Communication is the key to building any relationship, and new Astro manager A.J. Hinch will be focused on creating an open line of communication this spring according to a piece by Brian McTaggart. Team chemistry has been a common theme on winning teams recently, with the San Francisco Giants being at the forefront of this movement while being crowned World Series Champions three out of the last five seasons.
The Astros’ busy offseason has brought many new faces to Minute Maid Park, and the quicker this team gels, the more successful the 2015 campaign could be. Hinch, from McTaggart’s article, “I think there’s a team culture, a team camaraderie that you’ve got to build in the clubhouse,” Hinch said. “I’ll have some fun stuff in the morning. You mix it up with players. You keep it fresh and exciting and get them wanting to come to the ballpark. I think they’ll be some fun behind-the-scenes stuff you’ll hear about.”
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Hinch also says that there will be a level of accountability with the players, and that there won’t be “hard-and-fast rules.” A.J. Hinch lacks major league success as a manager, compiling a 89-123 (.420) record with the Diamondbacks between 2009 and 2010, but it does seem that he has learned from his time in Arizona and that he has a clear vision for how he wants to form this ballclub.
One way for Hinch to bond with many of the new faces would be in talking to them about O.Co Coliseum in Oakland. The ballpark has been in dire need of an upgrade for some time, and Hinch played with the A’s from 1998-2000. This could be a simple way for our new manager to both build a repoire with Luke Gregerson, Jed Lowrie, Pat Neshek, Dan Straily and Chris Carter while also building a grudge towards a division rival.
With a team that will be filled with young talent not only this year, but in seasons to come, it will be important for A.J. Hinch to keep the club on a positive note, allowing them to learn from their mistakes while also building on their successes. Aside from the San Diego Padres, the Astros will be a team with a lot of extra attention heaped their way. How they deal with the increased media exposure and grow together could determine a lot with how this team reacts in the seasons to come, and their success could be dependent upon A.J. Hinch.