It seems obvious enough, but it’s surprising how many serious fantasy baseball managers don’t bother to actually watch the games, especially the Spring Training games.
I am just back from my annual Spring Training trip to Florida. If you are a true baseball fan and you haven’t done this before, what are you waiting for? Do it. It’s a blast, especially when you get to go to the older Spring Training venues like the Pirates home in Bradenton.
But, it’s also an important part of your fantasy baseball draft preparation. You will learn things that you wouldn’t have known had you just read one of those grocery store preview magazines.
Case in point. Just a week or so ago, I went on our Spadora on Sports radio show and talked about how I predicted that Ty Wigginton would win the third base job in Philadelphia after mid-season over Placido Polanco. I also suggested that the Phillies may opt to play Wigginton at third base and bump Polanco to second base while moving Chase Utley to first base for some early season games while Ryan Howard is still on the mend.
I’ve changed my mind on that. After seeing Wigginton play second base and first base while attending games last week in Clearwater, there’s no way that he’s going to bump Polanco from the regular third base job. While Wigginton does have more pop than Polanco, his defensive liabilities outweigh his better offensive potential. The Phillies lineup may use Wigginton occasionally at first, second, third, or left field, but he’s not going to be a regular. Look for John Mayberry Jr. to secure the first base job while Howard is still mending from that terrible achilles injury that ended the Phillies 2011 season. Mayberry Jr. is a significant defensive upgrade over Howard.
Sometimes you just need to watch the games.
After all, isn’t that what fantasy baseball is all about? It’s a way to get greater enjoyment out of the games themselves.