Quick look to 2007
Posted by disappointmentzone on 27 September 2006
Sports Illustrated (I think) once published a great photograph of a kid holding up a sign on opening day in Wrigley Field that read “Wait Till Next Year.” Such is the unbridled optimism of Cubs fans. Cleveland fans don’t have it much better, of course, and I certainly don’t need to remind you of that. And so with the 2006 Indians season winding down after more or less ending about four months ago, now is as good of time as any to begin looking ahead to 2007.
Yesterday the Indians released their (tentative) 2007 schedule.
A few thoughts:
The Indians open once again in Chicago. It’ll be the battle of the disappointing teams, a far cry from the 2006 opener and all the promise it held.
Eric Wedge has yet to guide the Indians to within anything approximating a successful April and that trend could continue in 2007 (assuming Wedge is still the manager). First there is Chicago. Then the Angels (with a palate-cleansing Seattle series in between). Then Chicago. Then New York. Add in Minnesota and Texas and that’s a formidable schedule. Only Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Baltimore are crummy. That’s six series against non-crummy teams against three series against crummy teams. Yikes.
Things don’t get easier in May, as the Indians play 19 road games and only 10 home games.
June and July are the most attractive months in the schedule, which is nice since by then any momentum the team can generate during the daunting start of the season should be amplified. Of course, should the team stumble through April and May by June no one will care. During June and July the Indians play 34 of 53 games at home. The Braves will be in Cleveland and the Indians will be in Washington in June.
August is another brutal month. 10 road games against Chicago, Minnesota, and Detroit, plus a quick home series against the Tigers and a home series against the Twins. If the AL Central isn’t decided in August then…I’m not sure. That’s a lot of game among the teams that should be contending for the AL Central crown. The Indians also play KC in August, but I doubt KC will be contending.
If the Indians can stay close through the first months of the season September could very well be the time when the team pulls away. The beginning of the month is tough, with series against Chicago, Minnesota, LA, and Chicago, but the back half is much easier. 6 of the final 15 games are against KC, with three games against Seattle tossed in for good measure.
Thus concludes my quick breakdown of the 2007 schedule. I’m sure there are interesting quirks and pleanty of other compelling storylines, and there is pleanty of time in the upcoming months for, you know, actual analysis. But I’ll say this month: Ryan Garko looks like a starting 1B to me.