Spring Training: A Mix of Meaningless/Meaningful Action



(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

Steven Shrenkel, Staff Writer

The crack of the bat as it nails a ball. The perfectly placed pitch that strikes out a batter. The warm weather that shines down upon the fans. The home run that is launched into the stands as the crowd watches in awe. There is energy and excitement in the air. Baseball season is here.

Spring training is in full swing for the MLB. It’s a fresh and exciting time in baseball. Nearly all players have reported to their respective teams. The air is filled with excitement for baseball fans as they begin to cheer on their team’s hopeful journey to the World Series. There is just this unexplainable energy surrounding the start of spring training.

Cactus league clubs are clustered in Arizona, while Grapefruit league teams dot along Florida. Spring training is one of baseball’s greatest traditions. While it’s one of baseball’s greatest traditions, it’s also filled with a mix of meaningless and meaningful action.

Spring training is meaningless in a sense. The series of exhibition games that proceed the regular season more often than not mean nothing team wise. Non-roster invitees end up making up most of varying team’s rosters. The scores don’t matter and team’s success’s later on in the regular season aren’t based on how well they do now.

Players may have a hot start in the Grapefruit or Cactus league. That doesn’t necessarily mean the player will have a great regular season. It goes the other way as well. Players could have an early cold streak. That isn’t cause for panic.

At the same time, spring training can be full of meaningful action up to the start of the regular season. It can be a very exciting time for both new and existing players. It’s this action that excites the fans and draws them to this event every year.

Spring training is great for allowing young players to hit the ground running. Whether it’s from an ace pitcher to a golden glove outfielder, seeing a young player develop in action can be fun to watch. These young sensations can show flashes of their potential and provide something for teams to look forward too.

Inexperienced players that may have been overlooked beforehand get a chance to make a name for themselves during spring training. Diamonds in the rough can be found scattered throughout teams. It can be very exhilarating to watch fresh new faces introduce themselves to the world.

It is also a great time for veterans recently recovering from injuries. They can get their feet wet and get a feel for what it’s like to play healthy again. Veteran players also often use this time to show off reworked approaches to the various aspects of their game.

With all of these players being evaluated on their performance, spring training is a time when teams see what their regular season lineups may look like. New faces that show off could be added into a lineup, while unexpected players that perform well also can make an impact in just how a clubs roster may look.

Spring training is also a time when the unfortunate injury can happen. A couple of players have already been hurt this year. This can play a huge role in how clubs lineups look down the road.

All in all, spring training is a time for the fans to sit back and enjoy the game. There’s not that much pressure on the players, and fans can get the chance to interact with their favorites. Spring training may be full of meaningless and meaningful action, but overall it’s a favorite pastime of players and fans alike.