After a number of games were postponed because of COVID-positive tests, MLB will have 7-inning doubleheaders.
MLB found itself in a bit of a conundrum this past week as 19 members of the Miami Marlins (and counting) have tested positive for COVID-19. This particular outbreak has resulted in the postponement of 18 games across four teams.
As a result, MLB and the MLBPA worked swiftly to institute a 7-inning doubleheader rule this week in order to allow games to be made up more easily. With this new rule in the holster, baseball seems to be more willing to postpone games in the case of a team/teams having players test positive for the virus.
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For example, today it was announced that a player for the St. Louis Cardinals came up positive on his most recent test. As a result, MLB postponed tonight’s game between the Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers and, if no other positive tests emerge, they will make up the game on Sunday with a doubleheader.
This line of thinking is consistent with baseball’s in-season rule changes regarding their health and safety protocols. In a memo sent to teams earlier this week, MLB is asking that players wear surgical masks instead of cloth, to isolate in hotels when on the road, and has instituted a compliance officer within each team who will report back every day with details.
The 7-inning doubleheader rule becomes the second rule Major League Baseball has instituted mid-season. Previously, an expanded postseason, which will increase the number of playoff teams from five to eight, was instituted on Opening Day
This all marks baseball’s willingness to mold itself to an everchanging environment which increasingly has been influenced by COVID-19. Frankly, I don’t know what took so long.
It’s clear, however, that to get this giant boulder moving to restart the 2020 season, MLB went through a lot of effort. At this point, there is no stopping it and baseball is doing what it can – no matter how pointless it all is – to get to the finish line.