Club requests to open at home in '10

Rays request to open at home next year

BOSTON -- Many Rays fans were disappointed that the club did not open the season at Tropicana Field as the reigning American League champions, but team president Matt Silverman explained Tuesday how the schedule is determined and what Tampa Bay had requested in regard to this year's schedule and for the future.

"The scheduling is done through Major League Baseball and they're juggling 30 teams' needs and requirements, and a computer spits out a schedule based on teams' preferences," Silverman said.

The next season's schedule comes out well before the postseason.

"When we got the schedule last year, it was in September," Silverman said. "We requested to start at home this year, and it didn't happen. Last year, we requested to open on the road, and it did. So you don't know. They're juggling 30 different teams and their priorities."

Requests by the teams must be made to the league office prior to the start of the season. Silverman said the Rays have requested to open at home in 2010.

"We used to want to open on the road to give ourselves some separation between Spring Training at Al Lang [Field] and the start of the regular season," Silverman said. "Now that we're in Port Charlotte, [Fla., for Spring Training], it would be great to have that homecoming a couple of days later and start the season at home without the travel in between."

The last time the Rays opened at home was in 2005, when they lost, 5-2, to the Blue Jays.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.