• Eli Chapman

MLB hopeful for 2020 baseball - Will it be a time to reincarnate the scheduled doubleheaders.


Empty MLB Spring camps, and major league baseball awaits 'the all clear' to begin the 2020 season.

With multiple reports over the past few days of the COVID-19 and steps to help contain the virus as best we can. The MLB joined several entities across the country to shutdown. Baseball Spring camps have been closed. The regular season postponed 'at least two weeks'. If this situation proves necessary to go longer, an announcement will be made accordingly at we approach April.


However, if the all clear is given and the season should be deemed good to go with just a two week delay with the schedule as is. The St. Louis Cardinals will face the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, April 10-12, 2020. Their home opener would not be until Monday, April 20 hosting the Cincinnati Reds.


Crazy? Yes it is. But all 30 teams will be experiencing the same, not just the Cardinals and their fans.


BACK TO THE POSTPONES GAMES ~ DOUBLE-HEADER POSSIBILITY


Way back in the day, double-headers were just part of baseball. A family could go and see two games for the price of one. In 1959, a quarter of the games were classic doubleheaders played by one league or the other. "The record for the most doubleheaders played by a team in a season is 44 by the Chicago White Sox in 1943. Between September 4 and September 15, 1928, the Boston Braves played nine consecutive doubleheaders – 18 games in 12 days." [Wikipedia.com]


The last regular season scheduled double-header in the MLB was August 6, 2017 between the Seattle Mariners and the Kansas City Royals. The only time we see a double-header in today's baseball is due to a weather postponement. Rarely the next day's play, usually if at all possible rescheduled further into the season so both clubs are able to prepare.


Conceivably, a new schedule could be announced by the MLB and double-headers a part of the games to be played. Right now, we are looking at 12-13 games that could be doubled-up. Or, a three-game series becomes four. Will one of the series be scheduled during the usual week off for the 'All Star Break'? This would still keep our season at 162 games.


Should the MLB have to shorten the season in the event more time is deemed necessary, with a May 1 beginning. Now, that involves a total of 32 games. The balance of 130 games to play in regulation. Unless the double-header comes into play. Then again, how many would be scheduled? I would say defined in total number of games they want to see played. As close to 162? Or shoot for no less than 142?


Looking at the Cardinals season schedule, 'after' the first two week minimum postponed games. They have nine days off during the first half, followed by eight in the second. Which I'm presuming all teams have the same.


A major task confronts the MLB should a 'new schedule' be created and for teams to prepare for.


With the new MLB Rule - rosters for regular season go from a 25-man roster to 26-man. In the case of a double-header, the 27th man (position player on the 40 man roster) can be called up. Pitchers are held at a maximum of 13 Opening Day through August 31. September 1, the roster goes to a 28-man roster, of those a maximum of 14 pitchers.


With the MLB's new rule for pitchers having to face 3-batter minimum, this would in my opinion, make a manager's decision for a double-header a bit easier.


And, I feel, some baseball fans would welcome some double-headers ... especially if they were "two games for the price of one".


FOR ALL TO BE SAFE AND WELL


My hope is that during this period of time, we do see less numbers becoming affected with the COVID-19. That with time and diligence by each of us - every day folks and sports figures - better hygiene practices do make a difference to fight this virus. And, by year's end, my hope is that we do have a vaccine or antidote that will be available to all.


But please ~ early detection is the key to help in this endeavor. If feverish, aches and pains, shortness of breath, call your local Health Dept. for advice as to what steps to take until you may be seen by a physician.


P.S. ~ Shoppers ... Not sure what the buying up every package of toilet paper is all about. But could you just think of others who may need some, too? Just for regular use ... Just sayin'. We raked our yard last fall ~ I have no leaves left to use!


Thanks for reading. You may also follow me on Twitter, @elichap822.

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