September 2012

Slideshow of Photos From 30 Ballpark, 30 Day tour

This has also been posted on my other pages, but for those who want to view this, I have put together a silent movie which is just the 299 photographs taken as part of the 30 ballpark tour. The photos I am hoping will appear in proper order, as I used Windows Movie maker to create the project, not the easiest task for a blind person. View the slide show at this link.

Slideshow of Photos From 30 Ballpark, 30 Day tour

This has also been posted on my other pages, but for those who want to view this, I have put together a silent movie which is just the 299 photographs taken as part of the 30 ballpark tour. The photos I am hoping will appear in proper order, as I used Windows Movie maker to create the project, not the easiest task for a blind person. View the slide show at this link.

memo to Baseball: Scheduling is As Much Art as Science

How many odd scheduling quirks are on the 2013 schedule I do not know, I have not studied every single teams 2013 slate with a fine tooth comb. But let’s just say scheduling was the excuse for the realignment, yet baseball still can’t seem to draw it up properly.

We were told Houston or some other team had to move to make a 15-15 league for a more fair schedule. Now in theory this is very true, but to make a theory seem worth defending or proving, you have to then put everything into practice based on your theory right? Not if you are in charge of scheduling at MLB.

Before I go full throttle after what is wrong with the 2013 slate of games, lets first backtrack for a moment. I was in favor of a 15-15 split all along, even submitting my thoughts to the Commissioner with a scheduling proposal way back in August 1995. It would take effect in 1998 when the Diamondbacks and Devil Rays as they were known then came into existence. The proposal was simple, move the Royals to the AL West, move the Tigers to the AL Central, put the Rays in the East. The Diamondbacks would join the NL West and that would be that. But baseball was at that time so against interleague series in April or September that 15-15 just seemed to be this completely horrific idea. My proposal called for 30 interleague games, 3 home and 3 away against every team in one division, rotating the divisions each season like the NFL, plus 18 games against each team in the division and six against each team outside the division within your own league. It took baseball until 2002 which was the sixth season of interleague play to even begin having the divisions rotated for interleague play.

Later working on the 16-14 alignment that we were saddled with the last 15 seasons, I drew up a proposal that would have been as balanced as possible for the interleague and interdivisional games. Baseball could have scheduled all 14 AL teams to play 20 games against the NL, they would play two games against four teams and three games against four more. IN other words, each AL team would play eight series against the NL or in theory against one half of the league. For NL teams because there were 16 teams in the league, this meant playing seven series during interleague play and during each of these eight rounds of play, two different NL teams would have been the odd teams out and played a league game against each other. Half of the NL teams would have played 18 games against the AL, four three-game and three two-game series. The other half would have played 17 games against the al, three three-game series and four two-game series. The remaining schedule would have

a divisional focus making sure everyone played the same number of games against every team in the division and making sure that home and road divisional games were evenly split. Of course as we all know, particularly fans of NL Central teams, that balance did not occur at all during the entire 15 years of this alignment.

Now we move back to the present and future of baseball schedules, enter 2013 with the 15-15 alignment. Rumors were out all summer about what the final product would look like. We then learned last week that teams would play 20 interleague games and the structure on this portion of the schedule seems very well done, featuring a pair of two-game home series, a pair of three-game home series, and the same pair of two and pair of three game sets on the road. We are told everyone will play 19 games against each team in the division, a total of 76 and 66 against the remaining teams in the league, which means seven games against six teams and six games against four more outside the division.

AT face value, there is nothing really to gripe about, it would make more since to just play 70 outside the division or seven against everyone and within the division, play 18 against each team for 72 total division games. That is a minor complaint and at face value, this seems like a great step in the right direction for baseball as it relates to the schedule.

But at face value things can sometimes be not quite what they are in reality and this is most obvious to fans of at least one AL West team. Basic math says that when you play 19 games against a team, someone will have an extra home game. Basic math also says that when you have four teams who you will play in a grouping AKA division with this formula, that you will play the extra game at home against two teams and on the road against two more. Basic math says that when you play 66 games against 10 teams, you play six games or three home and three road against four of them, seven games or four home and three away against another three, and seven games or three home and four away against the final three. Scheduling fairness, the whole excuse and the need fans were told to realign baseball.

