Reviewing the notable quirks in the Braves' 2014 schedule
JAN 21, 2014 2:04p ET
The Braves launch full-squad workouts for spring training four weeks from today (Feb. 18 at the Walt Disney World complex in Kissimmee, Fla.).
As an appetizer to that, here's a look at 11 notable quirks from the team's 2014 schedule, which in hindsight, has less volatility than last year's slate of time-zone-extending road trips and back-loaded homestands:
1. The Braves open the season with a three-game road set against the Brewers (March 31-April 2) -- Atlanta's only trip to Milwaukee all season.
It's very similar to last April when the Cubs' only visit to Atlanta occurred on opening weekend.
And since the Brewers play at the indoor/outdoor-friendly Miller Park, there's zero chance of a weather postponement ... or the necessity for make-up games at a later date.
2. It's eminently plausible the Braves draw five cumulative outings with the Nationals' Big Three pitchers (Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann) in the first six meetings between Atlanta and Washington (April 4-6, 11-13).
On the flip side, the Nationals hitters may encounter Julio Teheran, Mike Minor and Kris Medlen five times in that April span.
3. The Braves play every team from the National League East in April ... but see only the Marlins -- twice -- in May.
4. The Braves don't have an off day between their home opener (April 8 vs. the Mets) and Game No. 2 of that three-game set with New York.
Here's why: Atlanta hasn't had a home opener postponed, due to inclement weather, since 1978.
5. With the notable exception of Memorial Day and Labor Day (1:10 p.m. start times), every midweek matinee at Turner Field has a start time of 12:10 p.m.
On the surface, that seems a little early for players to have their bodies ready for high-intensity physical activity.
As a minor consequence, Braves media members will also get to experience the joys of combatting Atlanta traffic during the peak times of "rush hour" -- after filing their stories and/or videos from the ballpark.
7. The Braves have at least one 10-game homestand for July, August and September. By comparison, the Nationals have just one 10-game homestand during that span (Aug. 15-24 -- Pirates, Diamondbacks, Giants).
8. The Braves don't have any West Coast trips after Aug. 6 ... which is odd since the NL East, for the most part, takes on the American League West in Interleague play this season.
9. For May 26-29, all 30 MLB teams will partake in an extended series with an Interlague rival, split between two cities. The Braves' partner in this experiment (second straight year) will be the Red Sox -- starting in Atlanta (May 26-27) and ending in Boston (May 28-29).
10. The Braves will have at least six games in every homestand, minus a two-game set with the Mariners (June 3-4).
For what it's worth, in the 17-year run of Interleague play, Seattle has played only three games at Turner Field (June 20-22, 2008).
And last but not least ...
11. The Pirates, the reigning NL Central champions, don't visit Turner Field until the final week of the regular season (Sept. 22-25).