The 2016 pennant race is a house afire, but we interrupt it for just a moment to bring you thoughts of next year.
The Orioles’ 2017 schedule was announced today and there are some interesting tidbits.
The season opens at Camden Yards – for the second straight year – this time on Monday, April 3 against American League East rival, the Toronto Blue Jays. The first homestand includes two against the Blue Jays and then a three-game weekend series against the New York Yankees, April 7-9.
The Orioles then head on the road for nine games in 10 days at Boston, Toronto and then Cincinnati, the Orioles’ first interleague series of 2017.
The Orioles haven’t played in Cincinnati since 2005, when they lost two of three at Great American Ball Park. Before that, you have to go back to the 1970 World Series for the last time the two clubs met in Cincy.
The Orioles will play all five NL Central teams this year as part of interleague play. They’ll host the Pittsburgh Pirates for two on June 6-7 and then play at PNC Park for two on Sept. 26-27, the penultimate series of 2017. The Orioles end the year Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at Tampa Bay.
Perhaps the most interesting interleague matchups will be at Camden Yards. The always popular St. Louis Cardinals come to town June 16-18. And then the Chicago Cubs, featuring several former Orioles including 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, visit the first series after the All-Star Break, July 14-16.
Also in July, the Orioles will play four games at Milwaukee (July 3-6). In addition, they’ll have their typical home-and-home series with the Washington Nationals. The Nationals come up I-95 for games May 8-9 and then the Orioles go to the Nation’s Capital on May 10-11.
The Orioles have just one West Coast trip in 2017, but it is an ugly one: nine games in nine days to Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle from Aug. 7 to 16.
Their longest homestand is right after the All-Star Break, 10 games against the Cubs, the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros.
The Yankees play in Baltimore in April, in May (29-31) and then not again until Sept. 4-6. The Boston Red Sox will be at Camden Yards on April 21-23, June 1-4 and Sept. 16-20.
September also features a 10-game road trip to Cleveland, Toronto and New York – that’s not one that sounds good right now.
OK, back to the present and the 2016 season in progress.