Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Do Spring Training Results Matter?

My favorite part of Spring Training is the photos! (JD Drew photo from March 2010 courtesy of

I have a question on this dreary New England morning:

Do people really care about a team’s record during Spring Training?

I’m sure most of the people actually attending the games would like their team to win.  We don’t follow sports to watch our team lose.  But deep down do you worry if they lose?  Does it bother you?  Because, I’m going to be honest here, I pretty much couldn’t care less how often the Red Sox lose during Spring Training.*

There are times I certainly am hoping they’ll win.  When they play the Yankees comes immediately to mind.  Also, the Mayor’s Cup.  It’s silly, I know, but I would much prefer the Red Sox win it than the Twins.   And, of course, there are the games against the college teams which I always end up rooting for the kids instead of the Red Sox but then am relieved when the Sox end up winning.   I DO pay attention to how well or poorly individual players are doing, but even then I don’t freak out over every inconsistency.

All I want, really, is for the team to come out of Spring Training healthy and looking ready for a full season.  It’s the only time of the year when, for me, winning is incidental.

I bring this up because during my morning Internet rounds today I noticed a lot of folks lamenting how poorly both the Red Sox and the Yankees are doing thus far and it surprised me.  (Which itself is ridiculous because nothing should surprise me when it comes to how passionately Red Sox and Yankees fans want their teams to win.)

So far, I’ve only listened to one game on the radio (the first one aired) and watched one game on NESN (also the first one aired). It was fun to hear and see the sounds of the season while looking out my window at the snow-covered streets, but it wasn’t enough to make me arrange my schedule around the games, as I often do during the regular season.

In March, I’m a lazy baseball fan gearing myself up for the summer.

*I’ve had many people ask me why I always capitalize Spring Training.  Honestly?  I don’t know.  I started doing it probably back when then blog began and I kept it up mostly for continuity (or because my brain just automatically capitalizes it and I’m too lazy to change it!).

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March 7, 2011 - Posted by | 2011 | ,

2 Comments »

  1. Spring training results are complicated for me. I realise that it’s pretty absurd to worry about the W-L record when both teams are throwing out split-squad lineups half-full of minors league prospects and switching pitchers every couple of innings regardless of the circumstances; fundamentally, neither manager is playing to win–they’re just trying to get their players an appropriate progression of innings of work….but they’re also trying to get some idea of which players on the borderline should go North with the big club in April, and which should be earmarked for the minors or release. That second focus makes the spring performance of certain individuals VERY important, of course. And I get nervous toward the very END of spring training, if key regulars (on the mound or at the plate) are having consistently bad springs. Otherwise–I ‘m with you, Cyn, I kick back and enjoy the rare pleasure of watching my beloved ballplayers without heavy-duty anxiety as to how well we do in the moment.

    Comment by Elaine Apthorp | March 7, 2011 | Reply

  2. A good friend of mine who is no longer with us told me that he loved going to spring training games specifically because he didn’t have to worry about whether the team won or lost. He could sit back, enjoy the warm weather, take in the atmosphere of the the ballpark and drink lots of beer. There was plenty of time in the regular season to get his blood pressure up…

    I myself don’t care much for spring training games (on the radio or TV) they :gasp: bore me. I’m sure it would be fun to be there in person but my assumption is that the players are getting into game shape and the coaches are paying attention to setting the team up properly for the season. I see it that winning is not necessarily the goal.

    Comment by Jojo | March 9, 2011 | Reply


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