Power Rankings: Lone spring conclusion? There's none to draw

by | Baseball Blogger

The Twins had a spectacular spring, then stumbled to the majors' second-worst record in 2011. (Getty Images)  
The Twins had a spectacular spring, then stumbled to the majors' second-worst record in 2011. (Getty Images)  

Have you heard about the brutal spring the Atlanta Braves are having? How about the Texas Rangers? Check out those ever-important spring standings if you haven't. They really matter.

And if you didn't notice my sarcasm dripping from the above paragraph, you’ll need to get to know me a little better in the upcoming weeks and months.

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Here's a fun little exercise: Google "2011 Arizona Diamondbacks spring training record."

I see the following partial headlines (for brevity's sake only; I’m not taking out of context).

"Should the Diamondbacks be worried ..."

"Diamondbacks start spring training with a limp"

"Diamondbacks failing to impress ..."

"Diamondbacks: Is it time for concern?"

We could go on with various derivatives of the search, but the point is pretty simple. When there's baseball being played and a certain team is piling up losses (or wins), some have a tendency to believe this actually means something. But it doesn't. It really doesn’t mean anything at all.

Those D-Backs went 12-25 last spring. Some thought it was a carryover from the last-place finish the previous season. They only went on to win 94 games and the NL West in the regular season before taking the Brewers to the limit in the NLDS.

The Twins also pulled opposite duty last season, going 20-12 in the spring before a 63-99 regular season. On the flip-side, yes, there were examples of being great in both the spring and regular season (Phillies) and being awful in both (Astros).

The only conclusion you can draw from spring training record versus regular-season performance is that you can't draw any conclusions, period.

So if you wanna try to harp on how a certain team is doing this spring in terms of wins and losses, I'm gonna channel my inner Jack Nicholson and offer up this classic: "Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here."


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