Clubhouse dynamics play out on the field 

August, 13, 2011

Player X is an anonymous MLB star. This is his fourth column.

I KNOW A LOT OF ANALYSTS think it's overrated, and fans get tired of hearing about it, but clubhouse chemistry is important. Good teams generally get along (see: Giants), and bad ones don't. Sure, winning helps everyone's disposition (see: Pirates), but a positive atmosphere enables us to weather tough streaks.

Any group of people will have its natural separations. We have our rookie clique -- the guys who hang because they came up and got hazed together. The Latin guys always stick together and listen to Spanish-language music. Every team has a Christian coalition, guys united by faith. Married guys with kids hang out with other married guys with kids -- with a few exceptions. (In the minors, I always tried to room with a married guy because I figured I'd be more likely to stay out of trouble, but a few guys I thought would be stable ended up liking to rock 'n' roll.) Hitters and pitchers sort of naturally hang out with other guys at their same positions, and that's when things get really tricky.