The San Diego Padres 2012 season schedule was officially unveiled today, providing all fans a momentary distraction from the Padres 2011 season (mercifully).
And while there will be plenty of time to look at the schedule from a strategic standpoint, or look for key series late in the season (hopefully), today is about party planning.
Road trip party planning.
The 2011 Padres interleague schedule gave fans two great excuses for travelling. Road games in Minnesota (and new Target Field) and Boston were quickly seized upon by fans. Including myself, who took the once every 6 years opportunity to travel to Boston (a city I had never been before) and take in a game at Fenway (also a first, obviously).
So, looking ahead, what road trips are most enticing for Padres fans? Let's take a look at some of the road trip opportunities that stuck out to me:
This is the trip for you history buffs. Two of the most historic cities in American history in back-to-back series. Plus the potential to see Strasburg in person and the (relatively) new Nationals Park. The downside...Phillies fans. Batteries not included.
May 24 - 30
@New York Mets; @Chicago Cubs
If history isn't your thing, then perhaps visiting two of the most iconic cities in America will be. Take in a Broadway show, walk Central Park and check out Citi Field for the first time. Then head West to historic Wrigley Field (a stadium that should move immediately to the top of your baseball stadium bucket list if you haven't been) and enjoy deep dish pizza, Chicago hot dogs and a fan base more depressed than our own. This trip will help you finally decide, once and for all, New York Pizza or Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.
June 12 - 17
Interleague! While Oakland doesn't have the same sex appeal as Minnesota or Boston, hey, it's interleague! A little Pacific Northwest trip where you can take in fresh salmon, grunge music and spend all your time in San Francisco while "visiting" Oakland. Also, watch the Vedder Cup, Year 2, in person!
I read that the Florida Marlins are changing their name to Miami as of next year. One step closer to Back to the Future, Part II being true! Brand new stadium, fun dining and nightlife city, possible hurricanes. This trip has it all!
Long considered, by those that have been, as one of the great ballparks in America. I'm pretty sure they put french fries in their sandwiches in Pittsburgh as well. So there's that.
And of course the usual array of NL West cities. Personally, I have yet to make it to Denver or San Fran for a game (blasphemy, I know). A problem I hope to rectify in the 2012 season.
So pack your bags, buy those plane tickets, and I'll see you all on the road!