Diamondbacks Announce 2011 Schedule

It used to be that Major League Baseball would quietly release their regular season schedule during the long off-season. While most of the country was buried under snow and baseball was the farthest thing from anyone’s mind, teams would post the schedule to their web sites.

Making matters worse, the schedules would be inconsistent. Teams would show the same opponent on the same day or both teams in a game would be listed as the home team. Part of the problem is that Major League Baseball goes through several iterations of schedule seemingly making changes almost daily.

Teams would choose to publish a particular version only to see it change. The schedules would finally stabilize just before Spring Training with all the teams provided with final versions.

Lately that has been changing. Major League Baseball has been attempting to release a relatively final version of the next season’s schedule before the play-offs begin. For the 2011 season, the commissioner’s office is ahead of the game.

The Arizona Diamondbacks in conjunction with Major League Baseball announced their schedule for the 2011 season today. For the first time in my recollection the baseball season will not begin on a Monday or Tuesday. Next season most teams open on Friday April 1.

This is a result of the Commissioner’s committee who were looking at ways to shorten the overall baseball season so that the World Series does not extend into November. They had already removed some off days during the play-offs and with an earlier Opening Day this will further ensure baseball finishes in October.

From the schedule released today, the Diamondbacks will open the 2011 season in Colorado against the Rockies at Coors Field. After a three-game weekend series in Denver, the Diamondbacks will have a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The Diamondbacks will make their home opener on Friday April 8th against the Cincinnati Reds. The initial home stand will include nine games including three with the Reds, three with the St. Louis Cardinals, and three with the San Francisco Giants.

Interleague play next season will be against the American League Central Division with home series against the Minnesota Twins (May 20-22), Chicago White Sox (June 17-19), and Cleveland (June 27-29). Away Interleague series include Kansas City (June 21-23), Oakland (July 1-3) and a return trip to Detroit (June 24-26).

With the All-Star game being held in Phoenix next season, the Diamondbacks will play the entire first half of July on the road leaving Chase Field after the Cleveland game on June 29 and not returning home until July 15th against the Dodgers.

As part of the announcement the Diamondbacks begin to lay out the series of events that will lead up to the Midsummer Classic that will be held on July 12th. All-Star FanFest will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center across from Chase Field from July 8-12.

All-Star Sunday will begin on July 10th with the Futures Game and the All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball game. On July 11th Chase Field will host All-Star Workout Day on July 11th culminating with the Home Run Derby that night. All this leads up to the All-Star game on July 12th.

The 2011 season will end for the Diamondbacks with a nine game home stand including three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, and culminating with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The final game of the season will be Wednesday September 28.

As is always the case, this schedule is subject to change. This is especially pertinent to the Arizona Diamondbacks as they are still in negotiations with Major League Baseball regarding opening the season in Taiwan.

MLB is still working with their international partners to secure venues and dates. If things go well, the Diamondbacks will start the season with a four-game series in Taiwan against the San Francisco Giants.

The first two games of this series will be Spring Training games with the final two being counted as regular season games. Dates for these are still being worked out but mid-March seems to be the likely scenario.

If the Diamondbacks go to Taiwan, they will give up two home games against the Giants during the regular season. Overall the 2011 season looks exciting. With the 2010 Diamondbacks buried in last place, everyone is looking forward to next year and hopefully a more positive outcome.

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