Spring training


Spring training

In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to audition for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play. Spring training has always attracted fan attention, drawing crowds who travel to the warmer climates to enjoy the weather and watch their favorite teams play, and spring training usually coincides with spring break for many college students.

Spring training typically lasts almost two months, starting in mid February and running until just before the season opening day (and often right at the end of spring training, some teams will play spring training games on the same day other teams have opening day of the season), traditionally the first week of April. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training first because pitchers benefit from a longer training period due to the exhaustive nature of the position. A week or two later, the position players arrive and team practice begins.

History

Spring training by major league teams in sites other than their regular season game sites began in the 1920's, they include the St. Louis Cardinals in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Tulsa, Oklahoma; the New York Yankees in New Orleans, Louisiana and later Phoenix, Arizona when the team was owned by Del Webb; the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles when owned by William Wrigley Jr.; the St. Louis Browns and later the Kansas City Athletics in San Diego; and other teams joined in by the early 1940's.While Florida and Arizona (the United States) now host all Major League Baseball teams for spring training, this has not always been the case. The Brooklyn Dodgers trained in Havana, Cuba in 1947 and 1959, and in the Dominican Republic in 1948. cite web |url=http://springtrainingmagazine.com/history3.html|title= The '47 Dodgers on Havana: Baseball at a Crossroads|accessdate=January 10|accessyear=2007|author= |last= Echevarría |first= Roberto González |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year=1988 |month= |format= |work=Spring Training|publisher=Vanguard Publications|pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate=] The New York Yankees also trained in the early 1950's in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Also spring training camps and games were held in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and cities of northern Mexico, sometimes by visiting major league teams in the 1950's and 1960's.

During World War II, most teams held an abbreviated spring training within easy reach of their cities. In order to conserve rail transport during World War II, the 1943 Spring Training was limited to an area east of the Mississippi River and north of the Ohio River. The Chicago White Sox held camp in French Lick, Indiana; the Washington Senators in College Park, Maryland; and the New York Yankees in Asbury Park, New Jersey. [Suehsdorf, A. D. (1978). "The Great American Baseball Scrapbook", p. 103. Random House. ISBN 0-394-50253-1.]

Before and shortly after big league baseball reached the West Coast, a number of teams trained in the state of California or along the state boundary. For example, early in their history, the then-California Angels held spring training in Palm Springs, California from 1961 to 1993, the San Diego Padres in Yuma from 1969 to 1991, the Oakland Athletics in Las Vegas in the 1970's, and various major league teams had trained in Riverside, San Bernardino and El Centro near the Mexican border.

Not only it is the concept limited to North America, the Japanese professional baseball leagues' teams adopted spring training and preseason game sites across East Asia such as South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan; the Pacific Islands (most notably in Hawaii); and in three North American cities of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Salinas and Yuma on the Mexican border.

pring training locations by team

In modern training, teams that train in Florida will play other Florida-training teams in their exhibition games, regardless of regular season league affiliations. Likewise, Arizona-training teams will play other Arizona teams. These have been nicknamed the Grapefruit League and Cactus League respectively, after plants typical of the respective states. The teams can play colleges (Georgia Tech vs. Atlanta or Florida Southern College vs. Detroit), minor league baseball clubs, intra-squad games (members of the same team play against each other), split-squad games (games when one team is scheduled for two games in one day, so the team splits into two squads and each squad plays in each of the games), and B Games (unofficial Spring Training games where statistics and standings are not counted). [cite web | url = http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070308&content_id=1833979&vkey=spt2007news&fext=.jsp&c_id=tor | title = Thomas debuts in B game |accessdate = 2008-03-08]

Grapefruit League (Florida)