I have no issue with realignment other than that Milwaukee should have been put back into the AL, but that argument I will never win, the issue of Houston switching leagues is over and done with for the foreseeable future. But the argument I can make and will every day until someone else gets appointed to the job of schedule maker, is that baseball could have done much better than it did for the 2013 season. Case in point, the Los Angeles Angels. When I was looking at the Angels schedule, I was thrown off, how was it that they had that extra game, that seventh game at home against four teams and on the road for just two? Surely I was missing something, but I double and triple checked, there it was in plane language a first grader could understand. The Angels had four home games against four teams outside the division, Orioles, white Sox, Rays, and Blue Jays, while just twice did they have a fourth game on the road, Yankees and Royals. So that meant that baseball had to give the Angels more road divisional games, but surely MLB would not do that I said to myself. No way, that was the whole idea of realignment. Well folks, here is your great scheduling gurus at work, they gave the Angels 37 home division games, ten with Houston, nine each with Texas, Oakland, and Seattle. Meantime, they get 39 road games in the division, nine at Houston, ten each at Texas, Oakland, and Seattle. This was why MLB realigned commissioner Selig?

This could all easily be fixed of course, move one game from a road series at either Oakland, Texas, or Seattle, and make it a home game. Then move one game with the Rays, White Sox, Orioles, or Blue Jays on to the road. Because baseball did this though, that means there are other teams out there with extra home or road divisional games and all this was supposed to have been fixed with realignment. It could have been fixed, basic math shows it can be. Basic math shows that the number of required home and road series would have worked perfectly had they just followed basic math principals, but clearly that was never considered or bothered with when the 2013 schedule was released.

What am I doing about it, the same thing I did in June through August of 1995 while home for the summer while attending Texas A&M, I’m going to draft an entire schedule, in this case for 2014. I’m sending it to the Commissioner, certified. I’m also going to send the team version for each individual franchise to their general manager. My schedule follows all the requirements, no more than 2 weeks on the road, no more than 20 consecutive games, off days when going from pacific to eastern time, Etc. When I’m done, I hope that baseball will make me the scheduler, I can do better than what they currently have and later this year, probably sometime in November, I will post this online for fans to look at as well, team by team.

Five Potential Travel Options for a 2013 30 Ballpark, 30 Day tour

Having taken my crazy version of the 30 ballpark, 30 day tour during the spring of 2012, I was looking forward to seeing what options would work during the 2013 season. NO I will not be traveling in 2013 to 30 ballparks, maybe just two or three as I make sure to continue my streak of a major League game every season that dates back to the year 2000. But for anyone who may have the time, the desire, or just the crazy ambition to take on this baseball adventure, then I hope this is of some benefit.

When looking at a potential route of a 30 day 30 ballpark tour, I have several things that are highly desirable if not an outright must have. The perfect schedule would work in such a way so that you see the Rangers and Astros on consecutive days, same for the royals and Cardinals. IN an ideal world, you also have the Reds and Indians on consecutive dates and you try to also have the Pirates the day prior to or the day after the swing through Ohio. The same logic can be applied to the Tigers if a good Pittsburgh option is not in place. Pittsburgh can also be a good bridge to Philadelphia and the northeastern swing and when it comes to those teams, the Yankees, Mets, nationals, Orioles, Red Sox and Phillies, the ideal trip has you in new York on consecutive dates or using Boston as a bridge between two stops in NYC. You look to do the same with Washington and Baltimore, perhaps also using Philadelphia as a bridge. Any combination though will work well in the northeast, though Boston to Washington and Baltimore by train is not real desirable. When planning this type of trip, I also try very hard to put Milwaukee in the leadoff or back end slot in combination with the two Chicago teams. Minnesota if possible can also be put in a schedule prior to Milwaukee or following Milwaukee. Additionally Detroit can be a stop if you have a date to fill between your two games in Chicago, say a Cubs or Sox game, a Tigers game, then back to Chicago by train or car for the team you didn’t see the first day in the Windy city.

