Maybe that isn't fair. Many of the games could be interesting. Baseball can be interesting. But the schedule? The schedule itself? Seems uninteresting. Just another 162 games against the same old ordinary teams. No exotic travel, no bizarre offdays or triple-headers, no games against warlocks, nothing. Baseball, just.
And here is the schedule, by the way. It was just released this morning. I remember a year ago, the 2011 schedules were supposed to be released one morning, and then a few of them leaked the night before, provoking some kind of stir. How dare you to force us to consider these uninteresting calendars ahead of time! I don't know if any schedules similarly leaked early this time around, but that's mostly because I haven't been paying attention.
So anyway, some key dates and notes:
For the third year in a row, the Mariners will open in Oakland, beginning next year on Friday, April 6th. Nothing gets me amped up for a long regular season like a Felix Hernandez will start for the Mariners. Presuming health, I don't know who will start for the A's, because you can't presume health with any of them. They're all so fragile! And Billy Beane can't even afford health insurance. Dallas Braden's shoulder surgery was performed by Eric Sogard. Fortunately, Eric Sogard is a trained surgeon.series in Oakland. This pretty much guarantees that our first boring baseball game will take place on Saturday, April 7th. Presuming health,
Also for the third year in a row, the Mariners' second series will be on the road against Texas.
Good news! The Mariners will open against Oakland, and then, a week later, they'll open against Oakland! The home opener's scheduled for Friday, April 13th, and though no times have been announced, one can assume it'll get going just after 7pm, as it did this year. There's something to be said for home opener matinees, but there's also something to be said for home openers I can get to without having to take a day off of work.
Because the home opener will be the Mariners' eighth game of the season, it'll pit the Mariners' #3 starter against Oakland's #2 or #3 starter. Get ready for, shit, I dunno, Jason Vargas or Charlie Furbush or somebody. Maybe a free agent or trade acquisition, or maybe James Paxton or Danny Hultzen by some miracle. What matters is that it almost certainly won't be Felix or Pineda. I think it'd be cool if the Mariners began with Pineda as the #3 just so he could start the opener, but if the Mariners were interested in getting fans excited they wouldn't have signed Adam Kennedy.
Also, yes, that's a home opener on Friday the 13th. Expect weird shit, like malfunctioning light fixtures, or runs.
Playing theis such a big deal that it gets its own section. Yeah, this ought to keep that fan base grounded.
The Mariners get two home sets against Boston: one four-game series between June 28th - July 1st, and one three-game series between September 3rd - September 5th. This means we probably get to have one series where we think the games matter and the M's get to prove themselves against a tough opponent, and one series where the games don't matter and we only root out of blind hatred for the opposition. Note that the M's only play two games in Fenway. It seems unfair that the Red Sox will bring their massive drawing power here seven times, while the M's only take their massive drawing power there twice. The Bostonians will miss out! They'll miss out on the Mariners!
The Mariners will take on the NL West, which is how it ought to be. The breakdown:
@Colorado, May 18-20
vs Los Angeles, June 8-10
vs San Diego, June 12-14
vs San Francisco, June 15-17
@Arizona, June 18-20
@San Diego, June 22-24
Colorado's kind of out on its own, in the middle of a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. The rest make for five consecutive interleague series that take up the bulk of June. The jewel, to me, is the three-game home weekend set against the J.J. Putz freezing Barry Bonds with a splitter to win a game back in 2006. I have a more vivid memory of that pitch than like anything that's happened in the last four years. The series will also give us a chance to interact with the awesome McCovey Chronicles, which might be the best baseball blog in the network. Or just the best blog in the network, since I couldn't give two shits about the sports most of our blogs cover. Football is terrible! Players get hurt and die all the time! You are savages!. I think I'm looking forward to that series more than any other series, although maybe that's just because I remember
The All-Star Game is scheduled for July 10th in Kansas City, so all thoseteam representatives won't have to travel far. The Mariners then don't resume play until July 13th. That gives them a four-day break in all, where this year, for example, they had three. Those four-day breaks are so important. With a four-day break, it's like, whoa, baseball's back! With a three-day break, it's like, Jesus, baseball's back already? That one day, man. That one day sets the tone for the rest of the year.
The optimistic among you will insist that the conclusion to the 2012 Mariners' season hasn't yet been scheduled, since we haven't seen the layout for the playoffs. The other 100% of you will note that the Mariners finish at home with three games against thefrom October 1st - October 3rd. It'll be the tenth consecutive year that the M's finish at home, presumably because of the roof. But it'll also be the first time in ten years that the M's don't finish against the or A's. Indeed, the last time the Mariners finished against the Angels was 2002, the same year the Angels won the World Series. I don't think next year is looking so great you guys.