One of the changes that the 2020 season, played in the middle of a pandemic, brought in MLB was the seven-inning doubleheaders.
Just like it happened this year, the calendar was very tight back then, and there were external circumstances, too, so the league and the players association decided to shorten play when doubleheaders were on schedule.
That rule change was also present in 2021, but fans didn’t like it.
For the 2022 campaign, MLB is going back to nine-inning doubleheaders, so fans are happy.
It appears, however, that some of the most experienced managers in the game are not too thrilled about returning to nine-inning doubleheaders.
“La Russa and Francona both have concerns about going back to 9-inning doubleheaders, given injury rate around MLB after a short spring. TLR: ‘The perception is the fans don’t like 7s. You balance that against the pitching casualties and playing casualties you’re going to get’,” Chicago White Sox’s manager Tony La Russa said, per Anthony Castrovince’s tweet.
La Russa and Francona both have concerns about going back to 9-inning doubleheaders, given injury rate around MLB after a short spring. TLR: “The perception is the fans don’t like 7s. You balance that against the pitching casualties and playing casualties you’re going to get.”
— Anthony Castrovince (@castrovince) April 20, 2022
Everybody Has A Different Opinion About Doubleheaders
What La Russa is trying to explain is that fans should also consider the short spring training and potential workload concerns for pitchers, too.
It’s clear that nobody likes a seven-inning baseball game, but the managers imply that they prefer them over the current nine-inning doubleheaders because of potential injuries and unprepared pitchers.
That’s why MLB increased its roster size from 26 to 28 for the first month of the season, while everybody ramps up to full strength and rhythm.
Sometimes, it’s really difficult to bring the three parties together to agree on a specific topic: fans, players, and teams.
This is clearly one of those controversial topics in which everybody has a different opinion.
It happens, but for now, nine-inning doubleheaders are here to stay.