Finally, the western swing requires that you try very hard to hit San Diego and the two Los Angeles area teams on consecutive dates and do the same with the two teams in the Bay Area. Some teams are your wild cards and you fit them in where it is best on the schedule, Seattle and Arizona are clearly in this category out west and if you can’t get five consecutive dates in California, you can very easily justify a trip to the Mariners and or diamondbacks between the trip to the Giants and Athletics and the trip to the Dodgers, Padres, and Angels. You could also use the Colorado Rockies visit in this area, though it is less desired because of the time zone change and if going from west to east, Colorado is a great bridge so that you lose one hour a day on consecutive dates rather than two hours at once. Toronto is another one of those wild cards, it can work well while in the Midwest, leaving Chicago and returning to Detroit for example, or as a starting or ending point while in the northeast. Atlanta and Minnesota mentioned above while easily connected to other nearby teams, Tampa and Cincinnati for instance in the Atlanta example, are far enough away that they don’t make or break a schedule if you have to put them elsewhere on a travel route since flying is more likely. Of the states with two teams, the Florida combo is the one most likely to be split if you don’t drive, because the bus and train routes are drawn out and the flights between the two cities are very reasonable in cost.

so there are some of the basics of how I consider potential routes for a 30 ballpark tour in 30 days. What follows below are five different scenarios for the 2013 season.

The five travel schedules are as follows on the calendar. Option 1 begins April 22 in Washington and ends May 21 in Milwaukee, Option 2 begins May 28 in Houston and ends June 26 in Seattle, while Option 3 features a few of the same stops as option 2 but it begins June 9 in Milwaukee and ends July 8 in Baltimore. Options 4 and 5 are after the All Star break, with the 4th beginning July 22 in Toronto and ending August 20 in Detroit, with the 5th beginning August 22 with consecutive dates at the Cubs and white Sox and concluding September 20 in New York with the final two dates being the Mets and Yankees back-to-back, both ironically against the San Francisco giants. Three of these five involve holiday travel, Option 2 begins the day after memorial Day, Option 3 features July 4th action, and Option 5 features travel during labor Day.

So now that you have a wetted appetite for baseball travel, let’s go into greater detail about each of these various travel routes I have chosen.

Option 1

You would see your first game on Monday April 22 at Washington. The nationals play host to the Cardinals in the first game of a scheduled three game series and while the starting time is TBD, it is almost a sure bet that this game would start in the early evening. So you could fly into DC that morning and avoid an extra night at a hotel the night before.

Tuesday April 23, take your rental car or hop a train up to Baltimore. The time is TBD, but again it should be a night game as the Orioles host the blue jays in the second game of a three game series.

Wednesday April 24 takes you further north to Philadelphia, the Phillies host the Pirates in a schedule 7:05 game. Then get up a bit earlier on Thursday April 25 and get to your seats at CitiField for a scheduled 1:10 start as the Mets host the Dodgers. Then relax a bit and plan a fun activity for the night in New York that is not tied to baseball. Friday the 25th you remain in new York, spend the day checking out more of the city, then head to Yankee Stadium for the Yankees and blue Jays, the game should be a night game.

Finally on Saturday the 27th, make plans to get out early and head to Boston. The game time is not set and it could be as early as 1:05 or later in the day, the Red Sox host the Astros at Fenway, Houston will by then have moved to the AL and begun a new chapter after 51 seasons in the Senior Circuit.

Later Saturday night or early Sunday morning depending on the start time in Boston, it is time to hit the friendly skies for the first time since getting to DC. Head from Boston for Detroit and at 1:05 Sunday afternoon April 28, enjoy the Tigers at home against the Atlanta Braves in an interleague battle. Get plenty of rest in Detroit, because the one drawback of this trip is that Detroit and Toronto could not be put back-to-back and neither could the two Florida based teams. Monday April 29, fly from Detroit to Miami and at 7:10 that evening, see the marlins entertain the Mets at the very enjoyable marlins Park. Then on Tuesday April 30, fly back north to Toronto, that evening the blue Jays at 7:07 host the Red sox. After seeing Toronto three times in nine games, you are nearly done with the Jays on the road trip.

