Sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle, but there is something to be said for having high character guys on your team. Obviously I don’t know Derrek Lee or Mark Reynolds personally, but from what has been said about both of them; they are gritty veterans who provide a solid clubhouse presence.
Sometimes people get so caught up in stats like batting average, on base percentage, and walks that people forget how important good clubhouse chemistry can be. During a major league baseball season a lot can happen in the clubhouse that no one can ever predict. It is impossible to know who will get along with whom and so on. A large majority of this is put on the manager to make sure his players play hard and there is a good clubhouse harmony. However, there is something to be said to having players who lead by example.
All reports seem to say that both Lee and Reynolds play the game the right way. They play hard and set a good example. There are no statistics for this, but this can go a long way in wins and losses. If players are having fun and playing hard they are going to win more games.
I am not saying the Orioles veterans in the past few years haven’t set a good example, but it certainly helps to bring in veterans to the team who will play hard and demand respect from the younger players. If Lee and Reynolds are the solid clubhouse guys that people from around the league say they are, this will certainly be a positive influence on the Orioles younger players.
You never know what will happen during the course of a season, maybe Mark Reynolds will become disgruntled with Orioles coaches for trying to change his swing, but it is always good to add players who bring more to the table then just statistics. Most of a major league season is spent off the field. Players spend most of their time in the clubhouse, in the batting cage, traveling, etc. it can go a long way having veteran players on your roster who can add character to your team. It also wouldn’t hurt if they hit a combined 70 home runs