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What Does Spring Training Mean?

by Tom King

Spring Training stats are meaningless. Lets get that out of the way right now. They are meaningless for many reasons. The sample size is too small. Pitchers are working on different pitches and not using their entire arsenal. Hitters are working on adjustments to their swings. Lineups are in flux. And there just is not the emotion that would be found once the games actually count. So what does that mean for the players having good or bad springs? If your"e putting up good numbers in the spring you obviously hope that continues but there is no guarantee of that happening. If you're struggling you can tell yourself that it can all change once Opening Day comes along.

Two cases in point...Rickie Weeks and Matt Garza. Weeks is hitting well this spring as he fights for the 2nd base job for the Brewers. His competition is youngster Scooter Gennett who has struggled. What the Brewers have to decide is can Weeks do it when it counts or will we see him struggle out of the gate like we have so many times before?

Garza's case if a little different. He's got health issues but he's a veteran that knows how to get ready for a season. The Brewers need him to have a good year if they want to be in playoff contention. He's been working on his different pitches with little success this spring. In his case I think its true that the spring numbers don't mean a whole lot. Garza will be ready to go when the bell rings. And the other Brewer pitchers like Estrada and Gallardo have had good springs. This staff(including a bullpen that should be good) could surprise some people. I have no problem believing that if this team stays healthy they can be right there with the Cardinals in the Central.

Spring Training is too long...lets get going.

Tiger Woods may be done as a high level golfer. His bad back will keep him out of this weeks tournament and he says his availability for the Masters is in question. With so many good young golfers making their impact every week its not out of the realm of possibility that Woods' days of being a regular contender on the tour is over. The chase for Jack Nicklaus record of major wins is a pipe dream at this point. We have seen the careers of many top athletes end prematurely from injury. it would be sad if that happens to Woods but as we have learmnd many times...there are no givens in sports or in life...you have to play the cards you are dealt.

Another major college takes a chance on a coach with a flawed resume. Bruce Pearl gets another chance as he is hired to coach Auburn. He's been suspended by the NCAA for some of his past actions in recruiting and was fired from his last gig at Tennessee. It remains to be seen if he learned anything from his forced sabbatical.

Songs of the day   (from my I-pod)

More and More-Webb Pierce(1954) a Merle Kilgore country classic that Pierce took to #1 for 10 weeks

More Love-Smokey Robinson & Miracles (1967) a smooth one from Smokey that later was a Top 10 hit for Kim Carnes as well