Summary of “What Makes a Team Great?”

“Baseball is a team game,” Pete Rose, the former player and manager, once said.
In its typical invocation, chemistry is a cop-out-an after-the-fact explanation of why a team won, especially against the odds.
Barry Zito, then a declining Giants pitcher who miraculously outdueled opposing pitcher and reigning American League MVP Justin Verlander in a game that had been billed as “One of the great mismatches of World Series history,” told me recently about the team’s postseason turning point, which he offered as proof of its chemistry.
Two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and one from Indiana University recently attempted to locate team chemistry by finding places where existing performance metrics fall short.
These players, the economists hypothesized, create chemistry-they have shown repeated ability to elevate their team above the sum of its parts.
A similar effort is under way in the major leagues, where Dacher Keltner and Hooria Jazaieri, psychologists at UC Berkeley, are conducting research with the goal of finding associations between the supposed subtle physical tells of chemistry and team success.
Russell Carleton, a writer for Baseball Prospectus, has found evidence that chemistry can be cultivated in the long term through careful organizational management-one analysis of his, for example, reveals that having less roster turnover from year to year helps a team slug more home runs.
Katerina Bezrukova, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Management, looked at the demographic breakdowns of all 30 MLB teams over five seasons, analyzing age, race, nationality, tenure, and salary, on the theory that while diversity was necessary for success, teams with players who were isolated-those without any or many demographic peers-would develop “Faultlines,” or breaks in chemistry that might be exposed and exacerbated when the team struggled.

The orginal article.