2013 schedule analysis

If you are one of those people who detests interleague play (vote for Bill King!), the schedule released today by MLB will not make you happy. Not only has baseball put interleague games into constant rotation with the realignment, it has expanded the number of games played by every team. This season, the A’s played only 18 interleague games. Next season – 20. (A previous post has downloads if you don’t have the schedule yet.) The breakdown:

  • 3 @ Milwaukee
  • 3 @ Pittsburgh
  • 2 @ Cincinnati
  • 2 @ Giants
  • 2 vs. Giants (home games)
  • 2 vs. Cincinnati (home games)
  • 3 vs. Chicago Cubs
  • 3 vs. St. Louis

This particular format solves a problem in that each division plays an entire division counterpart in annual rotation, plus 4 games against a rival for many teams. The 4 Giants games are in a home-and-home format, which seems more dramatic than how it’ll actually play out in May. Nevertheless, it’ll allow the radio folks to hype up the series especially hard, although the A’s lose a lucrative home date vs. the Giants.

May has two interesting road trips. Early in the month is the longest roadie of the year, 10 games vs. the Yankees, Indians, and Mariners. Near the end of the month is the Texas Two-Step (we should get used to the terminology), 3 games vs. the Rangers followed by 3 in Houston. If you don’t mind the 4-hour drive between the two metros or have some Southwest points saved up for the Love-Hobby shuttle, it’s also a good bet. There’s an off day sandwiched in between the two series, so that could serve as your travel day.

Beyond the Texas possibility there are few good road trip candidates. The only one of note is June 3-9, with 3 interleague games vs. the Brewers followed by a 4-game set vs. the White Sox. The last part of that week coincides with the start of a Cubs homestand against the Pirates and Reds, so you have the chance to see games at Miller Park, US Cellular Field, and Wrigley Field all in one trip. Later tonight I’ll look at the entire schedule and I’ll put together a massive chart of the full season just as I did last year. Look for that in the near future.

Thoughts on the schedule? Does seeing “Astros” 19 times make you cringe? Sound off in the comments.

21 thoughts on “2013 schedule analysis

  1. I always thought Miami is a better fit for the AL than Houston is. It would have been a more complicated switch, though, since it would have required three more INTRAleague shifts:

    Miami from NL East to AL East
    Toronto from AL East to AL Central
    Kansas City from AL Central to AL West
    Pittsburgh from NL Central to NL East

  2. Pudgie, I agree with you on Miami being a better fit for a league switch. Unfortunately, realignment is like T-Rights: one of the few issues on which the affected team has an absolute veto. Technically, a three fourths vote of the owners could force a team to change divisions or leagues, but the owners will never do something like that to each other. So Houston was chosen because it happened to have ownership turning over at the wrong time.
    Remember that the event that originally brought Bud Selig to power 20 years ago was Fay Vincent’s attempt to use the undefined “best interest of baseball” power to force St Louis and the Cubs into the NL West against their will. Vincent got the axe, Major League Baseball was formed as a new united league, and the MLB Constitution took away the best interest of baseball power over most issues affecting business.

  3. Seeing Astros 19 times makes me happy.

    Because the way the Astros are now, thats 19 free wins.

  4. OT:
    Santa Cruz Warriors ‏@DLeagueWarriors
    Almost there! Santa Cruz City Council just approved the arena permit. Now it’s on to the finances. More to come.

  5. @Simon94022- Interesting you mention as that is when T-rights for Santa Clara County became official for the Giants when MLB unified the leagues.

  6. As a Ranger fan, I love seeing “Astros” 19 times for the same reason as Zonis, they’re terrible and will be for years to come. Plus, it’ll be nice to have some division road games within driving distance. If Houston’s ever decent again, we might get a decent local rivalry.

    On a side note, this is the first time in my life that the Rangers and A’s have truly been in contention in the same year. I remember when I was 7 and telling my dad that I had a favorite team (Texas) and a favorite good team (the A’s) – the idea of the Rangers could go to the playoffs didn’t ever occur to me, so I thought I needed to have a new team for October. Dad got a kick out of that. Good luck Oakland.

  7. I am really excited to get some more stadium visits under my belt and this schedule is full of opportunities to do it! I am targeting PNC, Jacobs Field and Comerica. Anybody been to these?

  8. PNC is a don’t miss, 10/10. Good downtown are as well.

    Jacobs/Progressive Field is OK. Not in my top ten, but a serious upgrade over the old yard.

    Comerica is on my short list.

