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Gibbons hardly sweating Blue Jays' spring results

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DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays went 24-7 in Grapefruit League play last year, giving them the best spring record in the game.

Obviously, that didn't amount to much in the season proper.

Forgive manager John Gibbons, then, if he doesn't put much emphasis on the record when Grapefruit League play kicks off this weekend.

"You'd like to win and be playing good," Gibbons said. "But the record, I don't think, it means anything, unless history says otherwise. Usually, it's your better Minor League systems that win those games, because it's your younger guys playing later in the game anyway. You'd like to win, but I don't think it means anything in the long run."

Because the results don't matter, Gibbons is expected to let his players roam free on the basepaths this spring in order to get a read on their abilities.

"It gives the guys we don't know an opportunity to show us what they can do," Gibbons said. "But we don't want to be crazy out there, either. We want to be smart from the beginning."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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