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When spring training really matters

by Matt Smith

Only a few spring training games to go now for each team. The real games are about to start, where all batting averages and ERAs head back to zero. The good thing about performances in spring training is that they can be turned to your advantage whatever the situation.

In an 0 for 20 slump? No problem, you’re just saving up your hits for when it matters.

Given up a few too many home runs? Not to worry, you’re just getting them out of the way.

How much stock you put into spring training performances simply depends on whether they were positive or not. Scott Hairston will gain massive confidence after hitting three homers in one game yesterday, whereas the Texas Rangers pitching staff will write-off their 24 run loss to the Padres as “one of those things”. Albert Pujols may have had a mediocre time at the plate, but I’m sure he’s not suddenly questioning his ability.

Spring training is very much a warm-up exercise, there as a means to prepare yourself for the season ahead. The only thing to fear about spring training is injuries. Sadly, we always get our share of those.

C.C. Sabathia has just left the Indian’s game having been struck on the left wrist by a line drive. One swing of the bat can change a team’s fortunes, whether it’s a 400 foot game-winning home run or a line drive pitcher-seeking missile. From ecstasy to agony in a second. Spring training at-bats are generally fairly meaningless when it comes to the overall context of the season, but on this occasion the Indian’s season could hang in the balance. Cleveland fans will be praying that the X-rays bring positive news.

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1 comment

baseballgb March 28, 2007 - 9:26 pm

UPDATE: According to MLB.com, it looks like Sabathia will be fine. The X-rays came back negative (in a good sense, i.e. no broken bones) and depending on how he feels in the next few days, the Tribe are hopeful that he will be able to take the mound on Opening day.


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