How the Rays are winning big without spending big money

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Pedro GomezMLB

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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez covered the Oakland A’s home and away nearly every day from 1992-97 for the San Jose Mercury News and Sacramento Bee and then became the national baseball writer and later a general columnist at the Arizona Republic before becoming an ESPN bureau reporter in 2003.

SAN DIEGO — Chemistry is a word often scoffed at by many baseball analytics people because there is no way to quantify what it actually means or what it offers. But when you speak to Major League Baseball players who have won a World Series, it’s a word often mentioned by those it affects the most — the ones who share a clubhouse.

In a champagne-drenched clubhouse last year, Max Scherzer was one of several Nationals players who was quick to heap praise on Gerardo Parra — who had been signed by the club in mid-May when the team was struggling mightily — signaling his unifying personality as one of the primary reasons for the Nationals turnaround after Parra arrived.

“He brought so much joy,” Scherzer said. “He reminded us all to relax and have fun playing this game.”

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