Monday Links:

Here’s a great quote worth highlighting from Billy Beane in this article, and it’s notable because things like the culture and character of the team often become popular focal points in this market when things aren’t going well:

[quote_box_center]I have always viewed culture and chemistry as a by-product of success. If you put the performances on the field the culture will follow. I have seen very few really good teams who don’t have a good culture, and very few poor teams that have a good culture.

When we are bringing in staff, the character and type of person they are is certainly important. We use ‘soft’ scouting to evaluate a player’s personality as well as ‘hard’ scouting, through our proprietry analytics, to assess their quality. But we always remember this: there’s plenty of good baseball players who weren’t necessarily great team-mates but they were great players on great teams and ultimately that is what you are trying to achieve.

As a guy who runs a small business, I have to make sure I have return on my investment. I don’t have the ability to quantify chemistry or culture. And because I can’t, I’m not going to invest in that alone. I’m going to invest in facts. If you win you will create a good culture – so concentrate on the most important things to winning. If I have a small amount of capital to invest I will invest in trying to win and hopefully the chemistry and culture will follow.”[/quote_box_center]

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder and editor of, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He's published five magazines on the team entitled "The Maple Leafs Annual" with distribution in Chapters and newsstands across the country. He also co-hosted "The Battle of the Atlantic," a weekly show on TSN1200 that covered the Leafs and the NHL in-depth. Alec is a graduate of Trent University and Algonquin College with his diploma in Journalism. In 2014, he was awarded Canada's Best Hockey Blogger honours by Molson Canadian. You can contact him at