Major League Baseball's 2012 regular season will kick off 203 days from now when the newly renamed Miami Marlins open their new ballpark against the St. Louis Cardinals. Granted, we imagine that fans of only one of our city's baseball teams are actively counting down the days until next season begins, but no matter! Now that the league has released its preliminary schedule for next season, Mets and Yankees supporters alike can start planning their 2012 baseball road trips. Some schedule highlights:
• The Yankees open their season on Friday, April 6, at Tampa Bay. Their home opener comes a week later, against the Angels on April 13.
• The Mets, meanwhile, begin their 2012 campaign on Thursday, April 5, against the Braves at Citi Field.
• Next year's Subway Series are scheduled for June 8–10 (at Yankee Stadium), and June 22–24 (at Citi Field).
• The Yankees play just three games against Boston before the Fourth of July, and don't host the Red Sox until July 27.
• The Mets make their first visit to the Marlins' new stadium the weekend of May 11–13. (The Yankees, by the way, will play exhibition games against the Marlins in their new park on April 1 and 2.)
• In Interleague action, the Yankees will mostly play teams in the N.L. East. Besides their six games against the Mets, they'll visit Washington (road trip alert!), and play the Braves both in New York and in Atlanta. They'll also host Cincinnati.
• The Mets, meanwhile, will only face teams from the A.L. East during Interleague Play. In addition to their games against the Yankees, the Mets will visit Toronto and Tampa Bay, and will host Baltimore. (They won't play the Red Sox.)
• The Mets finish the regular season on the road against the Marlins from October 1–3. The Yankees wrap up their schedule those same days, at home against Boston.
• The Yankees, by the way, still won't have hosted the Dodgers for a regular-season series, while the Mets still won't have hosted the White Sox.