  9. They should’ve just moved Milwaukee back to the AL and KC over to the West. Helps to have friends in high places.

  10. In addition, I want to see Colorado to move from the NL to the AL West too, the reason, Coors Field is a hitters park and they will definitely benefit by having the DH. Face it, they suck as an NL West team though the Rockies have only 3 postseason appearances, 1995, 2007 and 2009, It would benefit Colorado since there aren’t any AL Teams in the MT Zone and AL Teams must have their team put in the MT Zone so that west coast teams don’t cross over the MT Zone and have a stop in Denver. This will definitely end their short life in the NL. ROCKIES JOIN HOUSTON IN THE AL WEST!!!!

  11. I think Tampa Bay is unstable long-term. It only would’ve made sense to move the Marlins to the AL East if you are certain that TB is destined to keep the Rays forever.

    The Book Blog had a cool thread the other day, asking readers what one piece advice you would give the MLB powers-that-be if you could go 30 years into the past, with present knowledge. Mine would be to stop at 28 teams. MLB was at 26 teams from 1977 until adding Colorado and the Marlins in ’93, and Arizona and Tampa Bay in ’98.

    If you could do a “do over” of that, I think I’d add Arizona and Colorado, and stay out of Florida. Spring training is dying in Florida, and one could argue that it’s partially because of oversaturation.

    If they stayed at 28 teams, and avoided Florida all along, they could have a nice AL/NL West with four teams apiece, staying out of Texas and the Central time zone. Both Texas franchises bump to the Central, and it’s not necessary to have interleague play year-round with 14 teams in each league and only 28 franchises.

  12. @Jeffrey – I’ve been to all 3. PNC is the best park in baseball. Do not miss it.
    Comerica is really underrated. Really solid. One of my favorite features is the infield seats are all slanted to the pitcher and batter. So if you’re sitting in OF corners, instead of seats facing the field directly in front of them they are all angled perfectly. Overall a really nice park that doesn’t get talked about much. And they have a good team to boot. I got to see an awesome duel between Weaver and Verlander last year. Verlander had a no-hitter until the 7th, and my friend would not shut up about it. Like “can you believe it, he still hasn’t given up a hit!” People around us were looking fairly uncomfortable. I kept telling him to stop talking about it. But he wouldn’t stop.
    Jacobs is nice. It was something else about 15 years ago. But since then its been passed by a lot of parks built in the stadium boom. But it is a great downtown location.
    2 other ballparks within a reasonable distance from those spots are Toronto and Cincinnati. Neither park is really that great. But I did a Toronto-Cleveland-Pittsburgh-Cincinnati-Detroit trip. I think the longest stretch was about 4.5 hours.
    Cinci and Toronto parks are also solid downtown locales.
    For such a roadtrip I really have to recommend one of Troy Soos books on tape. Old timey baseball detective books.

  13. @Brian no way. Milwaukee is basically dependent on those 9 home games against the Cubs. Their attendance would drop like a stone if they were moved out of the Cubs division. I think Houston to the AL west was as good as MLB could do out of a tough situation.

  14. @Jeffrey – make sure you go the the Primanti Brothers stand at PNC Park. Best.Sandwich.Ever.

  15. Paul, not quite. Move Houston to the NL West. Colarado (or Arizona) to the AL West. Then you’d have SF & Oak, LA & LA, SD & Seattle, Houston & Texas, Colorado & Arizona as Interleague Rivalries.

  16. OT: How KNBR kept the warriors, only game to be on 1050
    At this time, all Warriors radio broadcasts are scheduled to air on KNBR 680 AM with the exception of the November 19 game at Dallas, which will air on KNBR 1050 AM.

  17. OT / FYI: If you’re going to tomorrow’s game against the O’s:

    This is a service related email to all fans holding Baltimore Orioles at Oakland A’s game tickets on Friday, September 14.

    On Friday, September 14 the Oracle Arena is holding a dual event beginning at 8:00 p.m. The A’s recommend traveling to the Coliseum by BART. If arriving by vehicle, the A’s recommend early arrival. Parking availability is expected to be limited by game time. Parking gates open at 4:00 p.m. and stadium gates open at 5:35 p.m. Parking is $17 until 7:00 p.m. After 7:00 p.m. parking will cost $35.

  18. Looks like I might have to adjust my work schedule tomorrow…..

  19. @Dave, Milwaukee is averaging nearly 35k per game and on pace to draw around 2.8 million for the season. The franchise has been consistently strong since the Selig family sold it. The Brewers are not dependent on the Cubs.

  20. Dmoas,
    Agree with Houston to NL West. One small correction with long term thinking in mind: you’d actually have SF & SJ as interleague rivals 😉

  21. It seems to me that with the added flexibility of AL and NL teams available to schedule for home and away dates at any given time, it should be easier to avoid scheduling especially long or travel intensive road trips, which is a benefit of the new system.

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