It’s been a rainy spring and summer across America since the weather turned, and as a result, a number of MLB games have been rescheduled as doubleheaders.
The last two seasons, doubleheaders have been just seven innings, a major shift for teams that used to play nine-inning doubleheaders.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale wrote that “barring heavy resistance” from the Players Association, the league is planning to return to the traditional nine-inning doubleheaders in 2022.
There is currently no word on whether teams will get an automatic baserunner at second base, should one of the games go into extra innings. It may be a smart move to allow teams to have that automatic baserunner, that way the games don’t last 16-17 innings.
The MLB has not had a game exceed 13 innings in either of the past two seasons, which is a vote to keep the doubleheaders at seven innings. In 2019, 23 MLB games went over 13 innings, so it does sound like going to nine inning doubleheaders would extend games, an issue the league would like to avoid.
Some fear that, with the return to nine innings, pitchers will get overworked. In order to address those concerns, the league wants to make changes and have them set up for next season when the 2022 campaign kicks off.
Undoubtedly, there will be votes on both sides from the Players Association, some that want to go back to nine innings, and others that want to stick to the current format of seven innings.
The CBA between the league and players is set to expire on December 1st if they don’t get a new deal in place.
It would be nice not to have another offseason talking about money and who is not getting the job done while fans wait to go back to the ballparks in March of 2022.