So I was browsing through the Kansas City Royals schedule on Tuesday evening and realized the squad has just five games on weekdays during the season. I haven't looked at recent seasons to compare, but that seems really light compared to the past.
I'm always up for taking a day off work and going to a Royals game at the K (it's an all-day event as I live three hours from Kansas City), but the options are limited. There is the home opener on April 13th against the Cleveland Indians, but usually I will wait and go the first Saturday. Last year the Royals opened up at home against the Los Angeles Angels and the Saturday game in that series feature the Royals' minor leaguers in the Futures Game. In other words, it was a no brainer.
Moving forward to May 17th, Kansas City has a home game against the Baltimore Orioles on a Thursday afternoon. However this is also a game I cross off each year, as it's the annual School Day at The K. Now that is a great reward for the children as the school year winds down and I certainly am all for kids being exposed to baseball. As we all know baseball is rapidly losing interest at the youngest levels, so anything they can do to raise interest is a positive. However being a 28-year old man without any children, this baseball fanatic would rather avoid a stadium half full of energetic kids in matching neon colored shirts.
This brings us to June 27th. A Wednesday 1:10 pm start against the Tampa Bay Rays. Finally a game I may have to pencil in on my mental calender. Featuring a young, and talented squad, the Rays are a good matchup on this day for a Royals fan wanting to skip out early at work and head over to the ballpark for a hot dog and some baseball (and maybe a beverage or two as well).
After the All-Star break the Royals are at home for a 10-game home stand facing the Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, and Minnesota Twins. I remember two or three years ago I went a midweek afternoon game at the K when the Royals took on the Mariners, and again on July 19th the Royals face the Mariners in a Thursday afternoon tilt. Unlike that game which provided interest in aging veterans Mike Sweeney and Ken Griffey Jr, this Mariners team doesn't come at you on paper as a team you really must see. Look for a likely sparse crowd.
As the dog days of August set in, the month finds no home afternoon games during mid week. Is it because of the heat? Who knows. Your guess is as good as mine.
On Labor Day (September 3rd), the Royals begin a four-game series with the Texas Rangers at home. There is an afternoon game that day, which could mean a decent crowd as most people will be off work. However I know a lot of people want to spend time with friends and family grilling out. That is hit or miss as you really aren't skipping work to attend.
So in closing, it appears the best day to skip out on work and head to The K will be June 27th when the Royals take on the Rays. Of course the home opener will be sold out and everyone will be excited, but beyond that June 27th is the day. I'll probably be there and I invite you to go as well. Afterall, not too many options coming up in 2012 if you want to take time off work and enjoy some day baseball during the week.