The Twins released their 2014 schedule Tuesday, and in some ways these productions are silly. We already knew they would play 81 home and 81 road games. We knew they would play 76 division games (19 against each opponent), 20 interleague games and the rest against other AL teams.
But we didn’t know the order and the shape of things, and it remains fun to think about 2014 — Year 5 at Target Field, if you can believe it — as a possibly better time. So here is a look at the highs and lows:
• The Twins open March 31. Thankfully, they open on the road this year after opening at home in 2013. The bad news? The opener is at the White Sox, and it is also known to be chilly in Chicago in late March.
• The home opener is April 7 vs. Oakland. All three games against the A’s (there is an off day the 8th followed by games the 9th and 10th) are slated as day games.
• The interleague home series are: April 29-May 1 vs. the Dodgers (circle that one for Yasiel Puig); June 4-5 vs. Milwaukee; Aug. 5-6 vs. San Diego; and Sept. 22-24 vs. Arizona. So, yeah, the Dodgers are coming!
• The interleague road series, in case you want to plan trips to different ballparks: May 20-21 at San Diego; May 23-25 at San Francisco; June 2-3 at Milwaukee; and July 11-13 at Colorado. That’s a pretty nice set of options, including making a week of it in California.
• Home games by month: April (14), May (14), June (10), July (16, plus the All-Star Game/festivities), August (12), September (15). It’s not quite as bad as 2013, when 31 of 81 home games were in April and September, but 29 still isn’t ideal. And that’s a pretty nice July.
• Of the first 40 games, 34 are against teams that have a winning record right now. So whatever reconfigured product is on the field should be tested immediately.
• Twins President Dave St. Peter said the organization is “generally pleased” with the schedule, emphasizing a July 4 weekend series against the Yankees as part of a big month. And all those September games? “It’s our hope to turn that into a positive with a team that’s already re-established our home-field advantage and that is very much in playoff contention,” he said. “Nobody complains about September home games when you are contending.”