The preliminary 2012 Yankees’ schedule was released this morning, and there are a number of interesting elements in it that warrant discussion:
- The first thing I noticed was that the season begins on April 6th, which means that it once again leaks into October. After one season of moving the start date back to the last day of March, baseball is returning to the schedule that risks poor weather in postseason games. The reasoning is likely that MLB did not want to start the season during the week, so the first full weekend in April was chosen for Opening Day.
- The Yankees start the season on the road in Tampa Bay, beginning the year with a 3 game series that kicks off a fairly difficult April. The Yanks get Tampa, Boston, and Texas on the road and Detroit and the Angels at home in the month. If they can survive that chunk of the schedule, they can relax a bit in what should be a reasonably easy May.
- The Yankees have a fairly unusual interleague schedule in 2012. The first series of the season comes in May, when the Yankees face the Reds at home for 3 games. The rest of the interleague slate comes in June, where the Bombers face off against the Mets and Braves for 6 games each and the Nationals for 3 contests. Basically, the Yankees play the NL East, but do not face the Phillies or Marlins at all, and instead get the Braves twice and the Reds once. I cannot recall an interleague schedule that broke down that way, and I am half expecting to find out that one of the series against the Braves is actually supposed to be against the Marlins or Phillies.
- Looking at divisional matchups, the Yankees only play the Red Sox 3 times in the season’s first 3 months, and the Blue Jays only get two games over that span(Baltimore 8 times, Tampa 9). That means that the last 3 months of the year will be highlighted by a ton of games against Boston and Toronto. In fact, they play those two teams exactly 9 times per month in July and August and 13 times in September, including a 4 games set in Toronto followed by 3 games in the Bronx against Boston to end the year.
- The Yankees have a tough slate heading into the All-Star break, with 3 games in Tampa and then 3 games at Fenway taking them into the break. It does not get much easier after the All-Star game, with 3 games against the Angels, 3 games against Toronto, a West Coast trip to Oakland and Seattle, and then 3 against Boston at home.
- The Yankees only have 2 scheduled off-days in September. If they need to make up a number of rain outs, as they did this season, it might be tough to find dates on which to play.
- The Yankees have two long road trips, the first of which bridges May and June and takes them to Oakland, Anaheim, and Detroit for 9 games. Heading to Anaheim is always a treat, so mark that series off on your calendar to enjoy an exciting bevy of infield singles. The second long trip comes in September, taking the Yankees to the Trop for 3 games, Camden Yards for 4, and Fenway for 3. The schedule is set up for some late season drama, and hopefully the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays oblige.
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