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Spring training = over 200 games played by Major League teams for nothing but practice and bragging rights. Many arguments can be had for the importance of spring training, but I'm in the camp that believes it is too long. I read an article which supports my opinion. I found it to be well thought out, and presents a point many of us do not seem to think about regularly - who does it really benefit?
A relief pitcher reference in the article told another:
"The best way to get through spring training is not to work out at all in the offseason," Zimmerman recalled. "Put your cleats on and stand in your driveway and drink a six-pack of beer."
Ball players come back in tip top shape, only to be standing around waiting their turn at batting practice. Position players really don't need most of spring training to prepare for the regular season, but pitchers and starters do.
"For players, it brings tedium and the realization that they are about to waste a remarkable amount of time on drills that are mindless and games that are meaningless. Spring training is an anachronism requiring hundreds of personnel members per team to pull off almost entirely for the benefit of around 12 people. "
Think about it, teams will spend 2 months in a warm location, so the pitchers can gradually build stamina and strength without injury. So basically it's all about letting arms slowly warm up, but if you take away spring training, you get rid of the decades-old way pitchers have been warming up for the regular season.
Here's a breakdown of what their preseason is like:
"In the 10 days before games begin, pitchers throw three heavily monitored bullpen sessions. In their first live action, they throw around 25 pitches over an inning or two. Their next start will last about 40 pitches over three innings. The ramping-up continues until they have made four or five starts, meaning that teams must play 30 or so games to accommodate their schedules."
In my opinion, for everyone else aside from starters and pitchers, spring training could be unnecessary, at least the length of it anyway. Given the length of a regular season, do we need so many preseason games? Should teams continue this pace?