Spring Training 2008

The buffer Miggy. He still couldn’t play defense.

Spring Training is an odd time of year. Teams play games, but they don’t count. Players play well enough to earn spots on the team, but then, they don’t perform in the regular season. Teams play well, but they fail miserably in the regular season. There are a lot of reasons for this, most of them obvious. One, it’s a small sample size, and anyone can have a good month. Two, there’s no real strategy involved other than getting players in the game, but no match-ups are used and coaches want to see the players hit/pitch instead of bunt/intentionally walk. Three, when teams use other players, the performance changes (good teams use more AAA players and lose, for example). Four, injuries become more visible and more prevalent when the season gets underway. There are probably other reasons, but you get the point. Anyway, I thought we’d take a look at the standings from last season and its Spring Training.

This is the Spring Training standings.

A few things about the playoff teams:
1) The Phillies were terrible, and look how they ended up.
2) The Rays showed early signs of being good.
3) The Cubs were just mediocre.
4) Boston was terrible.
5) The Angels were worse than the A’s.
6) The White Sox were awful.
7) The Dodgers were see 7.
8) The Brewers were better than the Cubs.

So, as you watch your favorite team this Spring Training, don’t get too excited/pissed about your team’s play. Spring Training is a terrible predictor of how things are going to go, but I would love to see how many experts use it to predict the regular season. The regular season is a marathon, and there’s no point in looking at Spring Training as anything more than a few exhibition games for show. Though, I will admit it can be useful in certain circumstances, but those circumstances aren’t really known until October.

So, Jayson Stark, don’t make your prediction for the World Series based on Spring Training. Leave my Braves alone.


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