One of my favorite news items of the off-season used the be the announcement of next season’s schedule. If I remember correctly, this would typically occur in the middle of December. Seeing next season’s schedule on a frigid winter day was enough to warm a fan up with thoughts of summer.
For the last few years though, the schedule has been coming out in August or September. Yesterday, the Tigers released their 2011 Schedule. While it doesn’t have quite the same effect as a December release, it’s still fun to anticipate 2011 given that the Tigers are out of contention in 2010.
The first thing I noticed is that the season ends on Wednesday, September 28 versus the Indians. This is unusual because as long as I can remember every regular season has ended on a Sunday. The likely reason is an effort to start and end the playoffs a little earlier. This year, the World Series may extend into November.
The Tigers season opens on Thursday, March 31 in Yankee Stadium, which means that fans will probably be in winter coats, hats and gloves for the opener. The Thursday start to the season is also a bit unusual. In recent years, the season opened with a game or two on Sunday and a full slate of games on Monday. The first Comerica Park game is versus the Royals on April 8.
Other Scheduling Thoughts
The Tigers have interleague games at Pittsburgh, Colorado and Los Angeles next year. They play New York, Arizona and San Francisco at home. I’m not a fan of interleague play, but the Tigers generally have so much success versus the National League that it’s hard to complain too much.
I don’t like west coast games very much because they end too late causing me to stay up beyond 1:00 AM. In a good year, they are limited to one or two trips to Oakland, Seattle and Los Angeles. This year, they’ve got four of them spread throughout the year – seven games in Oakland and Seattle in April, a series in Los Angeles versus the Dodgers in June, another in Los Angeles against the Angels in July (including July 4th which I hope will be an afternoon game) and one series at Oakland in September.
If I go to see the Tigers at Fenway this year, my choice will be limited to two games – a Wednesday or Thursday in the middle of May. A night game on May 18 in Boston is almost certainly going to involve a chilling sea breeze.
They have another dreadful four day all-star break this year from July 11-14. They are off again on July 18.
Their toughest stretch of the year may be 15 games versus the Rays, Red Sox, Twins, White Sox and Rangers in late May and early June. On the other hand, they finish the season with eight games versus the Royals, Orioles and Indians.