The Red Sox 2013 schedule is out.
The World Champion Red Sox will open up April 1 against the Yankees. April Fool's. The fifth-place Red Sox will be opening up against the Yankees next year - possibly even on March 31.
Opening Day at Fenway will be against the defending A.L. East champion Orioles on April 8 -- it may be the only legitimate sellout of the season as the Red Sox perpetuate their faux streak in front of a half-empty Fenway Park starting on April 10.
The season will come its merciful close on Sept 29 at Baltimore - fittingly two years to the day and place where the Great Fall of Red Sox Nation hit hyperspace.
Here are some key dates to mark on your 2013 schedule - with a sneak peek ahead at what already happened. Plenty of good seats are still available:
April 1 at New York - Cliff Lee gets the nod for the Red Sox on opening day against C.C. Sabathia. And you thought I was kidding about April Fool's Day.
April 5 at Toronto: Red Sox cross into Canada. State Department operative from Boston cancels John Lackey's passport.
April 8 Baltimore - Opening Day. John Wasdin throws out the first pitch as Red Sox sell Lego Bricks to mark Fenway Park's 101st Anniversary.
April 12 Tampa Bay: The Rays begin a four-game visit to Fenway Park as Red Sox fans spend two hours each night serenading Joe Maddon and begging him to jump ship after 2015.
April 22 Oakland: John Henry, Bill James and Carmine fail in their attempt to acquire Billy Beane for Ben Cherington and 50,000 $9 beers to be named later.
April 27 Houston: After two nights of less than 10,000 fans in the stands at Fenway Park - the Red Sox and Astros convince Roger Clemens to start the game for Houston. He throws six shutout innings. Clemens retires the next day to become the Yankees strength and conditioning coach.
May 3 at Texas: Mike Napoli hits four home runs.
May 4 at Texas: Mike Napoli hits four home runs.
May 5 at Texas: Mike Napoli hits four home runs.
May 14 at Tampa Bay: Upset and disappointed Red Sox fans decide to stay home. Paid attendance: 12.
May 20 at Chicago White Sox: Brent Lillibridge throws out ceremonial first pitch on "Kevin Youkilis Day."
May 29 at Philadelphia: Even Santa Claus boos when Lee throws a complete-game shutout as the Red Sox win 5-0.
May 31 at N.Y. Yankees: Red Sox arrive in New York at 5 a.m. following a 13-inning loss in Philadelphia. They call a team meeting, visit the MLB Fan Cave and go out and lose 10-3. "Anything to re-capture the 2012 magic," says one unnamed player in a text message to reporters.
June 1 at N.Y. Yankees: More than 55,000 pack Yankee Stadium on "I Had A One-Night Stand With Derek Jeter Night."
June 4 Texas: Adrian Beltre hits four home runs.
June 5 Texas: Adrian Beltre hits four home runs.
June 6 Texas: Adrian Beltre hits four home runs.
June 7 L.A. Angels: 2012 AL MVP Mike Trout becomes the first player to hit a ball all the way to Copley Square from Fenway Park on one bounce.
June 12 at Tampa Bay: Red Sox close out a three-game visit to the Trop as 5,873 turn out for a 8-2 victory on "We Acquitted Casey Anthony Bobblehead Night."
June 21 at Detroit: Clint Eastwood walks on field at Comerica Park and demands that Dustin Pedroia "get off my lawn."
June 27 Toronto: Lackey returns to Boston after being deported from Canada for "not drinking enough Labatts."
July 2 San Diego: Casey Kelly throws a no-hitter against the Red Sox on "Burn Theo In Effigy Night."
July 7 at L.A. Angels: Jacoby Ellsbury hits a home run, has three RBI and two steals. For whom remains to be seen.
July 9 at Seattle: Mariners take three out of four thanks to Felix Hernandez complete-game shutout. It's the final game for King Felix in Seattle before he's traded to Yankees.
July 14 at Oakland: A's move a game ahead of the Red Sox for the second wildcard.
July 21 N.Y. Yankees: In his second start for the Yankees, the Red Sox jump on Hernandez for three runs in the first inning en route to a 6-2 victory. Brian Cashman is fired by George Steinbrenner's ghost.
July 25 Tampa Bay: Four more games against the Rays. Does it ever end?
Aug. 3 Arizona: The game is cancelled when no one from the Diamondbacks is allowed inside Fenway Park due to lack of name recognition.
Aug. 7 at Houston: Thanks to the arrival of the Astros, the Red Sox will never again be the worst team in the American League.
Aug. 15 at Toronto: A 10-game Houston-Kansas City-Toronto road-trip concludes with a 7-3 record and the Red Sox in contention for the second, third and fourth-wildcard.
Aug. 18 N.Y. Yankees: Andy Pettitte outduels Tim Wakefield on "Old-Timer's Day."
Aug. 19 at San Francisco: Red Sox-Giants celebrate 1912 World Series by playing game on grainy, black-and-white film as Doris Kearns Goodwin narrates and Ken Burns directs.
Aug. 23 at L.A. Dodgers: The Dodgers celebrate first anniversary year with Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez by having each fan in attendance and watching at home flush a $20 bill down the toilet.
Aug. 24 at L.A. Dodgers: Beckett leaves the game with a strained glute after giving up five runs in three innings before being placed on the DL.
Aug. 25 at L.A. Dodgers: Gonzalez receives the "J.D. Drew Courage Award" before ending the game with a bases-loaded strikeout. The Dodgers then go 7-20 in their next 27 games. Earlier in the day, Beckett shoots a 71 at Riviera Country Club.
Aug. 29 Baltimore: The Red Sox lock Robert Andino in his hotel room.
Sept. 2 Detroit: Prince Fielder eats.
Sept. 3 Detroit: And eats.
Sept. 4 Detroit: And eats some more - before hitting his 41st home run of the season.
Sept. 8 at N.Y. Yankees: Red Sox take two out of three in New York thanks to two home runs by Will Middlebrooks. Reach high-mark for the season at 10 games over. 500.
Sept. 12 at Tampa Bay: No one shows up, but the Rays still beat Boston 5-4 in 11 innings as Andrew Bailey blows his first save of the season.
Sept. 15 N.Y. Yankees: Alex Rodriguez hits his 70th home run of the season in a 7-3 victory, gives game-ball to Yankees strength and conditioning coach.
Sept. 19 Baltimore: Dan Duquette does a Jonathan Papelbon "Riverdance" at home plate after Orioles close out season with 8-1 record at Fenway Park.
Sept. 22 Toronto: Red Sox win 81st game of season and 67th against the Blue Jays.
Sept. 25 at Colorado: Red Sox split doublheader in Denver following snow-out the night before.
Sept. 28 at Baltimore: Orioles continue their "Fan Appreciation" week with "Chicken and Beer Night."
Sept. 29 at Baltimore: At 12:03 a.m., Orioles hold ceremony honroing 2011 Red Sox. Later that night, the Red Sox close out the 2013 season with a 6-5 victory, knocking the Orioles out of the playoffs. Manager John Farrell calls 84-78 finish "a good first step."
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