It’s the million dollar question. Do Spring Training games factor in a team’s success? According to cbssports.com, the answer is no.
We are all being teased endlessly by our friends and family taking the typical picture of their $10 beer with the baseball field in Florida or Arizona in the background. You don’t want to “double-tap” it on Instagram, but you end up doing so anyways. Here we are sitting, waiting, wishing for the actual season to get started. Opening Day is just around the corner. That’s the beginning of the season, when the games really start to count.
However, there is still speculation that Spring games are a big factor in the projection of a team’s season. This is silly, in my opinion.
Check the comparisons. In 2013:
The Kansas City Royals went 25-7 during Spring training, then during regular season play, they ended with a 86-76 record, and did not make the playoffs. In 2012, the Royals snagged a 24-7 record in Spring Training and ended the regular season with a 73-89, fourth place finish.
A really great statistic on the other side of the diamond came from the Pirates last season. Leaving Spring Training the Bucs went 13-18, and well we all know how well they did at the end of the regular season; best record in 20 years for Pittsburgh.
Let’s put wins and losses aside, and think about the performance of the players in general.
Mike Trout is batting .444 as of now in Spring Training, it won’t take a genius (I’m referring to myself as the genius in this scenario) to know he will not maintain that average going into the season with all of the factors involved. Obvious factors being number of games, injuries, number of at-bats, completely different rosters etc.
Trout completed the 2013 season with a .323 batting average. Which I suppose if you compare the two, isn’t much of a difference. Using Trout as an example may have been too easy however.
I suppose the point that is trying to be made here is no, Spring Training numbers of any variety do not matter. Anyone could break it down to a Science, or use every statistic in the book. At the end of the day, all fans care about is that starting roster on Opening Day.
The most important statistic that I need to remind you about is on both regular season play, and Spring Training play, you are still paying $10 for a beer.
Photo: Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports