Snow job

In the aftermath of the past weekend’s winter blunderland in Cleveland, we have two questions: Was this an unavoidable case of bad luck with the forces of nature? Or was it horrible scheduling?

No doubt, it was a horribly unfortunate case of lake-effect snow that dumped on Cleveland for four days. Still, the schedule makers were asking for this, and not just because they scheduled a series in Cleveland in early April. Hey, somebody’s got to play there this time of year, and chances are as good that it’ll be cold and miserable as they are for 70-degree sunshine.

The big gaffe here is that this was the Mariners’ only scheduled trip to Cleveland this season. Blame baseball’s unbalanced schedule for that, but also blame whoever decided to send the Mariners there on the first weekend of April. With no return trip this season (and therefore no decent chance to schedule a double-header or two), this series essentially became the equivalent of a tightrope walker without a net.

The Mariners, already the most well-traveled team in baseball, now must squeeze four games at Cleveland into the off days on the schedule. There are only three decent opportunities to make it work: Thursday, May 21 (after a Wednesday afternoon home game against San Diego and before a Friday night game at Tampa Bay); Monday, June 11 (after a Sunday afternoon game at San Diego and before a Tuesday night game at the Chicago Cubs); and Thursday, Aug. 30 (after a Wednesday afternoon game against the L.A. Angels and before a Friday night game at Toronto).

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