NEW YORK -- If the Mets want to reestablish themselves as playoff contenders in 2014, they will need to do much of their heavy lifting far from home.
Four West Coast trips highlight the Mets' 2014 schedule, which Major League Baseball unveiled Tuesday, including visits to Seattle and Oakland -- cities the team has not seen since 2005. The Mets will also play in Anaheim for the first time since Willie Randolph's late-night dismissal in 2008, while visiting each National League West city once.
Because their West Coast visits are broken up into four separate trips, plus a fifth long flight to Colorado in May, the Mets will log thousands more miles than they do in a typical season.
Then again, the Mets will probably welcome that sort of travel if it means they can avoid the type of weather issues they endured early this season, including three postponements of April games due to wintry conditions in Minneapolis and Denver. New York only has one road trip over the season's first four weeks, winding through the warm-weather climates of Atlanta (April 8-10), Anaheim (April 11-13) and Phoenix (April 14-16).
The Mets open their slate at home against the Nationals on March 31, and play 16 of their 25 April games at home.
Just as they did this year, the Mets will play a four-game home-and-home series with the Yankees in May, with contests at Yankee Stadium on May 12-13 and Citi Field on May 14-15.
Shortly thereafter, the schedule grows hectic. From late May through early July, the Mets will play 24 of their 32 games on the road, including series in Philadelphia (May 29-June 1), Chicago (June 3-5), San Francisco (June 6-8), St. Louis (June 16-18), Miami (June 19-22), Pittsburgh (June 26-29) and Atlanta (June 30-July 2).
Following the All-Star Game in Minneapolis on July 15, the Mets will open the second half of their season with a 10-game swing through San Diego, Seattle and Milwaukee. Their final West Coast jaunt will take them through Oakland (Aug. 19-20) and Los Angeles (Aug. 22-24).
Including their trips to Anaheim, Seattle, Oakland and the Bronx, the Mets will play a total of eight Interleague series, also hosting the Yankees, A's (June 24-25), Rangers (July 4-6) and Astros (Sept. 26-28). Starting this season with Houston's move to the American League, there is at least one Interleague series always going on in the Major Leagues. Teams rotate divisions on a yearly basis, with the NL East drawing the AL West in 2014.