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The original 2022 schedule had the White Sox playing a pair of AL Central opponents over the first week of the season, so they come away from The Great Schedule Reshuffling far more fortunate than others, even if it creates a few more slogs along the way.
Their season-opening series against Minnesota is pushed back to after what used to be the final series of the season, so instead of ending the regular season with three games in San Diego on Sunday, Oct. 2, they’ll instead close it out with three at home versus the Twins, Monday through Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the second series of the season — a three-game series in Kansas City that included the Royals’ home opener — will be made up over the course of the season with two doubleheaders and a previously shared off day.
That makes a few tough stretches even more punishing.
May 17: A doubleheader creates a stretch of 18 games over 17 days, including three games in Boston and six games against the Yankees.
Aug. 10 and Aug. 22: The Sox will now have to play 21 games over 20 days thanks to a twin bill at Kauffman on the second day of that stretch, with a makeup game scheduled two weeks in on a previous idle Monday in between road series at Cleveland and Baltimore.
Meanwhile, by shoving the season-opening series against Minnesota to the end of the year, the White Sox and Twins will meet nine times over the course of the final month. They’ll also have two series with Detroit and a series against Cleveland, so should there be a pennant race this time, nobody will be able to rest easy.
The opening stretch will also test their pitching depth in a way the original schedule didn’t, as the Sox will start the season with 16 games over 17 days after a 12:10 p.m. start in Detroit on Friday, April 8.
If that sounds grueling, it could be more awkward. The Royals and Guardians will play each other six straight games to end the season, and it’s even weirder for teams playing outside their division, or league.
One would think the league would allow more generous roster capacities early and late in order to do what it can to avoid injuries, but there’s been no movement on that front yet.
At least Major League Baseball granted everybody a break in another aspect. You’ll be happy to know that the awful, generic, clinical names of the realigned minor leagues have restored their historic monikers.
Per Baseball America (White Sox affiliate leagues bolded):
*Triple-A East becomes the International League
*Triple-A West becomes the Pacific Coast League
*Double-A Central becomes the Texas League
*Double-A South becomes the Southern League
*Double-A East becomes the Eastern League
*High-A Central becomes the Midwest League
*High-A East becomes the South Atlantic League
*High-A West becomes the Northwest League
*Low-A West becomes the California League
*Low-A East becomes the Carolina League
*Low-A Southeast becomes the Florida State League
Just like the schedule above, White Sox fans are largely spared from anything historically strange. Winston-Salem is now in the Sally League and Kannapolis in the Carolina League when it used to be the other way around, but those should be relatively easy habits to form.