The Yankees acquisition of Michael Pineda and signing of Hiroki Kuroda couldn’t have come at a better time. While the weeks and months leading up to the moves were filled with frustration, they were still filled with discussions of the team’s direction. Those discussions usually end in mid-January, when we hit the ultimate lull. Two and a half months removed from live baseball and a month and a half away from the first spring training games, mid-January is the worst time of year for baseball fans.
Dreams of warmer climates can help us pass the time. Lately I’ve been lamenting my relative lack of ballpark experience. Outside of Yankee Stadium and CitiField, my personal ballpark experience is basically nonexistent. It consists of a game at Petco Park, and once, while in high school, standing outside of Fenway Park, behind the green monster. It’s time for that to change this year. Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to make your way to other parts of the country. And it doesn’t even require a time-consuming summer road trip.
One thing the internet has brought us is an abundance of cheap flights and hotels. Where before we’d have to pay fees to middlemen, or we wouldn’t have easy access to the best prices, now we have automated middlemen and the ability to constantly check prices. Plus, the best time to book is several months out, so now is the right time to be thinking about any summer ballpark trips. Here are some shortish trips that a Yanks fan could take in 2012.
Nationals: June 15th through 17th
You can bet the RAB crew is going to make the short trip down to DC for this three-game weekend set. It’s a chance not only to see an up-and-coming team, but also to experience their new ballpark. Friend of RAB Rob Iracane led a group outing down to Washington last year, and it was a smashing success. While this trip might not be an organized one, we hope to see plenty of Yankees fans in DC that weekend.
Red Sox: July 6th through 8th
It’s the last series before the 2012 All-Star Game, which is always nice. Nothing better than watching some live baseball before we’re deprived for a few days. It’s also way better than taking the April trip up to Boston. Who wants to travel North in April, anyway?
A’s and Mariners: July 19th through 25th
With two brothers in California, my family tries to find a West Coast series every year where we can meet up. Last year I missed the Anaheim trip due to a wedding. This year, since there aren’t any weekend series in Anaheim, we’re going to Oakland for a four-game set in July. That’ll be nice, if for no other reason than the cheap tickets. Plus, Hannah will be there. Oh, and Bartolo.
The Yanks go up the coast to Seattle directly afterwards. While the whole trip would require a week, it could be worth it to see Jesus Montero in his new digs.
White Sox: August 20th through 22nd
Spending a few days in Chicago is never a bad time. The Yanks will have just come off seven straight games against the Rangers and Red Sox, so it will be nice to see them in a slightly less intense environment. Plus, there’s the possibility of heading to Cleveland, following an off-day, for a weekend three-game set.
Orioles: September 7th through 9th
An Orioles trip is pretty standard for any Yankees fan. That it’s not in the summer heat and humidity is even nicer. The O’s always work it well for Yankees fans. There’s a night game on Saturday and day game on Sunday, so you can drive down during the day Saturday, spend one night in a hotel, and catch two games. It’s easy enough to get home in time for work Monday. Plus, since it’s after Labor Day there won’t be massive shore traffic on the Turnpike.
These are just a few examples. There are plenty of road trips worth taking this year — even ones that don’t involve the Yanks. Which ones are you planning to take?