The 2016 MLB schedule was released on Wednesday. You can find the full Indians schedule here. I'll give you a minute... Okay, did you take it all in? No?! You want me to study it and then just give you the Cliff's Notes version? You people.
Alright, let's start with some important dates for MLB in general...
- The first game of the season will be the night of Sunday, April 3. We don't yet know what that game will be, because ESPN and MLB get to decide that months from now. We can be pretty sure it won't involve the Indians though, because as we all know, ESPN hates Cleveland. (Wait, now that LeBron is back, does ESPN just hate the Indians and Browns? ...Wait again, ESPN clearly doesn't hate anything about the NFL, so does ESPN just hate the Indians? Thanks a lot, ESPN!)
- The first day of the 2016 MLB Draft will be Thursday, June. The Indians are currently in position to have the #16 pick in the draft, a spot the Tribe has never had before, but that has been used by other teams to draft Lance Berkman, Lance Parrish, and one or two guys not named Lance.
- The All-Star break will be from July 11-14, with the All-Star Game taking place in San Diego on Tuesday, July 12.
- The last day of the regular season will be Sunday, October 2
As for the Indians, someone at the league offices seems to have screwed up, because for the first time in four years, the Tribe will get to start its season at home, instead of somewhere in the Pacific Ocean at 2:00 AM Cleveland time. The Indians will host the Red Sox on Monday, April 4. Then they have a day off (in case it rains (or snows) on Monday), before facing Boston again Wednesday and Thursday. The first road trip will begin in Chicago on Friday, April 8.
The Tribe's first Interleague series of the season will take place at home from April 15-17, against the Mets. The Indians will visit the Phillies from April 29 to May 1, host the Reds on May 16 and 17, visit the Reds on May 18 and 19, visit the Braves from June 27-29, host the Nationals on July 26 and 27, visit the Nationals on August 9 and 10, and host the Marlins from September 2-4. Congratulations to fans in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Washington DC who have been waiting for the Indians to arrive!
The middle of the season will mostly see the Tribe away from Progressive Field. From June 6-15 the team plays 10 games in 10 days, on a trip to Seattle, Anaheim, and Kansas City. They then get a week at home, before heading back on the road to Detroit, Atlanta, and Toronto for another 10 games in 10 days. After that it's another week at home, then the All-Star break, and then another 10-game road trip, this time through Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Baltimore. (That trip includes the dates of the RNC convention, which will take place in Cleveland from July 18-21.)
In between June 5 and July 26, a span of 51 days, the Indians will play only 13 home games. For a team that already struggles to draw fans, having so few games when kids are out of school (and when neither the Cavs or Browns are playing) is something of a loss, but that's the way next season's cookie crumbles. The upside is, 38 of the team's final 64 games are at home (For those of you not up to the math, that means only 26 road games), so there's that.
The team's final 23 games of the season are all against division rivals, which means if there's a close race in the Central, there will be time to make up ground at the end.