew Friedman, steps in and is charged with the task of getting the Dodgers over the proverbial hump after consecutive postseason runs that fell short of so much as reaching the World Series.
Friedman downplayed the importance of chemistry in his introductory news conference Friday and said he believes it’s often a narrative established after the fact.
“If you are a team that wins 70 games and you have great chemistry, I don’t want those 25 guys,” Friedman said. “Those aren’t guys that I necessarily want to be in the trenches with. A lot of those stories about chemistry from the media come after the fact. It’s a narrative after the fact.”
When pressed further on the topic of chemistry and if it matters, Friedman matter of factly responded, “I think winning matters.” He then added, “I’d rather win with what you might determine to be bad chemistry than lose with what you determine to be good chemistry.”
At various points throughout the year, Andre Ethier expressed his dissatisfaction with the outfield picture and so too did Carl Crawford. To their credit, both outfielders ultimately said they would put their personal feelings aside for the betterment of the team.
Winning can certainly help mask underlying issues, but the Dodgers have now reached the same plateau in back-to-back seasons. Players that were once willing to put aside their personal agendas may no longer be as willing to do so if it only means a division title.
Dodgers Introduce Andrew Friedman As President Of Baseball Operations