Although the preseason hasn’t always been an accurate source to use to predict a team’s performance, many critics draw conclusions off of it. In baseball the game can change on a dime. Teams arranged at the peak of the winners list can fall.
And on the other hand, teams who plummet in the beginning of seasons can rise up. Baseball can be a very fickle sport.
“I think the preseason means absolutely nothing, their starting lineup is withheld for most of the duration of the game,” said Tucker Horn, sophomore. “I would doubt that teams even give half of their normal effort in the preseason. Players are just trying to get warm and ready for their real games.”
The team who will have the spotlight is the Royals. The Royals have had many comeback stories. In 2014, the Royals were a young and disorganized team that flew under the radar to win the wildcard game and advance into the playoffs and then the World Series. The next year, in 2015, they took the crown when they returned to the World Series.
According to Elias Sports Bureau research, they are the first team to win three games in which they were behind in the eighth inning or later in a single World Series. Had each game lasted only seven innings, the Mets would have won four of the five games. The Royals outscored the Mets 15-1 in the seventh through 14 innings of the series.
“All teams end up going through a skid sometime in the year. You don’t have to perform at the top level all the time,” said Stephen Personelli, sophomore.
Horn doesn’t believe that a baseball team has success throughout their entire season to have a chance at the World Series.
Horn said, “I think the Royals were able to prove that last year. We were kind of bumpy at times but we pushed through the turbulence to have a great successful season.”
Judging by their past preseason records, the Royals don’t show their all in these games. For many teams the preseason is a way to get back into the swing of things, and can be very important for some.
In particular, these practice-like games provide a great opportunity for minors to rise up and show coaches what they are capable of. It allows newcomers a feel for the big leagues, head on head against all-stars.
“Although the preseason isn’t a huge factor, it gives you a highlight of the training that team’s have put in over the off season and how they are reflecting that practice into their play,” said Jack Beuerlein, sophomore.
So if the preseason isn’t a give away at a team’s future success on the field, then what is?
“I think it is important to have team chemistry. You should be able to bond with your teammates as a family,” said Personelli.
It is more favorable for a baseball team to have certain characteristic, such as chemistry, than just having star players. Personelli said people can identify a team’s strength by their chemistry. This is why Personelli believes the Royals have a great chance at the World Series this year. The Royals have personality, they are playful with each other.
“A team is only as good as its chemistry,” said Ben Becker sophomore.