As we count done the final hours until the end of winter (T-minus 3512 seconds) I thought it'd be fun to peek at the regular season schedule. I'm only going up to the All-Star break because who can really guess how the season and the roster will look beyond that (I don't feel qualified).
From the home opener on March 31 through the first weekend in May the Yankees have one, count it, one scheduled day off.
That's what I call getting right back on the horse.
In those first 33 games the Yanks have one stretch with an 8 game road trip, 2 games at home against Boston, and then a 10 game road trip.
To pre-empt the Sterling complaints, of the 7 get away days without a travel day, 6 of them are evening games. The 7th is listed as TBA, but it's against Boston, so we should expect ESPN to pick that one up and give it an 8PM start time. Highlights from this travel month from hell include a 7:05 start in NY before the 4:10 Royals home opener, an 8:10 start in Kansas City before a 7:05 start in Boston, and a 7:05 in Cleveland before a 7:05 in NY against Detroit.
Maybe we should plan on using a 6th starter at least once during that stretch, just to give everyone a chance to stretch out.
May is a much kinder month for the Bombers, travel wise. Unfortunately, May is also when all the big boys come to town, so the Yanks will need be clicking on all cylinders (unlike my car, bitter grumbling).
April 29-May 25, the Yanks play the Tigers twice, Seattle twice, the Indians and the Mets, with four games against Rays for good measure. All I can think right now is that we better not drop any of the six games with the Orioles. At least that's all we'll see of the contenders from the Central for the regular season.
June looks like a vanilla month to me. There's a ridiculous 10:05 at Oakland followed by an 8:05 at Houston, but compared to April it's a piece of cake. I believe that Minute Maid Park is the last stadium the Yanks have yet to play in, so that should be fun. It'll be interesting to see what kind of reception Andy Pettitte gets from the fans there (considering both his return to pinstripes and his recent PED confessions).
June will be the month for the Yanks to pull away from the pack, as single series with San Diego and the Metropolitans are their only bouts with contenders.
The highlight of July will be a pre-All Star break 4 game set with those Boys from Beantown at the Stadium. It'll be the first meeting between the teams since mid-April, so plenty of drama will have unfolded; the teams meet again at the end of July, August and September.
Of the teams I expect to be contenders (Angels, Mariners, Indians, Tigers, Red Sox, and of course the Yankees), after the All-Star break we're only going to see the Mariners once and the Red Sox three times. A little like last year, expect the team to battle through the first couple of months before catching fire in the second half.
Of course, I'd rather run the table in the first two months and then spend the second half the season chasing down that record for most wins in a season. We shall see soon enough.