While the Yankees still have 17 games left to play this season, Major League Baseball has released the master schedule for 2010. Already, the news wires are abuzz with Yankee news as the Bombers begin and end their 2010 campaign in Boston. As the AP reports, it is just the fifth time in 50 years that the two clubs bookend the season in a rivalry face-off.
I have to question the wisdom of an Opening Day match-up between the two archrivals. While the game is currently set for Monday, April 5, ESPN is making noises of a switch. The Worldwide Leader wants their ratings bonanza for Opening Night, and the network could force a move of that game to Sunday night. At 8 p.m. on April 4, 2009, it was 44 degrees outside in Boston. Furthermore, from a business perspective, Opening Day doesn’t need the extra boost of a Yankees/Red Sox series, and burning a three-game set early on means reduced ratings in May or June.
After Boston, the Yanks head to Tampa for three games before hosting the Angels in the home opener on April 13. For the first month, the Yanks play just seven games in the Bronx and 15 on the road. With a West Coast swing to Anaheim and Oakland, it will be a tough month indeed.
In May, the Yanks again journey up to Boston for a weekend series in Fenway (May 7-9), and then Boston returns the favor with a two-game set on May 17 and 18. They play the Mets at Citi Field from May 21-23 before making their first trip to the new outdoor stadium in Minnesota on May 25. By then, it should be warm enough to play baseball without a roof in Minneapolis.
In June, Interleague Play again dominates. The Yanks play the Astros, Phillies and Mets at home while journeying to Arizona and Los Angeles. Joe Torre’s first trip to the new Yankee Stadium, if it doesn’t arrive next month, won’t come in 2010, but that June 25-27 series will make his first regular season games against his old team. The Sox meanwhile play the Rockies and Giants on the road. I’d rather play the Astros and D-backs.
In July, the Yanks suffer through their third West Coast swing of the season and second in the span of three weeks. Before the All Star Break, they play Oakland and Seattle. As a reward, though, the team gets a fourth day off for the All Star Break.
The dog days of August are highlighted by a four-game set with the Red Sox from August 6-9. The Yanks play 16 home games that month and another 16 in September. Considering how the Yanks have played this summer at home, I’ll take that benefit during a potential stretch drive. The Yankees end their home schedule with a weekend series against the Red Sox (Sept. 24-26) before a road trip to Toronto and Boston. There will be no mid-September cross-country journeys in 2010, and the Yanks wrap up the West Coast part of the season before the All Star Break. Sounds good to me.
Click here for the full 2010 preliminary schedule. The link opens in a new window. In the non-baseball realm, The Times reports that Yankee Stadium will host an NCAA bowl game in 2010. The Yankee Bowl would pit the 7th place Big 12 team against either the 3rd or 4th place Big East team.