The Problem With Doubleheaders In MLB


The Problem With Doubleheaders In MLB | Sports Takes & News |

Major League Baseball is in its second season of playing doubleheaders with each game being seven, not nine innings long. That fact was highlighted this past weekend when the first Subway Series game of the 2021 season was rained out Friday night in New York between the Mets and Yankees, forcing it to be played as part of the split doubleheader Sunday. And with that rainout, MLB’s Doubleheader dilemma was highlighted for all the wrong reasons, the first being MONEY! 

Imagine you have purchased tickets to see the hottest summer blockbuster movie or to see your favorite band on their biggest concert tour ever and within days of the event you were informed the movie or the concert would be shortened by 20% with no discounts offered or given. Now, you know how it feels to be a ticket holder for Friday night’s game between the New York Mets and Yankees after it was postponed due to rain until Sunday afternoon. Worse yet, imagine being a ticket holder for Sunday night’s originally scheduled game and finding out that because it rained two days earlier, your game will be seven innings long, not nine, with the same lack of discounts or refunds being offered. 

This problem is new to Major League Baseball with the game appearing uninterested in fixing it to make it more fair for those fans who are holding tickets. Yes, I understand that baseball is an outdoor event and is subject to Mother Nature’s mood swings, but if I am a fan of team and buy a ticket for a game, I don’t want a rainout from two days earlier to affect my joy of the game. Nor do I think it is fair that if my enjoyment is reduced, my ticket price isn’t done so as well.

Doubleheaders used to be part of every team’s schedule, with Sunday twin billings being standard before a team had Monday off and hit the road for the following week. Once owners understood the financial rewards of opening the stadium gates twice for a doubleheader, the days of scheduling two games on one day ended, with only the weather and scheduling forcing teams to play two.

What makes doubleheaders necessary nowadays is that teams only play divisional rivals more than once in their home ballpark, which means that any other team that they face a rainout with may only have that series to make up for a rainout, forcing teams to play doubleheaders. This is caused by interleague play and a scheduling system that is far from fair or logical.

Imagine NBA or NFL fans finding out on Friday afternoon that a game they have a ticket for on Sunday will only be three quarters instead of four … could you image the anger that would ensue? Taking away two innings of a baseball is 22% of the game, not that far off from taking away a quarter of a basketball or football game. Yet, Major League Baseball thinks this is fair and, just as it did last year, it’s doing it again this season ahead of it collective bargaining agreement talks with the Players’ Association this fall.

The solution comes in fixing the schedule that sees most teams only traveling to their opponent’s ballpark once a season, but that would require getting rid of interleague play. Which is something that MLB still thinks is relevant because it is still a money maker.


Because fans buy tickets to the see their team play their geographic rivals. The solution to this: Realign Major League Baseball and let teams like the Mets and Yankees battle for the same playoff spot rather than holding out hope that they will play each other in the World Series again.

There would be no way I would walk up to the gate and buy a game ticket for a seven-inning baseball game, and if I had a ticket for a game that was shortened to seven innings, I would give it away or ask to exchange it. This is Major League Baseball’s own creation, and for whatever reason they see nothing wrong with it.  That should tell you all you need to know about how commissioner Rob Manfred and the 32 owners disrespect the game’s fan base. 

Perhaps it is not a dilemma since fans are still going to games since so often it is the only game in town for months on end. Maybe their own dilemma is how to spend the extra money they make? Sadly, unless more fans stand up and make a case against this, owners have no reason to change this system. 


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