Today Major League Baseball conferred the 2020 schedule on all of MLB and therefore the Mariners as well. Here’s that schedule!
If you like your schedule all in one piece, here you go. Tentative Mariners 2020 schedule: pic.twitter.com/i2TnS46tGB— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) August 12, 2019
It’s hard to know where to start with a schedule, so I’ll fire off some bullet-point thoughts.
- The team opens the year at home for the third year running, not counting 2019’s Japan foray. A nice change after ten years running of starting the year on the road!
- April looks quite tolerable on the field, with no Astros til the 30th and mostly weaker teams on the schedule. That said, swinging through Minnesota, Kansas City, and Chicago sounds like exactly no one’s idea of an April good time. Here’s to temperatures above 40 (please) (also build a roof).
- May, however... the only real reprieve in May is getting all of your Tigers games out of the way. Otherwise, there’s pretty much no letting up as the team faces a variety of squads that are firmly or nearly playoff teams.
- Ronald Acuña Jr. in Seattle? Be still, my heart. An end-of-May visit from Atlanta should provide an exceptionally neat opportunity for Mariners fans to see one of MLB’s most exciting young teams. The last visit by Atlanta to Seattle came in 2011. The starting pitchers? Michael Pineda, Erik Bedard, Felix Hernandez, Brandon Beachy, Tommy Hanson, and Derek Lowe. That’s it. That’s the tidbit.
- What June lacks in opponent quality (don’t worry, Houston and Tampa are still in there) it makes up for in a 10-day road trip: Seattle to Miami to Toronto to Los Angeles to Seattle. Yes, there are three off days scattered in there—that seems like the least you can do when making a team fly a humongous X across the continent. Oh, and don’t worry: after the homestand in Seattle following that trip, they get back on a plane FOR ANOTHER FLIGHT TO TAMPA. From June 4 to July 2, a 28-day span, the Mariners will make four separate cross-country trips, all of which are over five hours. It’s one of the most insane things I’ve ever seen from an MLB schedule, and we should send every optionable player to Tacoma for that entire month to avoid it if we aren’t in contention. Congratulations, Ryan Court and Andrew Romine. Pack your neck pillows, boys
- I really want to emphasize this again: Major League Baseball is making the Mariners make TWO SEPARATE TRIPS TO FLORIDA IN A SPAN OF THREE WEEKS. Can we move the work stoppage up a season?
- At last, in July, they get some mercy. Heading into the all-star break the team will have a ten-day homestand, giving them two full weeks in Seattle (for non-all-stars) before... getting on a plane to New York. Sigh. I get it: we’re in a far corner of the country and we’re always going to travel a lot. But this June/July schedule feels far more extreme than anything we’ve seen in a while, especially when we spend basically all of April and August west of the Mississippi. Feels like these road trips could have been scrambled up some more, is all.
- Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, and the Phillies jet into town for the Fourth of July. This NL East jaunt is pretty fun, as it’s one of the most intriguing divisions in baseball top to bottom (and also has the Marlins). Can they wear the Liberty Bell hats for this series?
- Also of note in July: that New York trip is to see B-B-B-Brodie and the Mets!, meaning we are pretty unlikely to ever see Robinson Cano back in Seattle before retirement. That’s a pretty big bummer, even before the fact that we’ll also have to wait longer to see Edwin Diaz return to T-Mobile Park—assuming he’s not traded. Round out the month with the annual Toronto invasion in Seattle, and yikes. Let’s move on to August.
- The August schedule is fine! It’s a little dull and clogged with divisional opponents, but hey, divisional baseball.
- September, similarly, is whatever. I presume the Mariners will be interesting but out of contention in that month. A nice long homestand including Oakland and Cleveland midmonth means (I’m guessing) some plentiful tickets to see whatever callups are around—c’moooooon, Jarred!—before ending the season on the road.
- One note that’s just occurring to me: the season starts and ends several days earlier than I would expect. Is MLB trying to move up the postseason to avoid frigid borderline-November world series games? Not a bad idea, but I feel like the hot nerve-wracking bloodthirstiness of playoff baseball is a better thing to have in cold weather for the fans than a blah series in Kansas City in early April. Ah well. May the series be Rays-Marlins, and none of this will matter.