It's obvious that the 2011 Yankee schedule isn't exactly on everyone's minds at this point in time. However, I figured it was quickly worth breaking down.
The Bombers open up the new season at home for the first time since 2008 (against Toronto) when the Detroit TIgers travel to the Bronx on March 31st. Yes, next year's scheduled start date is March 31. I venture to guess that the matchup will be Justin Verlander vs. CC Sabathia, which is always a marquee one.
Most notable dates:
April 8th-10th - The Yankees open up their first road trip, a relatively short three-gamer, at Boston. This is the second year in the row that Boston has opened up at home against the Yanks.
May 13th-15th - Red Sox come to the Bronx.
May 20th-22nd - The "cross-town rival" Mets pay a visit to Yankee Stadium for a three game series. Who knows what THAT team is going to look like.
June 17th-19th - The Yankees and Cubs clash at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2003. It's always a pleasure to see the Yankees play a few games here.
June 20th-22nd - Yankees and Reds battle in Cincinnati for the first time since 2003. The Reds won that series two games to one.
June 24th-26th - Colorado Rockies play at New Yankee Stadium for the first time and make their second appearance in the Bronx ever. The last time they came? 2004, when the Yankees swept them.
June 28th-30th - The Milwaukee Brewers appear in New York for the first time since 1997! While this likely won't be an exciting matchup, it's always nice to see a new face in the Bronx. By the way... the last five games the Brewers have played at Yankee Stadium? The Yankees won all five, outscoring Milwaukee 31-11.
July 1st-3rd - Yankees and Mets meet up at CitiField.
1) The Yankees and Rays play 16 times between July 7th and September 28th. There is a short two game series in Tampa Bay on May 16th and 17th.
2) It's quite possible that the divisional race could go down to the end again. Five of the last eight games are against Tampa Bay. The other three are against Boston.
3) From July 1st until the end of the season, the Bombers have 70 games. 67% of those games (47) are away while the remaining 33% (23) are at home. Ouch.
4) Two west coast trips are scheduled. Yes, I know how much you all love 'em! The first is May 27th through June 5th, when the Yankees play three against the Mariners, Athletics and the Angels. The second is September 9th through 14th against the Angels and Mariners followed by a three game series in Toronto. I'm not a fan of having to go out to the west coast three weeks before the playoffs during the critical homestretch, but oh well.
Overall, there's mainly one thing that "grinds my gears". The fact that the Yankees' back half of the schedule is LOADED with away games. I'm home from school in the summer! I want to be at Yankee Stadium! But really, the Yankees will have to battle down the stretch with most of their games away from the Stadium. Wear and tear usually gets to players near the All Star Break, and that's exactly when the road trips begin to pick up. We'll worry about that when it comes.
As for now, we've got a game to win against Tampa Bay tonight. More importantly, a division to claim and a title to defend.