The Vancouver Canadians have released their 2017 Northwest League schedule. At first glance, I thought they reprinted the 2016 schedule by mistake.
For the second year in a row, Vancouver will host the Everett AquaSox for their home opener on June 20 and they will finish the year on the road again in Pasco, Washington against the Tri-City Dust Devils for the Labour Day weekend September 1-3. Personally, this drives me insane. If you begin a season on the road, which the C’s have for every year of its partnership with the Blue Jays save for 2011, you should get to end the year at home, which again they will not. The schedule makers did grasp this concept in 2014 and 2015 but not this year and not for next either. This wasn’t a huge deal in 2012 and 2013 because the C’s made the playoffs and won the whole ball of wax those years.
The 2017 regular season for the C’s will begin June 15 with a five-game set against the Eugene Emeralds in Oregon. In a strange quirk of the schedule, the Emeralds will be in Vancouver for the Canada Day weekend for another five-game series June 29-July 3 so the C’s will be done with the Cubs affiliate before the fireworks go off July 4, barring a meeting in the league final.
The last five home games come against the Boise Hawks August 26-30 with a Wednesday finale of 1:05 pm. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate this time around but there is a day off for the C’s Thursday so they do have a buffer to work with if Mother Nature rears her ugly head.
One more thing to note, the Northwest League final will be expanded to a best-of-five series from a best-of-three. With this being an odd-numbered year, the North Division will have home field advantage for Games 3-5. The Division finals will still be best-of-three affairs.
The Northwest League All-Star Game will be held August 1 at Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro, Oregon – the home of the Hillsboro Hops. A good choice of venue but it would be nice to see this event north of the border sooner rather than later.
The countdown to baseball in Vancouver again is just 285 days. June 20 cannot get here soon enough.