CLEVELAND -- The scheduling gods finally appear to be smiling on the Indians. How else do you explain a 2010 schedule that mercifully includes just seven home dates in the often cold and cruel month of April and summer dates for the arrival of the ever-popular Red Sox and Yankees? One would assume these features of the '10 schedule, which was officially released Tuesday, should help the Indians from a business perspective. After all, this is the same club that saw four April home games snowed out and three others played in Milwaukee in 2007.
As far as how the schedule could help the Indians from a competitive standpoint, the Tribe will not be lacking opportunities to impact the American League Central race down the stretch. Of the last 44 games, 31 will take place against Central opponents, including each of the final 16. Speaking of Central opponents, the Tribe will open the 2010 season on the road in Chicago against the White Sox. Perhaps that sounds familiar, as the Indians also opened at U.S. Cellular Field in 2005, '06 and '07. The season-opening six-game road trip will also take them to Detroit before heading home to Progressive Field. The Indians' home opener will take place Monday, April 12, against the Rangers. A specific game time has not yet been announced, but tickets to the home opener and the popular Six Packs ticket packages will go on sale a little earlier than usual. Rather than going on sale the day after Thanksgiving, they will be up for grabs the Monday before the holiday. Detailed information on 2010 special events and promotions will be released before the Nov. 23 on-sale date, which will begin at 10 a.m. ET. Single-game tickets for all 81 home games will go on sale March 5, 2010, also at 10 a.m. On the Interleague Play slate next season will be home games against the Nationals (June 11-13) and Mets (June 15-17). A chance exists that the Indians will face former ace Cliff Lee when they travel to Philadelphia to face the Phillies on June 22-24. But the Interleague schedule isn't limited to NL East opponents. Interestingly, Major League Baseball finally adhered to the Pirates' long-running request to play the Indians more often. Though the Indians will maintain their home-and-home "Ohio Cup" series with the Reds (May 21-23 at Progressive Field and June 25-27 at Great American Ball Park), they will also travel to PNC Park to face the Pirates for the second straight year. That three-game set takes place June 18-20. The Pirates view it as a natural pairing, building off the Browns-Steelers rivalry in the NFL. As far as those aforementioned marquee home opponents are concerned, the Indians have a pair of four-game sets against the beasts of the AL East. The Tribe will play host to the Red Sox from June 7-10, and the Yankees will come to town from July 26-29. All told, the Indians will have seven home games in April, 16 in May, 13 in June, 14 in July, 17 in August and 14 in September. Also of note, the Indians will spend Memorial Day weekend at the new Yankee Stadium, the $1.6 billion palace they helped christen this year. The 2010 regular-season schedule will end where it began. The Indians will close out the season Oct. 1-3 at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.