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Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

September 14, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Mariners’ tentative 2012 schedule unveiled: M’s play NL West

The Mariners released their tentative schedule for next year, which you can find here.

They will open on the road against the Oakland A’s on Friday, April 6, marking the fourth straight year they have opened away from home, and the third year in a row they have started the season in Oakland. The home opener will take place on Friday, April 13, also against the A’s. They also play the Indians and White Sox on the first homestand.

The Mariners’ interleague opponent this year will be the National League West, which means they will play the Giants, Diamondbacks, Dodgers and Rockies in addition to their traditional home-and-home series with the Padres. The Dodgers and Giants come to Safeco Field on back-to-back weekends in June.

The Mariners are home on July 4 (against the Orioles) and on Labor Day, Sept. 3, against the Red Sox. The Red Sox make two trips to Safeco Field — four games from June 28 to July 1, and a three-game series Sept. 3-5. The Yankees’ lone appearance in Seattle is three games, July 23-25.

The Mariners will play at home on two major summer holidays: Independence Day, July 4, against the Baltimore Orioles and Labor Day, September 3, against the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox make two trips to Safeco Field, a four-game set June 28-July 1, and September 3-5. The New York Yankees will be in Seattle for three games July 23-25.

One thing that stands out to me upon first glance is that their are fewer, but longer, roadtrips in 2012. This year, the Mariners had 13 trips, only one of which was longer than seven games — and that was a nine-game trip. Eight of the 13 trips were six games, and another would have been if the Marlins hadn’t moved their series in Miami to Seattle. Next year, the Mariners will make just 11 road trips, but two will be 10-gamers (one of them a rare four-city trip), and two will be for nine games. They have just three six-game trips, and three seven-game trips.

I e-mailed Mariners’ traveling secretary Ron Spellecy to get his reaction, which was generally favorable. Here is his reply:

“There are some “rough” spots for us in the 2012 schedule, but for the most part I am happy. We have always said when we go out of town we prefer to stay out for 3 cities at least. With our travel, less trips are better, and when we are out to stay and go to 3 cities just makes a lot of sense. We always ask for this but have not seen it in most years, IE: 2011 we only had 1 three-city trip.

“Now saying that, going to New York for 3, Boston and Cleveland for 2 each and then to Colorado for 3, ugh! We are flying almost 10,000 miles less next year because of the # of 3 city trips.”

The official schedule with start times will be announced at a later date.

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