Monday, January 30, 2006

A Glance at the '06 Schedule

This year's first game is shaping up to be a doozy. At this point, it appears that the Twins' April 4 season opener will pit ace Johan Santana against Toronto's Roy Halladay. This will be a phenomenal pitching matchup, as in my mind these two will be the top contenders for the American League Cy Young award this season.

Last year, I complained about the lack of variety early in the Twins' schedule. After opening the season in Seattle, they played 19 straight games against division opponents. This year, you will hear no such complaints, as half of the Twins' 24 April games will come against teams outside of the AL Central. After their home-opening series against the Athletics on April 11-13, the Twins will have their first home weekend series against the Yankees. They also have three games apiece against the Blue Jays and Angels in the season's opening month.

The Twins open interleague play in Milwaukee with a three-game series against the Brewers starting May 19. This might be cause for a road trip to see the boys play in Miller Park (I've done this before, it's a lot of fun). The Brewers come here at the end of June. Other interleague opponents this year include the Pirates and Astros on the road and the Dodgers here. Also, in June, Jacque Jones will return to the Dome as the Cubs visit for a three-game series.

In mid-September, the Twins travel to Cleveland for a 4-game series, and they finish off the season with a three-game home series against the White Sox. Depending on how the season shakes out, these may or may not be crucially important.

The Twins are instituting a new program this year called "Premium Games." Tickets for the series against the Yankees (April 14-16), Red Sox (June 13-15), and Cubs (June 23-25) will cost an extra three dollars apiece. Clearly, this is simply a case in which the team is trying to make a little extra cash on the games which will likely be their most well-attended of the year. I suppose I can hardly blame them for that, as they have consistently offered some of the cheapest tickets in baseball even while fielding a competitive team each of the past five years.

For a full look at the Twins' 2006 schedule, check out the one on the club's official site.