By: Austin Alexander - February 17, 2009
The scrimmage season is in full bloom as clubs everywhere are readying themselves for the upcoming campaign. Tryouts may have ended weeks ago but starting jobs are still up for grabs, pitchers are easing their arms and array of pitches into form, all while coaches sit back and evaluate the strength's and weaknesses of their clubs.
So why in the world do we put so much stock in the outcomes of a scrimmage game? Sure, DP installed a Scoreboard to post scores for these scrimmages and it has been interesting to view some of these outcomes. (Truth be told, the idea to introduce the scoreboard before the season initially stemmed from an attempt to reduce requests of final scores!) But beware of reading too much into the final scores of a scrimmage. Liken it to that of a Spring Training game and Spring Training Standings for that matter.
Ever been to a Spring Training game or watched one on television? If you are lucky, the names you know may get one at bat or two then exit the stage for uniform numbers that resemble a Bingo board. These scores and standings are often a better representation of which organization has the brightest farm system.
High school scrimmages are the prep version of the exact same thing. It is an opportunity for coaching staff's to get an extended look at the backend of his rotation and bench while mixing and matching different line-ups to find the right fit. Scrimmages are full of low pitch counts, players are shuttled on and off the field, some teams bat more than nine guys and pitchers are often restricted to less than their full arsenal of pitches. Kids play out of position, many times no umpire is present and innings can often be shut down with two outs because the last scheduled pitcher that night can't finish his frame.
Just enjoy the scrimmage season for what it is, a simple dress rehearsal before the big show begins. But don't completely lose your zest for winning and distaste in losing, because the real deal is right around the corner!