Spring training is not just about baseball


by Jean Gabler | March 1, 2009 • After thinking about my last entry, I felt I needed to clarify two things.

the knothole view is jean gabler’s blog about the minnesota twins and all things baseball.

First, spring training is not just about baseball. I was listening to a sports radio show this morning and the guy was going on about how spring training games don’t mean anything. The pitchers are trying out new pitches and the guys who are assured a spot on the roster are just getting their swing back and trying not to get hurt. (And working on their golf games!) The only players who are really there to play are the ones who are still fighting for a place on the team. Exactly! So to tell those players that spring training doesn’t mean anything is ridiculous.

He then went on to say how it is crazy that the spring training games are broadcast. He didn’t talk about the fact that most of his colleauges in the sports world are already down in Fort Myers covering spring training for their TV/radio/newspaper/blog. The reason they are all down there and the reason we can’t wait to get baseball back on the radio is because spring training is all about spring. I don’t think there is a person I talk to who does not equate baseball in general with the lovely days of summer and the fact that if baseball is back, spring is here and summer is just around the corner. That is why everyone gets so excited about spring training. I certainly do not think that the fact that the Twins are 4-0 in spring training means they are certainly going to the World Series! (Although I do think they are looking pretty good…)

The second thing I wanted to clarify is my feeling about baseball statistics. In my first entry I talked about the fact that baseball, for me, is not about statistics but about the emotions of the game. I then spent most of my second entry discussing pitching and hitting statistics. Certainly, I do watch the numbers. I know who is winning games and saving games. I know who is hitting well and who is struggling. I knew last year that Joe Mauer had a chance to win a second batting title. Not only did I watch his numbers, but I watched the numbers of those players who were close. I knew that Justin Morneau struggled in September and October (25 hits with only two homers). We all knew that if we had won just one more game, we would have been in the playoffs. But don’t ask me what happened the year before and who was doing well on other teams. I don’t really care.

My lack of concern for statistics and for players other than the Twins causes me problems in fantasy baseball. For the past three years I have been playing fantasy baseball with some of my kids and their friends. I really want to win this year and I will be looking for some tips. I also have more to say about sports announcers—stay posted.