Ten years after the Red Sox won the World Series that ended their 86-year-long famine, the architect of that team, Theo Epstein, will have the perfect excuse to return.
The Chicago Cubs, the team that Epstein now runs as president of baseball operations, are scheduled to visit Fenway Park for a three-game series June 30-July 2 in 2014, according to an industry source with access to the preliminary major league baseball schedule.
The schedule is subject to the approval of all 30 teams, as well as the players’ union, so some changes almost certainly will be made, but they are expected to be minor.
According to the schedule now being reviewed, the Sox will open the 2014 season on the road in Baltimore March 31, April 1 and 2. They then will come home for what will be a historic opener of sorts: They will be opening April 4 against an interleague opponent, the Milwaukee Brewers, although the Brewers were an American League franchise through the 1997 season, when they were moved to the National League.
This will be the first time the Brewers have played in Boston’s home opener since they played the first game of the 1975 season at Fenway, Luis Tiant throwing a complete-game 5-2 victory in which Carl Yastrzemski was credited with a steal of home on a first-inning double steal with Tony Conigliaro.
The Texas Rangers will follow Milwaukee for a three-game series.
The Patriots Day opponent next season is scheduled to be the Orioles, who will be in town over the weekend for a four-game series April 18-21.
The Sox will finish the regular season at home with a three-game series Sept. 26-28 against the Yankees, preceded by three games at home against the Tampa Bay Rays Sept. 23-25.
The Yankees, who did not visit Boston for the first time this season until after the All-Star break, will make an April visit next season, a three-game set April 22-24. They will be in Boston for another three games Aug. 1-3.
The Sox will be playing NL Central opponents in interleague play, in addition to a home-and-home series against the Braves: two games in Atlanta May 26-27 followed by two games in Fenway May 28-29.
The Reds come to Fenway Park for two games May 6 and 7. The Sox play the Cardinals in St. Louis Aug. 5-7, the Reds in Cincinnati Aug. 12-13, and the Pirates in Pittsburgh Sept. 16-18.