2-12-2015 1-02-42 PM

The Tampa Bay Rays’ 81-game road schedule will require the team to travel 35,824 miles during the 2015 season, the 6th-most in Major League Baseball and by far the most in the AL East, according to BaseballSavant.com.

Interestingly, that travel distance is up from 33,856 miles traveled during the 2014 season even though interleague trips to Chicago, St. Louis, and Cincinnati will be replaced with trips to Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.

The most brutal part of the schedule appears to be a 3-city road trip that starts in Baltimore, goes to Los Angeles to play the Angels, and then goes to Seattle before coming home.

Here is how the Rays compare to the rest of the AL East. The biggest discrepancy comes from the Baltimore Orioles who will travel 30.5% fewer miles in 2015 than the Rays.

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Of course, the problem here is that the other four teams are clustered in the northeast and 75% of their road trips are short flights while every divisional road trip for the Rays is a long flight up the east coast.

This is not a new argument, but it would make far more sense to have the Rays in a division along with the Miami Marlins, Atlanta Braves, Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers. But MLB is too tied to tradition to do anything logical and that means the Braves stay in the NL East.

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6 Comments

  1. Woodrow744 says:

    Damn bus trips.

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  2. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Could you imagine the Rays' success had that been their division over the past 6 years! There may have been several 105 win seasons.

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  3. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Now the knuckleheads will pop-on and say something to the effect of, "It'd be way less traveling within the division if they were in Montreal...nyuk, nyuk!"

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  4. Gus says:

    Despite the increased degree of difficulty, I prefer the Rays being in the AL East and the David v. Goliath dynamic. To be the best, beat the best.

    More time in the air, less time to get in trouble on the ground. No real competitive disadvantage I don't think (unless Maddon makes you take the 4 hour train to Boston from NYC and it breaks down along the way).

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    • Geoff Peterson says:

      I understand your premise but sometimes the east spends so much time beating up on each other during the regular season that they do poorly in the playoffs against a team that might have 2 solid pitchers and a decent lineup. To win the AL East, your roster needs to be different than in most divisions. You need to go 4 deep in quality starters or have a murderer's row of a lineup, or both. Then you're not set up to play an extended series with multiple days off against a team that can throw those 2 quality pitchers at you 4 or 5 out of 7 games. A balanced schedule is the only thing that will cure this

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  5. Dave L says:

    The best change for the Rays would be to get out of the AL altogether.

    We would be much better off with our relatively youthful pitchers taking a few hacks than to try to compete in the DH sweepstakes. The DH is a great position to hide an aging superstar who is losing his ability with the glove.

    Thats a situation we could only encounter with a once in a generation Longo possibly for a few brief years.

    With us perpetually fishing with a $3 to $6M bankroll which buys you only a lottery ticket which never seems to pay off. I could recite the failed names but it would be too painful.

    NL East or even Central would be a healthier spot for us to compete with a smaller payroll

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