Winter is a long, soggy slog for everyone, but it’s especially brutal for Major League Baseball fans.

Not only do we endure the ice and chill, but we also do it without a flicker of MLB action. And the suffering really sets in once the hot stove goes cold.

So huzzah for spring training and the return of actual honest-to-goodness baseball. Gloves, bats and fresh-cut grass are back—the whole nine.

Here’s the thing, though: It’s only spring. The games, which kick off on March 1, are mostly meaninglessor at least the outcomes are.

Even individual performances can be deceiving, with scalding starts or extended slumps vanishing like a desert mirage when the regular season begins.

The point isn’t to throw a wet blanket on your budding baseball-related joy. But overreactions abound this time of year, and the discerning fan would do well to avoid them.

What sorts of overreactions? It’s funny you should ask.

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