Major League Baseball released a tentative schedule for the 2013 regular season last week and fans will be in for changes. Most notably, the Houston Astros will be leaving the National League Central for the American League West.
After being a part of the National League for the organization’s first 50 seasons, the Astros will now be in the same league and division as their instate rival Texas Rangers. Ironically, the Astros begin their season at home against the Rangers on April 2-4.
The move allows both leagues to have 15 teams each for the first time ever. It also allows for all six divisions to each have five teams in them. However, by making this move Major League Baseball will be having interleague games throughout the entire season. In the past, interleague games were only scheduled in May through July.
ESPN will still be airing Sunday Night Baseball starting on March 31 with two yet to be determined teams. The next day will see 12 Opening Day games, allowing 24 teams to start their season.
The Cincinnati Reds will be the first team to play in an interleague game when they take on the Los Angeles Angels on April 1 at home.
“It will seem strange having Cincinnati open at home against Anaheim. Weird, but [everyone will] get used to it,” said Tom Swidorski a former New York resident and Mets fan.
Swidorski has more concerns though about how year round interleague play will affect the road travel schedule of his favorite team.
“Nice road trip for the Mets: Milwaukee, San Francisco, Pittsburgh,” Swidorski sarcastically said. “Although, I’m sure other teams have some strange road-trips too, now that interleague play is an everyday thing.”
Some things to look forward to during the 2013 MLB season will be Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen’s return to Chicago when his team takes on the White Sox starting on May 24. Guillen played for the White Sox for 13 seasons and managed them for eight. He even managed them to their first World Series title in 88 years during the 2005 season.
The Red Sox and Yankee rivalry kicks off right away when Boston travels to New York April 1-3. This is the first time the two teams will face each other in New York on Opening Day since 2005.
Former Yankee great and current Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly leads his team into the Bronx on June 18-19. It will mark the first time the Dodgers will be playing in the new Yankee Stadium. The Dodgers also play the Yankees at home this season July 30-31.
Fans of the annual Subway Series between the New York Mets and Yankees might be a bit disappointed in 2013. Instead of playing the usual six times against each other the teams will only be meeting four times next season.
Some better news for Mets fans though is that the 84th All-Star Game will be held at Citi Field on July 16. It is the first time that the All-Star Game is being played at the home stadium of the Mets since 1964.
On August 23-25, the Red Sox travel to face the Dodgers for the first time since their blockbuster trade this season. Boston heads to Los Angeles to take on former players Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Adrian Gonzalez. The Red Sox have not played in Los Angeles since 2002.
2012 still has an exciting post season left for fans of Major League Baseball. Yet, for fans of non-contending teams there is something to look forward to already between divisional changes and year round interleague play.
The full 2013 Major League Baseball tentative schedule can be viewed by visiting MLB.com.