As spring training approaches for Major League Baseball teams, the focus of the off-season once again centers on the city of New York.
The New York Yankees signed five free agents this off-season at a total cost of $447.5 million spread out over the next eight years, as reported by mlb.com.
Pitcher C.C. Sabathia and first baseman Mark Teixeira were the top free agents available at their respective positions.
Both signed multi- year deals that eclipsed the $160 million mark, according to mlb.com.
Those additions gave the Yankees the ace they so desperately needed, and prevented another bat from signing with their arch rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
Although, the Yankees were the kings of the off-season, that still doesn’t promise wins in the most important time of the year, October.
Out of 30 Major League clubs, the Yankees arguably have a player in the top five at every position, which can be seen at the annual All-Star game every year.
Even with these all-stars, the Yankees haven’t won a World Series since 2000.
Fielding the best players isn’t the only component to becoming champions- good players with great team chemistry is what makes champions.
Examples of that would be in 2001, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who beat the Yankees to win that franchise’s first World Series.
The star players included pitchers Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and a few others.
That team didn’t necessary have the best players at each position, but they had a group of guys that believed in each other and had faith that eventually someone would come through with clutch at-bat or put out.
Another example of superior team chemistry was the in 2004 when the Boston Red Sox, beat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series on their way to their first World Series win in over 100 years.
They were nicknamed the “misfits” due to the quirky personalities on the team.
The team displayed their belief in each other in that series. In a best of seven game series, the Red Sox found themselves down three games to none, and an early exit out of the playoffs.
Not only did they win game four, they won the next seven games, which included a four game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
Only a team with a strong faith in each other, and what is being preached by their managers can overcome the peaks and valleys that make up the MLB season.
For all you general managers out there, there is a lesson to be learned from these teams.
In 2008 the Tampa Bay Rays, went from terrible to respectable in a year’s time because of great team chemistry.
It may be nice to get a collection of all-stars on your team, but if those all-stars don’t buy into the big picture, which is team success, then you will find yourself just like the Yankees- having a monstrous payroll with numerous all-stars, and no hardware to show for it.
Jabari Jackson is a junior broadcast journalism student from Madison. He can be reached at email@example.com.