For several consecutive years, the White Sox have lost and lost big during March. Does a poor won-loss record during spring training carry over into the regular season?
That question was pondered a length Monday on White Sox Interactive. The thread starter argued the Sox sorry performance in spring training led to last year's miserable 72-90 campaign, the worst South Side team in nearly 20 years.
It's a point worth considering. Reflecting back on last spring, the warning signs were there. Pitchers were getting lit up and bats were noticeably quiet. More disturbingly, the Sox displayed an alarming lack of fundamentals during the 2007 spring games. Bad baserunning, bad fielding, throwing to the wrong base, swinging at bad pitches, etc.
Those lazy habits carried on into the regular season, and the results were catastrophic. To answer the question posed, no, it doesn't matter whether you're 10-23, 17-16 or 23-10 in spring training. Hell, the 2005 World Series Champion White Sox were below .500 in spring ball.
But what does matter is the habits you create. Win or lose, play the game the right way. The Sox seem to be taking that seriously this spring, with GM Kenny Williams yelling to newcomer Nick Swisher, "We run hard to first base in Chicago!" during a recent intrasquad game.
Yes, it's just an intrasquad game, but it's never too early to set a precedent on how the game needs to be played.