We may not yet know what the 2014 Blue Jays will look like– though, if we’re being honest, we probably kinda do– but we do know who they’ll be playing and when, as MLB has released the their official schedule for the 2014 season. You can check out the schedule page of BlueJays.com to view it in its full majesty, but here are some key highlights:
- As noted in the previous post, the Jays seem likely to get 2014 off to a rousing start, opening the season in the hellscape known as the Trop in Tampa. The regular season schedule begins on March 31st, meaning the Jays have just one off-day between their excursion north to Montreal and their return to Florida’s gulf coast.
- I scoff at the nightmare scenario of facing the Rays on the road right off the hop, but April doesn’t look too bad for the Jays, even though their next series kinda does: their home opener will be a surely-shithammered Friday night game, April 4th, against the Yankees. The Astros then come to town, followed by a road trip to Baltimore, Minnesota and Cleveland (likely to remind fans just how much we actually like having a stadium in which we can avoid shitty April weather).
- Because we have different holidays than our neighbours to the south, it’s always interesting to see where the Jays find themselves on various key dates on the Canadian calendar– and usually pretty damn frustrating, as it will be again this year…
The holiday Monday of Victoria Day weekend falls on May 19th in 2014, which is a Jays off-day between a couple of tough road series in Texas then Boston.
Canada Day, July 1st, is better, as the Jays host the Milwaukee Brewers for a 1:07 PM ET start on a Tuesday, but the Monday of the August long weekend is also a friggin’ off day, as the Jays return home from Houston, getting set to host the Orioles the following day. Labour Day is an off-day too.
- Another key bit of scheduling business involves, of course, interleague play. In 2014 the Jays will host the Phillies for two (May 7th and 8th), the Cardinals for a weekend series (June 6th through 8th), the Brewers, as mentioned, on Canada Day (hello Doug Melvin and Gord Ash!) as well as the day after, and the Cubs for three, beginning on Monday, September 8th.
- That Cubs series is one of only two series against non-AL East opponents that the Jays will play in September. They host Seattle for four in the penultimate home series of the regular season, but otherwise during the month will have three game sets in Tampa, Boston, Baltimore, plus a four-gamer in New York, while hosting the Rays and Orioles for three as well. If they don’t completely suck, that should be mighty exciting! But… uh… you and I both know how that usually goes.
- As for NL road trips, this year Jays fans will have the chance to visit exotic locales such as Pittsburgh (beginning Friday May 2nd), Philadelphia (May 5th and 6th), Cincinnati (beginning Friday June 20th), and Milwaukee (August 19th and 20th– a Tuesday and Wednesday).
- Let’s not forget our west coast fans, as the Jays will make their lone trip to Seattle for three games beginning (sorry) Monday, August 11th– though, really, isn’t a weekend kinda deserved at this point?
And let’s not forget the fans who make the trip to Minnesota, either, as the Jays– as mentioned– will be there for a mid-week series in April. There are also those in southwestern Ontario who I’m sure would like to know that the Jays, mercifully, won’t be visiting Detroit in early April this year, but for a mid-week series beginning June 4th– the other side of that once-great rivalry series comes on the weekend of August 8th at Rogers Centre.
- And the ever-popular (among me) weekend 4 PM home start? The Jays so far have none of them– though a Saturday game in September against Tampa is currently listed as TBD. Of course, the club may change some of these along the way, which I’m sure we all hope they will.
And that, I think, I just about all you need to know. Happy hotel booking! And seriously, nobody ever says a bad thing about the parks in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, so do yourselves a favour.