I was never a Mariners fan who despised the former schedule, but I have to say that I like this new one better. I enjoyed watching the Mariners play AL West teams fewer times and liked that they played every MLB team through the course of the season. I certainly do not know the full implications of the schedule shift on teams and players and hope to hear what it was like for them.
The American League West
Even though the Mariners play the teams in their division about five or six times fewer than last year, 13 games with each one of them is plenty, in my opinion. (No offense intended to the other AL West teams.) The competition with the division teams feels more interesting compared to slugging through two additional series with each one. Are the players equally pleased?
The American League Central and East
The Mariners had two series with these 10 teams, one home and one away. It is interesting to gain insight into the strengths of each ball club and the challenges that they face. It is interesting that some teams begin on a tear and then are overtaken by a division rival while others begin slowly and creep up in the standings.
The National League
Rather than seeing National League teams every other year or so, watching the Mariners play against every team enabled me to have a better picture of MLB. Both leagues have highly competitive clubs. I am continually fascinated by the unanticipated outcomes of games played, looking at statistics beforehand.
I remember the Dodgers coming to T-Mobile Park in the past. What I do not remember is how many Dodger fans came too. Ideally, the Mariners would reciprocate this level of attendance when the Mariners next play in Los Angeles.
Major League Baseball
The shift from additional games played against one’s own division to games against the other league’s teams should yield playoff teams who are the best in baseball. This, I believe, was one of the concerns that led to the new schedule: perhaps the six best teams from each league were not entering the postseason. It makes sense that playing a range of teams from both leagues would allow the rankings to better represent the top teams for the postseason.
Another advantage to the new schedule that was mentioned was that fans would be able to see some of the star players from the other teams. This was true to some extent. Unfortunately, the Mariners missed out on Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani when the team just came to Seattle, although these players would have come anyway since they are in the Mariners’ division. I am enjoying seeing several of the Dodgers players that have not been in Seattle very often.