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A Short Guide On How To Wade Through The Fluff

With pitchers and catchers already in camp and the mandatory check-in date for the rest of the players rapidly approaching, I thought now would be a good time for a little review of how to properly read the wildly optimistic Spring Training articles that you'll come across on a daily basis. To do this, I'll just recycle material that I wrote a year ago (I'm lazy, and I have no shame). If you feel like you need to brush up on your critical reading a little bit, read over that post once or twice until you're back up to speed.

When attempting to gauge the significance of a particular article, it also helps to make comparisons to similar stories we've heard in years past. For example:

Carl Everett's winning attitude = Player A's winning attitude two years ago
Foppert throwing "free and easy" = Pineiro "handling it perfectly" a year ago
Gil Meche's new shoe inserts = Bret Boone's laser eye surgery a year ago

And on and on. Feel free to add as many others as you can think of. That said, while the kind of sportswriting that comes out during ST is generally garbage, there is a little substance there, provided you know how to do a little digging. Go ahead and give it a shot. You'll find that, with a developed eye for this kind of thing, players and coaches come off as being far more honest than they ever intended to be when they agreed to answer a few questions.