We're into March. And with the World Baseball Classic underway, all 30 big-league clubs have played either double-digits worth of games or will get there within the next day or two. And while the overwhelming majority of the public knows not to put much (or any) stock into the results of the spring training games, it's still a fun exercise to see if the spring records had any bearing on the standings last season.
As usual, they didn't.
Here is how last season's 10 playoff teams fared last spring, from best record to worst:
This happens every season. In 2011, only one of the top five teams in spring winning percentage -- the Brewers -- made the playoffs. The Giants, Royals, Rockies and Twins played over .600 ball in the spring and failed to varying degrees in the regular season. The eventual NL West champion Diamondbacks, on the other hand, were 12-25 in the spring.
To reiterate, we could do this with every season.
So when you see the Royals at 9-0, the Mariners at 10-1, the Reds at 2-10 and the Angels at 1-8 -- just to name a few -- in spring play in 2013, don't overreact. In fact, don't even react. No conclusions can be historically drawn from results in the spring. The only thing that we know is that they mean nothing.
Now, this doesn't mean to ignore everything. Injuries and how players respond to said injuries matters. Young players and how they perform while fighting for jobs is intriguing. A veteran player coming off a big-time down year (such as Adam Dunn's in 2011) should show signs that he has shaken off things mentally and physically. Pitcher velocity also starts to matter late in the spring.
But if you're a Rangers fan and worried about the 3-7 start, please back away from the keyboard. The record right now means nothing, just as it will mean nothing come March 31.
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