2005 Schedule

JMB · March 24, 2005 at 12:18 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

I’m not happy with the M’s 2005 schedule. Opening the season with Minnesota? Playing Kansas City and Chicago the second week of the season? Yuck. In 2001 (for example), they played their first 19 games exclusively against the AL West before venturing out into other divisions. In 2002, after opening with the White Sox (again, I don’t like it), they at least played their next 19 against the division. This year, they won’t play their 19th division game until — wait for it — June 22nd.

What’s worse than the way they open the season, however, is the way they close it. To me, division races should be decided by head-to-head play. In 2001 and 2002, they finished the season with 19 and 20 division games, respectively. This means that for nearly the entire final month, you’re playing your division rivals. And that’s the way it should be, in my opinion.

This year? They close with three against Texas and three against Oakland. This after playing seven games in Toronto and Detroit. Yes, those 19 divisional games are there in the month of September, but they’re broken up by Baltimore, Toronto and Detroit.

Maybe I’m getting old, but I don’t like it.


26 Responses to “2005 Schedule”

  1. Jon Wells on March 24th, 2005 12:49 pm

    Look at the bright side, Jason — come September if the M’s are actually in a pennant race, you’ll be close enough to drive to those games in Baltimore (a lovely five hour drive from Hyde Park) and possibly Toronto (7 hours drive) and maybe even Detroit (10 hours)…

  2. DG on March 24th, 2005 12:55 pm

    I agree, the scheduling sucks this year.

    The month of September should be reserved for the Rangers, A’s and Angels.

  3. Chris Caldwell on March 24th, 2005 12:57 pm

    Not to be too pessimistic or anything, but I think the M’s race will be decided before those Detroit games come around.

  4. Jimmie the Geek on March 24th, 2005 1:11 pm

    I rather wish they would go back to the old Interleague games format, myself. I always went when the Dodgers were in town. This year, we get the Phillies and the Mets? *sigh*


  5. Evan on March 24th, 2005 1:12 pm

    If we get Felix and Soriano on the club for August and September, playing the weak underbelly of the AL should help us string together a nice late season run to make things interesting.

  6. Brian Rust on March 24th, 2005 1:20 pm

    The schedule has at least one good point — the Mets come to town for three games June 17-18-19. Here’s hoping Safeco sees its best standing ovation ever for a visiting player when a certain center-turned-right-fielder comes back to town.

  7. Mike Thompson on March 24th, 2005 1:30 pm

    Didn’t some married couple used to do the schedules for years and years and years, but now it is done by some other company? Though maybe the 2005 season was the last done by the old people, not sure.

  8. Ryan on March 24th, 2005 1:46 pm

    Not sure what the big deal is. I always got sick of seeing the same teams for an entire month. I like that they broke it up a bit while still maintaining the unbalanced schedule. It’ll make those games against Detroit and Toronto all the more meaningful that they happen at the end of the season and [hopefully] affect the pennant race.

  9. Evan on March 24th, 2005 1:57 pm

    Of Seattle, Detroit, and Toronto, I think Detroit is the one most likely to be in a race.

  10. Joshua Buergel on March 24th, 2005 2:19 pm

    Yes, the schedules are now done by a new agency, and this is the first year:


    That’s the first hit I got on Google, but I remember more coverage when this was announced. At any rate, I’ve kind of given up on schedules making sense in MLB. There are just too many goofball restraints on the process to produce something everyone is going to be happy with. I just take solace in the fact that all the teams still have the same length of schedule.

  11. Adam S on March 24th, 2005 3:59 pm

    I concur on divisional scheduling. While I did get sick of seeing the same three teams when the games didn’t matter, I like deciding the division head-to-head, especially when it’s easy since there are only four teams.

    On the bright side, in April and early May when it’s cold, the Mariners play only 14 of 34 games at home, and September has 18 of 28 on the road. Not good if you’re trying to play catch-up in a division, but good for fans and kids to have more home games in the summer.

    Plus the Yankees and Twins come to town twice, and the Red Sox and Mets come on weekends. 2003 or 2004 (I forget which) really sucked for weekend series and the teams that doubled-up in Seattle.

  12. Milorad V on March 24th, 2005 4:23 pm

    I never liked the AL West tournament format of the last few years…it seemed decidedly unbaseball-like. And, I agree, a bore.
    Sure there have been years when great match-ups occurred, but what made them special was the organic nature of the season which caused them, rather than the contrived, stacked-deck of inter-divisional finale-play. (too many hyphens, I know).
    This is the great fallacy of ‘marketing’ the game, the attempt to manufacture exciting final weeks.
    After the success of the Redsox run, one wonders if there have been meetings where the MLB commodity-chiefs have asked: How can we ensure that will happen again…how can we guarantee the Cubs are in the Series?

  13. Aaron on March 24th, 2005 4:36 pm

    While it would be ideal to leave the AL West out of it, since we have an even number of teams in the division, the fact that the Central and East have an odd number makes this kind of rotation necessary. Not all the teams get to play strictly in-division at the same time. Realistically, it may end up being easier on the travel (always a complaint) this way, and it’s certainly more fair* to have all the teams spread thier games against each other out.

    Someday when there are four 4-team divisions in each league…. 🙂

    *I say it’s more fair because it ‘waters down’ any effect of a key injury or hot streak. For example, if all the Mariners’ games against the A’s came lumped together at the same time, one stint on the DL for a star player could seriously impact the outcome of multiple games. Spreading the pairings out makes the season more of a true 162-game marathon for all teams.

