Major League Baseball has put up preliminary team schedules for the 2013 season. They are subject to change, but often are not altered very much from the original form. A few quick thoughts below on the O’s schedule: * The Orioles open up on the road – in Tampa – for the third time in four years. I know every team would like to open at home and simply can’t logistically. Still, it annoys me a bit that the Rays continually receive home openers despite a poor stadium and poor attendance. I am starting to think that this year’s opener was at home only because the Orioles were celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Camden Yard. It isn’t a big deal or anything, just a tad annoying. Besides, after a long winter, who wants to watch the first games of the Spring in a dark, gloomy, dome?
* Why in the world is there is a scheduled off day on April 9th right in the middle of a 3-game series against the Red Sox? I don’t think I have ever seen that before.
* There are quite a few off days early on in the season – five before May 17th. This includes two the first two weeks of the season and three in early May.
* The Padres have an off day on Thursday, May 9th, fly to Tampa to play a three game weekend series, have another day off on the 13th, then play a 2-game series against the Orioles before flying back to San Diego (without an off day) to fly back and play the Nationals. I know coordinating schedules of 30 different teams is difficult, but that seems unnecessarily ridiculous.
* The end of May features four O’s vs. Nationals games – two played in Baltimore and two in DC. I actually sort of like that idea. The odd thing is that after playing 6 games per season against one another since 2005, the two geographic rivals will meet only four times in 2013.
* A stretch in mid-August where the O’s go to the West Coast for interleague play (vs. Padres, Giants, and Diamondbacks) sees them have 3 off days in 11 days. Days off do not really help when they are all lumped together like that.
* After a four-game series against the White Sox ending on August 8th, the O’s finish out the season with 20 straight games against AL East opponents.
EDIT: It was mentioned elsewhere that the day off on April 9th is probably because the Red Sox home opener is the 8th. MLB regularly schedules an off day after the scheduled home opener in case of a rain out. I assume that is the reason, even though the Orioles didn't have that open day after this year's scheduled home opener. The Rays don't in 2013 either, but that could perhaps be a function of playing in a dome (unless of course that dome is the Rogers Centre).