Wednesday May 1, it is an early flight from Toronto to St. Louis, the Cardinals play at 12:45 that afternoon in a game with the division rival Reds. You can then rest that evening in ST. Louis, or get the last flight out to Kansas City, your choice. The next day on May 2, the Royals host the Rays and because it is a getaway day for Tampa, there is a chance this could be a day game as well, but the time is yet to be posted.

Friday May 3, a short flight back into Eastern Time zone territory as you see the Atlanta Braves host the Mets, the third time the Mets will have appeared on the travel schedule. From there, it is back to Central time with weekend stops in Texas. You can do this either direction, I chose Saturday May 4 at Arlington to see the Rangers host the Red Sox, followed on Sunday the 5th by the Astros hosting the tigers at MinuteMaid. Neither team has posted starting times, but the travel from Atlanta to Texas is relatively easy and the drive by car is not horrible between the two Texas cities. If you don’t have a car though, you are better off getting a cheap flight of which there are many and just renting a car for the travel around town, because bus travel takes longer than driving it yourself and no train service directly connects those two regions. It is also worth noting that no reliable transit serves the area where Rangers Ballpark is located.

The third week on the road kicks off on Monday may 6, with a flight from somewhere in Texas depending on your route, landing in Cincinnati. That night, the Reds begin a home stand with a game against the Braves. Time to hit the road after this game, the next two days are relatively easy drives that don’t require airfare. Don’t have a car, hop the bus Gus for the next two games. Tuesday May 7, head from Cincinnati to Cleveland, where the Indians play host to the Athletics in what should be a night game. Then the next day on Wednesday May 8, make the short drive over to one of the great ballparks in baseball and see the Pirates host the Mariners in the second interleague game of the tour. This could be a day game because Pittsburgh is at the Mets the next evening and the mariners are headed back home.

Thursday May 9 then requires air travel, the game that day is in St. Petersburg, Florida where the Rays play host to the blue Jays in what is likely a day game since it is a getaway day. Best case is to hope the Pirate game the prior day is also an early start, but if necessary, the travel from Pittsburgh to Tampa is

roughly three hours and you would have time to then get a rental car or a cab to the ballpark, getting a car for the day would likely be cheaper.

Friday May 10 brings about a longer flight, this Friday morning you would depart Tampa and head west to Phoenix. You gain three hours of time though dropping back west, so you could take a later morning flight say around 11:00 or noon and do just fine. The diamondbacks play that evening at 6:40 Phoenix time against the Phillies. You then spend the next week out west. Saturday may 11 takes you to Seattle for the Mariners and Athletics, the start time is not set yet for this game, but the flights from Phoenix to Seattle are about three hours if you go direct. Most mariner Saturday games are later afternoon or evening starts in Seattle. Sunday May 12 then takes you down to the San Francisco Bay area for two straight days. The Giants host the Braves on Sunday in what might be a later start if ESPN decides to pick up that game as the Sunday night game. The next evening, it is over to Oakland for the Athletics and Rangers on May 13, which begins the fourth week on the road. From there, fly to southern California for three straight games may 14-16. Tuesday and Wednesday can be Dodgers Angels in either direction, both teams are home on both dates. The Dodgers host the nationals and the Angels host the Royals, start times are not set for these games yet. Then on Thursday, it is down to San Diego by train or car, the padres host the nationals who continue their road trip through California in what is probably a night game, though San Diego has been known to start a couple of Thursday day games and in this situation with Washington coming down from Los Angeles, this would be a possibility.

Finally, head back toward the Rockies and Midwest for the final five games of the trip. Friday May 17 brings the tour to Denver as the Colorado Rockies host the Giants at 6:40 Denver time. Then it is on to Minneapolis where on Saturday May 18, the Twins host the Red Sox at a time to be set later. There is a fair chance of this being a day game, so you would want to plan on the first flight out Saturday morning from Denver.

