Wednesday, July 30, 2008

September Scheduling

The trading deadline looms tomorrow, and teams are making a decision between trying to make a move to get them deep into the playoffs, and thinking about 'next year.'

With the Yankees having addressed two major and one minor problem (catcher, left-field, and situational lefty) with moves in the past few moves, it's clear that the Bronx Bombers have stepped up their efforts to close in on the AL East-leading Rays, and the (slumping, but still) Wild Card-leading Red Sox.

But the Yanks had best be in good playoff position when September 1st rolls around (when, by the way, Chien-Ming Wang is scheduled to return from the DL). In the month of September, the Yankees have just 10 homes games, against 16 road games; the homes series in the Bronx are against the East-leading Rays (3 games), the Central-leading White Sox (4 games), and the Orioles (last place in the East, although owning a respectable 51-56 record).

The Rays have a similar September, with just 10 homes games (against the Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Twins (currently 0.5 game out of first place in the Central, and 1.5 games out of the Wild Card spot); Tampa also has 17 away games, including a double-header the last week of the season against Baltimore.

And what about the other AL East contender? The Red Sox have the reverse schedule: 16 home and 10 away. The home series for the Sox include Baltimore (3 games); Tampa (3); Toronto (3); and a final week that includes 4 with Cleveland and a final 3 with the Yankees.

So how come the Yankees finish the season on the road, even though it's the last year at Yankee Stadium? You'll have to ask the schedule-makers at MLB; the last scheduled home game at the "House that Ruth Built" will be on September 21st.

And with the Yankee's September schedule, there's no guarantee that there will be baseball in the Bronx in October.

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