The White Sox have struggled to a 9-23 record over their past 32 games, so it's clearly time to start thinking about next year. Major League Baseball on Monday released its 2015 schedule, allowing fans of losing clubs like the Sox to put aside the current misery and take a look toward what will hopefully be brighter days ahead.
The first question I always ask myself when the schedule comes out: When is the Sox home opener? The answer is Friday, April 10. For the second straight year, the Sox will host the Minnesota Twins in their first home game. But, it won't be the first game of the year this time. The South Siders will start the season on the road Monday, April 6, in Kansas City against the Royals.
The other thing I always look for are possible road trips to take with the team. Those opportunities will be aplenty in 2015, as the Sox take on NL Central opponents in interleague play next season. They'll be at Milwaukee (May 11-13), Pittsburgh (June 15-16) and St. Louis (June 30-July 1).
I'll probably look into making the trip down to St. Louis. It's a nice ballpark. The Cardinals are always a good team, and it's refreshing to be in a city where baseball in the most important sport.
Naturally, the Chicago media is always quick to mention the crosstown series dates when the schedule comes out. For the record, the Sox will play the Cubs six times next season instead of four, and the series is moving back to weekend dates. The two teams will play at Wrigley Field from July 10-12. The series at U.S. Cellular Field will be from Aug. 14-16.
It's no secret I hate the crosstown series. I haven't attended one of those games since 2008. It's overpriced. It's not fun to go. There are too many drunk people. There are too many fights. The rivalry brings out the worst in both fan bases. If the crosstown series were outlawed, I wouldn't shed one tear. I'll be selling my tickets to those games.