From there, the travel is a breeze. Sunday may 19 is a short morning flight over to Chicago for the Cubs and Mets at Wrigley Field. Stay the night in the Windy city, get a lot of rest or hit the town, then Monday night you hit the south side of Chicago for the White Sox and those ever popular Red Sox, the most seen team on this tour. Finally on Tuesday May 21, a short drive or train ride takes you to Milwaukee. Have some famous Milwaukee style bratwursts and then take in the final game on this trip, the Brewers host the Dodgers at 7:10 that evening.

If there are two drawbacks about this particular schedule, it is that there are a couple of potential tight turn around travel situations and could we see any more of the Red Sox, Mets, and blue jays. Boston is the visitor at four cities on this trip, all after the visit to Fenway, Toronto and the Mets are the visitor three games each in addition to the home game for each team. But the fact that all the larger groupings of teams are able to be seen in an order that prevents unnecessary air travel is the bonus.

Option 2

This travel option begins in Texas and your first three games are all interleague action as the rivals part of the schedule is played out. This schedule is a tad more taxing as far as the travel is concerned, but it is nonetheless doable.

Tuesday May 28 begins the journey, the Astros host the Rockies in what is an interleague matchup that brings back the long time NL rivals, this is probably a night game since the same two teams play each other the next day in Denver. Wednesday May 29 takes you to the Dallas fort Worth area and the Texas Rangers home date with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This will surely be a night game, so the travel between these cities as mentioned earlier is not very difficult. Thursday may 30 brings about a flight and there is a fair chance it will need to be early, but it will be a trip north from Texas to Minnesota, that day the Twins host the Brewers. Friday May 31 is another flight, this one to Cleveland for the Indians and Rays. Saturday June 1 is another flight, down to Atlanta for the Braves and nationals. Again, this could be a day game. Then Sunday June 2, an earlier flight is in order but it is short, Baltimore is the destination for the Orioles and Tigers. Then spend the next few days on the road or on the rails as you hit the rest of the northeast. Monday June 3 takes you up to Philadelphia for a 7:05 game between the Phillies and Marlins. Tuesday the 4th, back down to the nation’s capital for the Nationals and Mets, then on Wednesday June 5, head north for new York to see the Yankees host the Indians in what is likely a day game, start times are not posted yet. Thursday June 6 takes the tour up to Boston for the Red Sox home game against the Rangers, this too could be a day game. Then Friday June 7, it is back to New York, this time the Mets are home taking on the Marlins.

Saturday June 8 takes you back to the air and an early flight to Toronto, at 1:07 that afternoon, the Blue jays host the Rangers. Then it is on to the Midwest, either a Saturday evening or Sunday morning flight from Toronto for Milwaukee. At 1:10 Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee, the Brewers host the Phillies. After a relaxing evening in Milwaukee, take the train for Chicago on Monday June 10 and wrap up the second week and begin the third week seeing the Sox and Cubs. Both teams are home Monday and Tuesday, so it is the travelers choice again. Either day, the Cubs host the Reds and the White Sox host the Blue jays. Wednesday June 12 is a short flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh, that night the Pirates host the Giants, the time is not set but it is likely a night game since the same two teams play again on Thursday. Thursday June 13 the tour lands at St. Petersburg where the Rays host the Royals in what should be a night game as it opens a four game series. Friday the 14th moves to Miami for the Marlins and Cardinals in a 7:10 start in Miami.

Like option 1, this tour features a back-to-back set of games hosted by expansion partners, this tour moves from Miami to Denver where the Rockies host the Phillies on Saturday June 15. Here it is a two hour drop in time, so a later morning flight by 10:30 would work from Miami, but note that this could be a day game and so an earlier start might be advisable. Sunday and Monday June 16-17 are in the San Francisco Bay region, the Sunday game is at Oakland as the Athletics host the mariners and the Monday game features the Giants hosting the padres. Tuesday June 18 moves on to the desert southwest, the Diamondbacks host the marlins at 6:40 in Phoenix.

