The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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March 9, 2014

Thoma column: The many purposes of spring training


For prospects and suspects, it’s a time to try to win a major-league job, or at least get into position to claim a job if and when it opens.

For managers, coaches and scouts, it’s a time to evaluate talents and skills.

And for front office financial types, it’s about sucking in the dollars.

The Red Sox, in leaving their stars at home on Thursday, helped — or at least didn’t hurt — the first three causes. The Marlins’ grumbles are based solely on the finances, and the Sox have no sympathy for them on that basis.

As an avid follower of spring training and occasional consumer of Florida exhibition games, I know this: the further the visiting team has to come to play a given game, the less likely the big names are to appear.

The Marlins will be the visitors for one of the upcoming games I see in Fort Myers.

I do not expect to see Giancarlo Stanton or Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the two established position players on the Miami roster.

You can decide if that makes the Marlins hypocrites.

Edward Thoma (344-6377; maintains his Baseball Outsider blog at Follow him on Twitter @bboutsider.

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