Highlights of Rangers' 2012 schedule

Major League Baseball released the entire 2012 schedule this morning, giving us a chance to see who the Rangers face next season. Some highlights and analysis:

* The Rangers open the season with the Chicago White Sox at home on April 6. That's the fourth straight season the Rangers have opened at home. That opening homestand features three with Chicago and four with Seattle.

* Interleague play is against the NL West in 2012, which means the Arizona Diamondbacks (June 12-14), Colorado Rockies (June 22-24) and Houston Astros (June 15-17) come to Arlington. This is the first time the Rockies have been to Texas since 2001. Texas travels to San Francisco to face the Giants (June 8-10) and in San Diego (June 18-20).

* The Yankees come to Arlington April 23-25 (and the club has an off day after that series) and the Rangers go to Yankee Stadium for four games Aug. 13-16.

* Boston will play at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington July 23-25 and the Rangers head to Fenway Park for two games on April 17 and 18 and three games Aug. 6-8.

* The club has two 10-game homestands, one in late June (Colorado, Detroit, Oakland) and late July (Baltimore, Minnesota, Tampa Bay).

* They have two 10-game road trips, one in early May (Toronto, Cleveland, Baltimore) and another in early September (Cleveland, Kansas City, Tampa Bay).

* Some of the longer plane flights include: Houston to Seattle in an odd 6-game road trip (May 18-23), Kansas City to Tampa Bay in September and Minnesota to Boston to Detroit in that first road trip in April.

* The club finishes the season with 19 games against AL West opponents with 10 of those at home (3 vs. Seattle and LAA and 4 vs. Oakland). The final three games are on the road (just like 2011), but this time in Oakland and seven of the last 10 are in Arlington.

* Texas has to play a 20-game stretch twice (that's the most allowed by the collective bargaining agreement). That happens in May and August, with the majority of the games -- 13 of the 20 -- at home.

* What's the toughest part? Probably the end of April with road games with Boston and Detroit and home games with New York and Tampa Bay (and then a road trip to Toronto, Cleveland and Baltimore).