The difficult aspect of this travel option then plays out as on Wednesday June 19, the travel is back into the Eastern time zone, going from Phoenix to Cincinnati. Morning flights around 7:30 in Phoenix will get you to Cincinnati before 5PM local time there, though all have a connection. The Reds game is that night in all likelihood since they play again the next day and both are against the Pirates. Thursday June 20 brings a much easier travel experience going from Cincinnati to Detroit. This can be easily done by car which allows for sleeping in. That Thursday night, the Tigers play a 7:05 game against the Red Sox.

From here, travel is relatively easy. Friday June 21 features a flight to Kansas City from Detroit and the royals host the White Sox in what should be a night game. Saturday the 22nd moves to St. Louis for what I will call an afternoon game as the Cardinals host the Rangers in what will be a rematch of the 2011 World Series. From there, back west to close things out. Sunday June 23 features the sixth interleague matchup on this trip, the Angels hosting the Pirates. June 24-25 can go either direction as on both days, the padres host the Phillies and the Dodgers host the Giants. Finally on Wednesday June 26, it is up to Seattle for the Mariners and Pirates at 7:10 Seattle time, the seventh interleague matchup on this particular schedule.

Option 3 begins June 9 and from June 9-26, it has a lot of the same look as option 2, with games June 9 at the Brewers against the Phillies, June 10-11 in Chicago for the Cubs against the Reds and White Sox against blue Jays in either order. June 12 takes the tour to Miami for the marlins game against the Brewers at 7:10 that evening, the marlins visit is two days earlier than on option 2. Like option 2, June 13 is the Rays hosting the Royals in St. Petersburg. Friday the 14th on this tour then heads to Ohio, you can go either direction, Reds Friday and Indians Saturday or Indians Friday and Reds Saturday. The Indians are hosting an interleague series with the Nationals, while the Reds host the Brewers. Your final choice on which way to go here could be based on Sunday’s game, which is at Oakland. It may depend on the time of the Saturday game you attend and which flight route makes more sense for you, keeping in mind that there are three major airports within 35 miles of the game in Oakland on Sunday, where by the way the Athletics play host to the Mariners. Staying in the Bay Area, on Monday June 17 the Giants host the Padres, these two games are like what you have on option 2, as is the game on the 18th at Arizona where the Diamondbacks are hosting the Marlins.

Again you have a bit of a travel day on Wednesday June 19 from Phoenix to Toronto with a connection. You can be out of Phoenix before 8AM and in Toronto by 5PM, keeping in mind you move up three hours in time. That evening, the Blue Jays are hosting the Rockies in another interleague series. Thursday the 20th, a choice awaits, fly, rent a car, hop the bus, your destination is Detroit. The Tigers host the Red Sox at 7:05 that night, this is again like option 2 and that same schedule is also used for the next six games going forward. Friday June 21 at the Royals, June 22 at the Cardinals, then June 23-26 takes you to the Angels, Dodgers/padres in either order, and finally the Mariners.

From this point, the schedule is completely new, starting with a night game June 27 at the Twins. The flight from Seattle to Minneapolis is relatively easy as it is almost due east. The Twins begin a home stand against the Royals that Thursday night. From there, travel can go to Atlanta then Denver or Denver then Atlanta. I preferred going to Atlanta for the Friday June 28 game, the Braves hosting the Diamondbacks, then out to Denver for the Saturday June 29 game as the Rockies host the Giants. Sunday June 30 and Monday July 1 you are in Texas, the Rangers and Reds in interleague action on Sunday, probably a night game but once in a while the Rangers will play a day game on Sunday during the summer. Monday takes the action to Houston, the Astros host the Rays as they continue a home stand.

