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2015 schedule restores White Sox-Cubs series to former glory

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Crosstown showdowns are back to six games, and all on weekends

The White Sox of September are making it rather easy to think about 2015, so let's congratulate Major League Baseball for its great timing in releasing next season's tentative schedule today.

Calendars don't always make great news items, but the 2015 schedule features one major change: The Sox-Cubs series is back to six games, and both three-game series will be played on weekends.

Even though I don't particularly care for the crosstown series, this is the right call. It never made sense to half-ass one of the rare anticipatable events of a 162-game regular season with four weekday games over a five-day stretch. Judging from the number of empty seats in both parks, fans followed the league's lead in diminishing its importance. The Sox and Cubs haven't helped much with ugly seasons, but standalone weekend series creates a setting for a marquee matchup, even if the teams' performances don't comply.

And so the Sox and Cubs will play three at Wrigley on July 10-12 to close out the first half, followed by three a month later at U.S. Cellular Field, Aug. 14-16.

Other highlights from the schedule

*In other good news for attendance, the season will start a week later than it did this season -- April 6 in Kansas City. The White Sox then open at home against Minnesota on April 10.

*The Sox play the NL Central in interleague, so fans have potential road trips abound with series in Milwaukee (May 11-13), Pittsburgh (June 15-16) and St. Louis (June 30-July 1).

*If you think the White Sox will contend in 2015, then you may notice the season ends with a six-game homestand against the Royals and Tigers.

*Because the season starts later, it also ends later (Oct. 4).