  14. Bring Back Jim Converse on March 24th, 2005 5:17 pm

    OT, but I was excited to hear that Beltre had hit his first HR of the spring today — until I found out it was an inside the park job made possible by the CF being injured and unable to chase the ball. Is anyone concerned that he hasn’t gone deep this year?

  15. Pilots fan on March 24th, 2005 7:09 pm

    I agree on the schedule complaints. I thought the reason for the unbalanced schedule was to provide for head-to-head competition in Sept. If that isn’t going to happen (or I guess get watered down), I would vote for a balanced schedule across the AL.

  16. ray on March 24th, 2005 8:03 pm

    My concern is if there are longer back-and-forth travels…The M’s have to travel a lot as it is but if they are doing more time zones in a shorter amount of time, everyone is going to wear down sooner.And then will see the team falter sooner.

  17. Shoeless Jose on March 24th, 2005 8:28 pm

    I agree with emphasizing divisional play late in the season, both to accentuate any pennant races and to ensure everybody is playing the same opponents at about the same time.

    But I disagree about opening the season in the division. The last few years I’ve tuned out most of April, because it seems like an endless series of Oakland Texas Anaheim Oakland Anaheim Texas Oakland. With only four teams in the division, it is especially dull. You see enough of them in spring training, you don’t need to face them exclusively right after opening day. It also gives the team a chance to get running smoothly before facing the opponents who matter for winning the division. So, yeah, concentrate the divisional play in September, but spread the rest of it out across the season. If they don’t play their 19th divisional game until late June — or heck, even by the all-star break — it’s fine with me.

  18. LB on March 24th, 2005 9:51 pm

    The 2005 schedule is screwed up for other teams, too. For instance, the Giants host the Dodgers for their home opener, and vice versa. Likewise the Yankees and the Red Sox. Why? It makes no sense. Opening Day is going to sell tons of tickets, no matter who plays. They should save the marquee attractions for later in the season. Granted, for Boston it doesn’t matter all that much—every game in Fenway will be sold out this season, just like it was last year. But it should matter to the other three teams.

    (It also seems to bit screwy to have the Sox finish the regular season hosting the Yankees.)

  19. Luke on March 24th, 2005 10:49 pm


    I don’t know Cammy’s reception will beat out the ovation Lou got his first time back, but I’m sure it will be good.

  20. jim on March 25th, 2005 8:56 am

    Yeah, wasn’t it great in the old days when we’d play our first 18 games with Oakland and Anaheim, digging a 10 game hole to start out the season.

  21. Paul Covert on March 25th, 2005 10:05 am

    The advantage of the intra-divisional finish, I’d say, is that it holds the pennant race open a little longer. If you’re, say, five games down and in third place with two weeks to go, and you and your rivals are all playing games against the other divisions, then you’re more or less out of it; you’ve got to go on a winning streak and hope that your rivals go on a losing streak. But with intra-divisional play at the end– especially in a small division like the AL West– a late winning streak will also have the advantage of hanging a few losses on the guys ahead of you as well, making it easier to get back into the race.

    I also like the group-of-teams home-and-away approach to scheduling from an aesthetic point of view, too. It gives a sense of order to a season, adding to the natural sense of the season’s progress. A random schedule of opponents in no particular order seems to me chaotic and therefore distasteful. (I suppose a person who likes chaos would view the matter differently, but take it for what it’s worth.)

    So, anyway… yes, I agree with Jason on this one.

  22. Matt on March 25th, 2005 11:08 am

    I’ve gone to a M’s game on my birthday every year for the past 5 to 10 years. This year, they aren’t playing on my birthday. This may be a bad thing, except that I’m turning *gasp* 30 this year. So, the way I see it, if the M’s aren’t playing, I don’t have a birthday, so I’m not turning 30!

    But yeah, the schedule sucks. There aren’t many interesting teams on weekend series. The Met’s will be good, if Cameron is playing at all. I checked the Yankee’s schedule, and counted out every 5 days, given that Randy Johnson will be the opening day starter, when he is scheduled to pitch during their first trip here. I think it’s the Wednesday game.

  23. David on March 25th, 2005 11:28 am

    Hey, I’m watching Jonah Keri on the 11am KOMO newscast. Big ups to Eric Johnson and whoever at KOMO helped get this on the air. Jonah plugged an appearance at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. I forgot the other details, but they’re probably somewhere on the KOMO site.

  24. David on March 25th, 2005 11:36 am

    To stay on topic…I can’t believe there’s an 11-game road trip in mid-to-late September. That’s brutal. I do miss intra-divisional blocks of games too.

    I still have my initial schedule reaction here — http://bremertonians.blogspot.com/2005/02/sched-marks_02.html

  25. Rob on March 25th, 2005 3:27 pm

    Re #18

    (from a M’s fan in boston) Personally I think it is great to have the sox host the yankees as the last series of the season for the sox. I know when the tickets went on sale and so forth, I have alwasy ALWAYS tried to get those tickets. Just think how great a game/series if they are in a dead heat and playing against each other for the pennant/wild card.

    It would be a unbelievable matchup if say the sox had a 1 game lead and the wildcard went to another division. So it was a win or go home series for both teams.

    It is kinda strange how some big rivalries are at the start of the year, like others said, why not wait for later? Just makes some sense to increase ticket sales to have those big games a little later.

  26. John D. on March 25th, 2005 5:50 pm

    Re (# 10): The article on the daunting task of scheduling – IIRC, it’s even worse. I seem to remember that each team got an ungodly number of requests. e.g. We want to play Toronto here on Canada Day weekend.
    Does anyone remember such things?