The final week of the trip is back east and makes for easy travel. Tuesday morning July 2, fly from Houston to Pittsburgh, and later that evening, the Pirates host the Phillies. Wednesday July 3 fly to Boston for the Red Sox and padres. The game time is not set but I am guessing night game since it does not close the series with a likely day game to followed the next day. On July 4, head down to New York and do it quick, the Mets game that day is at 1:10 against the Diamondbacks. Stay in New York, catch the fireworks, then on July 5 its time for the Yankees playing host to the Orioles. Saturday July 6 moves the action to Philadelphia, the Phillies host the Braves at 7:05. Finally, it is down to Washington and Baltimore for the final two games of this tour. Sunday the 7th see the Nationals and the padres, then to close things out on the 8th, the Orioles host the Rangers at Camden Yards.

Options 4 and 5 are both easier travel like option 1. The down side is that both have to split the teams in the northeast and option 5 had to put Milwaukee off on its own rather than tied in to the Chicago stop. But that said, these two versions of the 30 ballpark, 30 day tour could very easily make sense to someone who decided to go this route.

Option 4 begins Monday July 22 at Toronto, the Blue Jays host the Dodgers in interleague play. The next two days take the tour to Texas, on Tuesday July 23 the Astros host the Athletics and on the 24th, the Rangers host the Yankees, both should be night games. Thursday morning the 25th you have a flight to Denver, the Rockies host the marlins in a day game at 1:10 Denver time. The next day Friday July 26 takes the tour to Phoenix, the Diamondbacks host the padres at 6:40 Phoenix time that evening. Saturday July 27 takes too the skies again and later that day at a time that is TBD, the Mariners host the Twins in Seattle. This is then followed by five straight days in California. The games on the schedule are the Giants hosting the Cubs on the 28th and Athletics hosting Blue Jays on the 29th, followed on the 30th by the Padres hosting the Reds, on the 31st it will be the Dodgers hosting the Yankees, and August 1 closes out this leg with the Angels hosting the blue Jays.

August 2 starts with a flight from the Los Angeles region to Minneapolis, the Twins host the Astros in what should be a night game. The next day if the Brewers game is a later afternoon or evening start, it would allow you to travel by car or bus from Minneapolis to Milwaukee, otherwise catch a short flight. The Brewers play host to the Nationals that Saturday. Then another easy travel leg will bring the tour to Chicago for consecutive games Sunday August 4 and Monday August 5. Sunday features the Cubs hosting the Dodgers, Monday in what should be a night game features the White Sox hosting the Yankees.

Tuesday August 6 brings this tour to the east, the Pirates host the marlins in what should be a night game, following a fairly quick flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh. Wednesday the 7th means a trip across the state of Pennsylvania to Philadelphia, the question, long drive, train, or fly? The Phillies are scheduled to host the cubs at 7:05. Staying in the northeast, the next two days August 8 and 9 are in New York. The Thursday game is an early 12:10 start as the Mets host the Rockies. Fortunately, the train ride is quick from Philadelphia or drive it if you are so inclined. Staying in New York, the Friday game is the Yankees hosting the Tigers in what should be a night game. Unlike the earlier options, this schedule requires a move back toward the Midwest, but the travel is very reasonable. Saturday morning August 10, head from New York for either Cincinnati or Cleveland, both the Indians and Reds are home for the weekend on the 10th and Sunday the 11th. Cincinnati is hosting the Padres while the Indians host the Angels. On Monday August 12 leaving Ohio, the tour heads to Missouri, stopping in Kansas City on Monday for the Royals and Marlins, then Tuesday drive, fly, or take the train across to St. Louis for the scheduled 7:15 start between the Cardinals and Pirates. Wednesday August 14, a quick flight from St. Louis down to Atlanta for the Braves and Phillies, the time is TBD so this could be a day game. Thursday August 15 through Saturday August 17 returns to finish out the other half of the northeast swing, stopping on Thursday for the nationals and giants in DC, this could be a day game as well. Friday features the Orioles and Rockies in an interleague game at Camden yards, then Saturday fly or take a long relaxing train ride up to Boston and later that day, the Red Sox host the Yankees. Sunday morning August 18, head down to Florida for a pair of games. Sunday the 18th the Rays host the Blue jays and because this should be a day game, you can then relax for the night and on Monday August 19, fly or rent a car and head down to Miami. The Marlins game against the Dodgers is a 7:10 start, then close the trip out on Tuesday the 20th. That morning, fly from Miami to Detroit and enjoy the Tigers game against the Twins at 7:05 that evening.

