Baseball is officially back, as Spring Training games kick-off this weekend.
16 games today. All 30 teams play. Baseball is officially back. #SpringTraining.
— MLB Public Relations (@MLB_PR) February 23, 2013
— MLB (@MLB) February 13, 2013
Luckily, baseball always returns but some fans giddiness for the upcoming season tend to take Spring Training a little to seriously. Hence the many emails readers have sent me this past week stressing out, and looking for answers now.
Any baseball fan’s anticipation of the pending MLB season can get the best of their emotions, myself included.
So when I start to take Spring Training to literally, here are some basics I remind myself of:
1) Games do not count.
Been waiting since September to say this…. METS WIN!!!!! #SpringTraining
— The 7 Line (@The7Line) February 23, 2013
2) Spring Training records do not forecast how a team will fair in the regular season.
3) Spring Training is intended for players to warm up, and managers to strategize prior to Opening Day.
4) Individual player stats, like games, are meaningless.
5) It is a fantastic time for fans to see each team’s top prospects.
6) The games are played in an intimate and relaxed atmosphere.
— Chase Hathaway (@ChaseHathaway) February 23, 2013
7) Players are much more accessible which is great if you collect autographs.
Bottom line is that any baseball fan that can catch a Spring Training game should definitely go; and if it happens to be your team, even better.
My advice to all baseball fans is to keep expectations in check during Spring Training, as it is really a waste of energy. This rule lightly applies to position battles too, as things can change at the drop of a hat once games start to count.
A-Rod took the focus off spring baseball, which was actually a blessing in disguise as it gave the New York fans that love to complain something to do. So please, spare the rest of us and don’t take out your pent-up A-Rod anger on the team’s ST performances. Just go and watch a Knicks game or something.
Overall, Spring Training is a wonderful time for fans to enjoy watching young prospects, while praying your team’s injuries stay minimal. And that’s about it….. until the regular season commences.