Seven-inning doubleheaders likely will be eliminated after the 2021 Major League Baseball season, and the rule that puts a runner at second base at the start of each extra inning also isn’t expected to be retained, commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday.
The shift from nine-inning to seven-inning doubleheaders was instituted in the abbreviated 60-game season in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. With game postponements leading to a backup of doubleheaders, plus depleted rosters due to COVID-19 protocols, the seven-inning doubleheader became a necessity.
“I don’t think seven-inning doubleheaders are going to be part of our future going forward,” he told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in advance of the All-Star Game in Denver.
They have continued with COVID-19 still present, but in a reduced form, at the start of the season.
The extra-inning rule also took effect in 2020 due to the pandemic, with hopes of shortening games, and was kept for 2021.
Manfred also touched on other issues Tuesday, including the possibility of the Oakland Athletics moving to Las Vegas since they haven’t been able to work out plans for a new stadium in the Bay Area.
Las Vegas, he said, is a viable MLB market.
“Thinking of this as a bluff is a mistake,” he said.
–Field Level Media