As for Option 5, this trip is fairly easy on travel as mentioned before. Again the northeast swing is split and the Brewers had to be moved to a slot apart from the rest of the Midwest. That said, it is a very doable schedule. Note also that this tour would end with just 8 dates left in the season, but all teams have at least two home dates on the schedule after the final game on Friday September 20, in the event a game needed to be made up because of weather.

This trip starts in Chicago with two games, the Cubs hosting the Nationals on Thursday August 22 in what is almost for sure a day game, then Friday night the 23rd, the White Sox host the Rangers. From here, you could fly or drive, driving is especially an option if the Reds game is a later afternoon start, as the game on Saturday the 24th features the Reds hosting the Brewers. Sunday the 25th, an early start but fly or drive from Cincinnati to Cleveland, the Indians host the Twins that afternoon. Then after a good long night of rest in Cleveland, Monday the 26th is another drive, this time heading to Detroit. The Tigers host the Athletics at 7:05 that Monday evening. Tuesday the 27th, another drive, this time heading from Detroit to Pittsburgh, the Pirates host the Brewers in what should be a night game. Wednesday the 28th, the trip heads south to Atlanta, while Pittsburgh to Atlanta could be a long, long drive, most would probably fly. The Braves host the Indians in interleague play for what should be a night game. From there, the trip begins to move west, stopping at Minneapolis on Thursday the 29th for the Twins and royals in what may be a day game. The flight from Atlanta to Minnesota is an easy one though and you do gain an hour of time to work with. Friday the 30th, gain another hour going from Minnesota to Colorado, that evening in Denver at 6:40 the Rockies host the Reds. Gain yet another hour by heading further west on Saturday August 31, the game action will be in Phoenix as the Diamondbacks host the Giants at 5:10 that afternoon in Phoenix.

From there, it is a short Sunday morning flight to southern California, stopping in Los Angeles for the game later that day between the Dodgers and padres. Labor Day September 2 will be spent at Anaheim as the Angels host the Rays, then it is down to San Diego where on Tuesday the 3rd, the padres host the Giants. Wednesday the 4th, fly to northern California, the Athletics host the Rangers in what is likely to be a day game. Enjoy a restful night and a relaxing Thursday, then take in the Giants at home against the diamondbacks, that should be a night game. Friday morning the 6th, it is a flight from the bay area to Seattle for the mariners and Rays, scheduled for 7:10 that evening. From there, the obvious direction of travel is east. The remainder of the weekend is spent in Missouri, the Royals host the Tigers on Saturday the 7th, then Sunday the 8th features the Cardinals at home against the Pirates in a scheduled 1:15 start. After resting for the night in St. Louis, fly down to Florida, Miami to be specific for the Marlins and Braves at 7:10 on Monday the 9th, then fly or drive across to St. Petersburg for the Rays and Red Sox on Tuesday the 10th. Wednesday the 11th through Friday the 13th bring about three games in the northeast. ON the 11th, a flight from Tampa to Philadelphia will bring you to the next game, the Phillies and the padres are schedule for a 7:05 start that evening. Then drive or train down on the 12th for the Orioles game against the Yankees, followed the next evening on Friday the 13th by the nationals playing host to the Phillies. The weekend of Saturday September 14 and Sunday September 15 is in Texas, the choice is up to you as to which order to go for the games. The Rangers are home to the Athletics, the Astros home to the Angels. Monday the 16th then is a flight from Texas to Milwaukee, that evening at 7:10 the Brewers host the Cubs. Finally, back to the east to finish things out, stopping at Toronto for the Yankees and Blue jays at 7:07 the evening of Tuesday September 17, followed by the Red Sox at home on the 18th against the Orioles in what should be a night game. The trip then ends in new York, the Giants are the visiting team on consecutive dates, the Mets Thursday the 19th for a 1:10 start, and Friday the 20th against the Yankees in what should be a night game.

Questions, comments, feel free to send me any feedback you have.