Back in the early days, Major League Baseball doubleheaders were routine. Today, they are practically non-existent. With the baseball season already having been forced to push back the start of its season due to the coronavirus (COVED-19) outbreak, MLB might be forced to think creatively to get in as many games if the season does get underway later this year. Could MLB bring back the doubleheader to save its season?
Major League Baseball doubleheaders are now obsolete
Today the twinbill only exists out of necessity. There are no longer any doubleheaders scheduled. The reason for that is simple, it comes down to greed. Why would MLB owners offer two games for the price of one?
Back in 2011, the question of having doubleheaders was tossed around in the Colorado Rockies clubhouse before an unscheduled twinbill against the New York Mets was about to take place. The question came up: Would you play a scheduled doubleheader on Sunday in exchange for a day off Monday? Troy Tulowitzki, then an All-Star shortstop for the Rockies, thought it was a great idea.
“I like playing the game, and I like my days off so I’d get two games and get my day [off]. It’s the best of both worlds. I think the fans would enjoy it as well. Having a Sunday when they maybe don’t have to go to both games, but if they do, they have that choice. It’d be pretty cool.”
Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black says MLB could get creative
Major League Baseball isn’t expected to begin its season until May at the earliest. The season was originally scheduled to start at the end of March, but like most events, it’s been pushed back indefinitely.
Bud Black, manager of the Colorado Rockies, said the league might look into playing doubleheaders, possibly two seven-inning games, in order to make up some extra games.
“I think all of us want to try to play as many games as possible to keep the integrity of winning a championship or getting into the playoffs,” Black said on MLB Network Radio. “I’m not sure what the right number would be and I’m not so sure we’d have to split them…but I’ve even heard there might be talk of being creative and making [doubleheaders] two sevens.”
Former Cubs manager Joe Maddon told the Chicago Tribune in 2018 that traditional doubleheaders are easier on the players because they don’t have to be at the stadium all day. Seven-inning games would shorten that time even further, making the idea one that the players union could favor.
The start of the MLB season still up in the air
On Sunday, Toronto Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro acknowledged that many players don’t even have any access to throwing or hitting as they are staying confined to their house.
Shapiro said players will need a second spring training session before Major League Baseball can begin.
“Knowing that so many players are not even having any access to throwing at all or hitting at all, but most importantly just throwing, and probably limited access to just training and exercise, it’s hard to imagine we could get ready in less than four weeks,” Shapiro said.
“It certainly looks like we are not dealing with days and likely not weeks, but closer to months,” he said, according to ESPN.