Tag Archives: spring training

A meaningful spring stat: Winning percentage!!!1

It's a Blue Jays parade!

Have you been paying attention to spring training?

If your answer to that was “a little, but it doesn’t really matter. Let me know when the meaningful games start,” then you and I are in the same boat. Spring training is neat and all, what with the fog of hope that envelops every team and young players trying so hard to prove they belong, but any games where pitchers are pitching to work on their stuff instead of to win are, ultimately, not that important.

Except! (Not the exclamation mark? Excitement follows!)

Except that the Blue Jays are winning a lot of games! So many, in fact, that they’re in pretty nice company, historically. (If you count the last 20 years to mean “historically,” at least.)

The Blue Jays are right now sitting at 23 wins and 6 losses in the spring. That’s a winning percentage of .793. They have two games left, both against the Tigers and, if they win just oen of those games against Detroit, the Jays will finish with a winning percentage of at least .774.

But who cares about winning percentage, right?

ESPN’s Jayson Stark, that’s who!

Over the weekend, he went all crazy and compared the Jays to the 1997 Florida Marlins and the 2009 Anaheim, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Angels. The ’97 Marlins won the World Series and the ’09 Angels went on to win 97 games before losing in the ALCS in 6 games to the Yankees. What do the Jays have in common with these teams? Spring training winning percentage, of course!

Those Marlins and Angels teams were, although I’m sure you don’t need me to spell it out for you at this point, the only two teams within the last 20 years to post spring winning percentages above .750.

So, now, I hope you can see how important it is that Toronto wins at least one of its final two spring games. The outcome of the upcoming season clearly hangs in the balance.

And, really, we wouldn’t want the team to let Larry King down, would we?

 

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Spring training opener (and how to hear it)

Spring training. A time for players to shake off the rust and for teams to work out the rosters and lineups before the regular season begins.

It’s also apparently a time for MLB to work out the kinks in its website. Despite a forum admin on MLB’s audio service support board saying the service would be available by yesterday — presumably for the start of spring training — nothing was available and, if just taking a quick scan of the site, you’d think there’s nothing available yet today either. But I’m here to help, friends!

The Toronto Blue Jays play their first spring training game roughly 30 minutes from when I’m typing this and you can indeed sign up for Gameday Audio before first pitch. If you go to the MLB website and try to listen to an audio feed of a game, it should prompt you to buy the service. Failing that, a forum admin is now urging people to buy the service by using this link, but based on the forum admin’s previous statements, I’d be a bit leery of that.

So yes, it is possible to sign up for MLB’s Gameday Audio service for the 2010 season right now. Whether it’ll actually work once first pitch comes around is another question. If it doesn’t, you could always try andy mc’s approach.

And if you’re wondering why there seems to be some problems with launching the service this year, some direct messages exchanged with the MLB Twitter account lead me to believe there’s some sort of technical issue. No clue as to what it might be, but as someone who works at a large corporation that experiences various technical issues on an almost daily basis, I understand that these things happen. The frustrating thing though is that when these issues crop up with a company like MLB, it directly affects the fans — the people who, to paraphrase Mike D, put the satin in their panties.

But the guy behind MLB’s Twitter seems nice enough. So there is that.

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Hope springs eternal

In spring training, every team has a chance. They will all start with a record of 0-0 and anything can happen. Blah blah etc.

We all know that in reality, the Jays don’t have much of a shot to compete in 2010. We’ll watch the games, follow the progress of the youngsters and monitor rumours surrounding the potential trade bait just waiting for the coming seasons when the Jays will, if everything goes to plan, once again be a contender.

So in theory, this spring shouldn’t get my hopes up. I shouldn’t be excited about what the team might do in the upcoming season, but then I looked at some photos to have come out of the Jays’ camp so far and my hopes started rising.

It’s been a long winter. I’m ready for baseball. I hope you are, too. If not, take a look at some of these photos, they might help you:

Not a shot of players getting ready or goofing, but I had to include the following because, well, Cito is damn good at making me feel conflicted. I want to strongly dislike him. I really do, but then I see a picture like this and I feel conflicted. I even conflicted about the picture itself. Why does he hurt my head so?

All photos from Daylife, your best source for lifting wire service photos.

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