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Let's Just Face It: The Phillies Suck at Spring Training (and It Doesn't Matter)

The Phillies finished spring training with a very disappointing record of 12-18-2.  Or, maybe it's not a disappointing record and it just doesn't matter.

When you look at the numbers, there's really no reason to care one bit about spring training records.  As I've done before, I'm posting here the Phillies spring training records compared to their regular season records for that year.  This chart omits the tie games in spring training.  The last column shows the improvement in the team's record in the regular season compared to spring training (or how much the team got worse, if the number is negative).


Year Spring Regular Improve
2003 10 17 0.370 86 76 0.531 0.161
2004 10 21 0.323 86 76 0.531 0.208
2005 11 18 0.379 88 74 0.543 0.164
2006 19 11 0.633 85 77 0.525 -0.108
2007 11 18 0.379 89 73 0.549 0.170
2008 12 18 0.400 92 70 0.568 0.168
Total 73 103 0.415 526 446 0.541 0.126

There are a few things to note from this chart:

First, the Phillies had almost an identical record last year in spring training that they had this year. The only difference, not visible in the chart, is that they tied one more game this March than last March. If you are concerned at all after this year's March record, just looking at last year's record compared to last year's regular season result should make you happy.

Second, the Phillies have shown in the past that their spring performance doesn't matter. They regularly improve their winning percentage by .160 or more over their March performance. With one exception - the year the Phillies were good in spring training, they were worse by .100+ in the regular season.

Third, the Phillies suck at spring training. I don't know the reason, but it's quite obvious looking back at seven seasons worth of data that the team is just not good. Adding this year's record into the data into the chart, the Phillies are 85-121 over the past 7 springs, for a winning percentage of .417. That's awful.

But it doesn't matter, so I don't care. And neither should you.