True fans walk away from their other obligations to spend more time watching the Brewers. - Jared Wickerham
Get out your calendars, cross everything else off, and start writing in Brewer games.
Last year people seemed to find this post useful, so this year I'll be intellectually lazy and re-post the introduction:
There is a level to which you can be a half-hearted but well-informed fan of most sports. Football, to make the most extreme example, plays one game a week. You can plan an awful lot of life events but still have time for 3 1/2 hours on Saturday/Sunday and the occasional check in during the week.
Baseball, for better or worse, isn't like that. The regular season opens on
April 6April 1 and the Brewers play a game on 162 of the 181182 days that follow, plus hopefully a long stretch of games in October. During the season, my friends are divided into two groups: people who also like baseball and will understand that I don't have time for much else, and people who don't. I hang out with the former a lot, and do things like go to Timber Rattlers games on Brewer off days. I don't talk to the latter much between March and October. I think Nicole properly demonstrated how to handle people who can't understand your level of commitment.
With that said, not everyone can be handled that way. It's understandable, if not acceptable, for you to need to plan the occasional night away for a date night, a night where you drink to excess, a night where you watch all your recorded TV off the DVR, or a date night where you drink to excess while watching all your recorded TV off the DVR (it's like a married person's Mardi Gras).
If you haven't already looked at the schedule and figured it out for yourself, let me tell you now: Thursday is your night.
That was true a year ago, but this season things are a little more complicated. Ten of the Brewers' 22 off days (counting the All Star break) in 2013 fall on Thursdays, seven more Thursdays have an afternoon game, and one has a late night game. To put it simply, if you were out of the house from roughly 6-9 pm every Thursday from April-September, you'd probably miss eight games.
However, your calendar for the next six months is completely free on Sunday night. The Brewers have 26 Sunday matinees scheduled this season after being bypassed by ESPN, so your family should get used to seeing you then.
If you want more details, a full schedule breakdown is below. Here's a quick guide to game classifications:
- Day games are any game that starts before 5 pm Central time, ranging all the way from the 10:05 am start in Washington on July 4 to the Saturday, April 13 3:15 pm start against the Cardinals.
- Evening games start between 5 and 8 pm. There's a weird 5:05 pm start in Washington on July 3, but almost all of the rest of these are 6:05-7:10 starts.
- Late night games start after 8 pm and you probably don't want to talk to me the following morning. The worst series of the season is August 5-7 in San Francisco, where the Brewers play at 9:15 pm on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Monday: Slightly more missable.
The Brewers had five Monday off days a year ago. Three of the Monday day games are covered by Opening Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day, which are either holidays or days you should treat as holidays.
Tuesday: Cancel other plans.
As was the case a year ago and is probably the case most years, Tuesday night is Brewer Night. From April 2-September 24 the only night without a Brewer game is July 16, when we'll hopefully be watching a bunch of Brewers in the All Star Game.
Wednesday: Not as many day games.
The Brewers played 13 Wednesday day games a year ago, so this is a pretty significant shift. The only off day on Wednesday again this season is part of the All Star break.
Thursday: Still the most missable day, but not by as much.
A year ago the Brewers only played four Thursday evening games. Their schedule evens out a bit this season but Thursday still has the most off days (ten) and weekday day games (seven). The 2013 season opens with off days on five of the first eight Thursdays.
Friday: Sit back down and watch more baseball.
Starting on April 5 there will be Brewer games on 26 consecutive Fridays, and all but one of them (on September 6 at Wrigley) will be played at night. If you're out on Fridays, you can just go ahead and cross 16% of the season off the calendar.
Saturday: The mixed bag.
There's always a game on Saturday, but the start times are all over the place. September games against the Cubs and Reds start at 12:05, while a July start against the Diamondbacks won't be underway until 9:10.
Sunday: Evenings free.
The Brewers have a handful of 3:10 pm Sunday starts on or near the West Coast, but if you plan something for the evening on a Sunday you should almost always be free and clear.