Atlantic League Announces 2015 Schedule
With the 2014 season fully in the rearview mirror, the Atlantic League announced on Tuesday its schedule for the 2015 season. In what will be the 18th season of play in the league’s history, the slate will remain 140 games long and feature the same eight teams that have called the league home over the past three seasons: Bridgeport, Camden, Lancaster, Long Island, Somerset, Southern Maryland, Sugar Land and York.
CLICK HERE to view the entire Atlantic League schedule for 2015
CLICK HERE to view the Ducks schedule for 2015
The 2015 slate features an unbalanced schedule that highlights inter-division matchups and regional/geographic rivalries. The unbalanced schedule helps to accommodate individual team date requests, cut travel time, reduce player fatigue and emphasize division rivalries. The Atlantic League prides itself on innovative thinking to improve its product and increase fan engagement and believes the unbalanced schedule will help accomplish those goals.
One thing that has returned to the Atlantic League is that the All-Star Game will separate the first and the second half of the season. Last season, the midsummer classic came a week into the second half of the season. Now, the July 8th affair will come after exactly 70 games on the schedule have transpired, providing a natural break to the season.
Now, let’s take a look at how the home games for the Flock break down during specific days of the week. The biggest positive is that Ducks fans can expect a great deal of autographs and laps around the bases this season. The team will play at home on 14 of the 22 Sundays during the course of the season, meaning 14 pre-game autograph sessions and 14 Kids Run the Bases opportunities. The team will also host 13 Saturday games, including a pair of day/night doubleheaders on May 9 and 23. Their third-highest home game total comes on Fridays, when the Ducks will host 11 games. The day with Long Island’s fewest home games is Thursday, with just seven games on the docket. Therefore, Bethpage Ballpark will be the place to be on weekends during the 2015 campaign.
Next, we break down the schedule by month, with a look at total games, home games and road contests:
When looking at the month-to-month breakdown, “Quack of the Bat” believes the biggest month for the Ducks will be July. The Ducks will be home more often than not during the month and have a four-day break for the All-Star Game early on. With a chance to get some extra rest and have more games in front of the home crowd, it will be important for the Flock to make noise and have a winning July. In addition, Long Island will play 16 games against Liberty Division opponents during the month, including 12 against the Somerset Patriots (nine at home). After the Pats won both the first and second half in the division last year, Long Island will want to have the upper hand against them to close out the first half and begin the second half. Head-to-head tiebreakers could become extremely important.
The start and end of the year will also be key for the Ducks. Long Island starts the season with seven games on the road, and it will be important to get off to a good start and grasp hold of the division’s top spot. In fact, the Ducks will play 10 of their first 13 games away from Bethpage Ballpark. Last season, the Ducks went 3-2 on a rain-shortened opening road trip. To close the year, the Ducks will again play 10 of 13 on the road, including each of the final seven. Of those 13, the last nine will be against playoff opponents from last year (three at home against Sugar Land, three at York and four at Lancaster). Long Island will want to be in a good position entering that stretch because neither York nor Lancaster are easy places to play. Overall, the Ducks will play on 46 of the final 47 days of the year, with their only day off coming on August 31.
In terms of travel and stretches, the Ducks don’t have too many laborious road trips. On two occasions, they will play both York and Lancaster on the same trip, and the two are separated by just 25 miles. In addition, their opening trip between York and Southern Maryland is a distance of just two hours drive time. The longest trip will be in August when the Flock plays three games in Bridgeport and four in Southern Maryland, a distance of over five hours by bus.
Long Island, like all Atlantic League teams, will take two trips to Sugar Land. The Ducks will play at home on the night of June 22 before flying to Texas and opening a six-game series on the night of June 23. The series will end in Sugar Land on a Sunday afternoon. The second trip to Texas will be a short four-game stop from August 5 to 8 before the Ducks return home for an eight-game homestand August 9 to 16.
Fans, we want to know what you think of the 2015 schedule! Give us your thoughts and let us know which games you are looking forward to most at Bethpage Ballpark. Also, be sure to give us a head’s up if you are planning to hit the road and cheer on the Flock during any of their 14 road trips during the season. The offseason may just be getting underway, but there are only 185 days remaining until the 2015 season begins and 192 days until Opening Night at the Duck Pond!
Posted on October 20, 2014, in Ducks News and tagged 2015, Atlantic League, Bethpage Ballpark, Liberty Division, Long Island Ducks, Schedule, Sunday Family Funday. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.