The Phillies and Major League Baseball announced 2016 schedules this afternoon. For fans of the Cardinals, Royals, Blue Jays and other playoff-bound teams, those schedules likely inspire little in the way of interest. The playoffs and its promise of eternal glory together with the inherent likelihood of devastating disappointment that comes with any 8 (or 10 if you want) team tournament is enough to keep anyone with a rooting interest in the outcome enthralled. Why look to next season and it's likely disappointment when this season offers hope?
For us fans of the Phillies, this season doesn't offer any more hope. Maikel Franco may not play again in the final weeks of the season. Aaron Harang may well drop dead in the middle of his next start. We all know Justin De Fratus's arm is certain to finally just fall off any day now. Even though these events may spark some level of anticipation among the fan base, the anticipated outcomes are all bad. Injury, death, limb detachment. All bad and full of misery.
But these things might not happen next year. There's at least a chance of glad tidings for the Phillies in 2016 and we were offered a first opportunity to visualize that success mere hours ago with the release of the 2016 Phillies schedule.
Highlights of the schedule:
- The Spring Training Schedule has not been announced. My suspicion is that Spring Training cannot and will not occur so long as The Good Phight is not invited to join the party.
- The Phillies' first two series are on the road against, first, the Reds and then against the Mets.
- The home opener will be on Monday 4/11 at 3:05pm against the Padres.
- The Interleague Schedule looks to be a doozy. The Phillies are set to play the Indians, Tigers, Blue Jays, Twins, Royals and White Sox. Among those teams, only the White Sox seem likely to be terrible from this particular vantage point.
- The Phillies are home against the Braves on the 4th of July, so perhaps we'll get a fireworks game on the 4th with the time not yet announced. Probably not, but can't a guy dream?
- The Phillies play the Mets 19 times, so that should be 19 losses or so if this year's performance is any indication. Don't place any bets on the Phillies winning more than 143 games in 2016.
- Longest Homestand: 10 games from April 11 - 20 against the Padres, Nationals, and Mets.
- Longest road trip: 10 games from July 22nd - August 1st that takes them to Pittsburgh, then Miami, and finally Atlanta before returning home.
- The promotional schedule was not announced along with the game schedule. Submit your predicted Dollar Dog dates in the comments. Will we get a Larry Bowa screaming bobblehead? A bunting Freddy Galvis figurine? A Cody Asche Caucasian Heritage Night commemorative poster? Intrigue awaits.