*Atlanta Braves: Champion Stadium, Lake Buena Vista at Walt Disney World.
*Baltimore Orioles: Fort Lauderdale Stadium, Ft. Lauderdale.
*Boston Red Sox: City of Palms Park, Fort Myers.
*Cincinnati Reds: Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota (moving to Goodyear, AZ in 2010.)
*Detroit Tigers: Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland.
*Florida Marlins: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter.
*Houston Astros: Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee.
*Minnesota Twins: Hammond Stadium, Ft. Myers.
*New York Mets: Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie.
*New York Yankees: Steinbrenner Field, Tampa.
*Philadelphia Phillies: Bright House Field, Clearwater.
*Pittsburgh Pirates: McKechnie Field, Bradenton.
*St. Louis Cardinals: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter .
*Tampa Bay Rays: Progress Energy Park, St. Petersburg (moving to Port Charlotte, FL in 2009.)
*Toronto Blue Jays: Knology Park, Dunedin.
*Washington Nationals: Space Coast Stadium, Viera.

Cactus League (Arizona)

*Arizona Diamondbacks: Tucson Electric Park, Tucson (moving to Casa Grande, AZ in 2009.)
*Chicago Cubs: HoHoKam Park, Mesa.
*Chicago White Sox: Tucson Electric Park, Tucson (moving to Glendale, AZ in 2009.)
*Cincinnati Reds: Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear,AZ (Starting in 2011.)
*Cleveland Indians: Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear,AZ (Starting in 2009.)
*Colorado Rockies: Hi Corbett Field, Tucson (moving to Tucson Electric Park in 2009.)
*Kansas City Royals: Surprise Stadium, Surprise.
*Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Tempe Diablo Stadium, Tempe.
*Los Angeles Dodgers: Glendale Ballpark, Glendale (Starting in 2009.)
*Milwaukee Brewers: Maryvale Baseball Park, Phoenix.
*Oakland Athletics: Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix.
*San Diego Padres: Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria.
*San Francisco Giants: Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale.
*Seattle Mariners: Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria.
*Texas Rangers: Surprise Stadium, Surprise.

tatistics

Statistics are recorded during spring training games, but they are not combined with the listed statistics for regular season games, and unusual performances which would have broken records if accomplished during the regular season are considered to be unofficial.

For example, on March 14, 2000, the Red Sox used 6 pitchers to achieve a 5–0 perfect game victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. A perfect game is considered a crowning accomplishment during the regular season or postseason, but in spring training it attracted little notice. Starting pitcher Pedro Martínez, who lost a perfect game in 1995 while pitching for the former Montreal Expos, was talking to reporters at the conclusion of the game, rather than watching the final pitches. Reliever Rod Beck, who finished the game, did not realize the nature of his accomplishment until informed by catcher Joe Sidall. Many fans also left before the game's conclusion. [" [http://www.polkonline.com/stories/031500/spo_martinez.shtml Martinez, 5 relievers pitch perfect game] ", Jimmy Golen, the Associated Press, published March 15, 2000, accessed February 22, 2007.]

Although spring training statistics are commonly viewed with a jaundiced eye, teams still frequently use players' spring training performances as a way of assigning starting roles and roster spots on the club.

Extended spring training

Minor league players participate in spring training following a telescoped schedule that generally lasts from March 1-31. At its conclusion, most players are assigned to full-season Class A, AA or AAA farm team rosters to begin the regular minor league season. However, those players deemed unready for a full-season campaign — through inexperience or injury — are assigned to "extended spring training," a structured program of workouts, rehabilitation sessions, simulated games and exhibition games based in the major league parent team's minor league training complex. If a player is deemed ready to participate in full-season league action, he is promoted to an appropriate-level farm club. When the "short season" Class A and rookie leagues begin play in late June, extended spring training players are assigned to those rosters, placed on the disabled list, or released.

References

External links

* [http://www.floridagrapefruitleague.com/ Grapefruit League Official Site]
* [http://www.cactusleague.com/index.php Cactus League Official Site]
* [http://www.springtrainingmagazine.com/ Spring Training Magazine Information]
* [http://www.springtrainingtips.com/ Spring Training Tips - A guide to enjoying everything about Spring Training]


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