Saturday, July 30, 2011

Girardi off base on shorter double header games

Joe Girardi wants to shorten doubleheader games to seven innings. It's a bad idea for the fans.

Girardi is thinking like the manager of the New York Yankees when he says things like that, as he should be. And he is right that these doubleheaders are physically taxing, which is why each team being allowed an extra player just for the day would be a good idea.

But Girardi's solution is wrong for one reason: it cheats the fans. If we pay for nine innings of baseball, we should get nine innings of baseball, especially since doubleheaders are usually played these days for weather reasons beyond our control. I don't even like it when games are shortened by rain and not played to completion because they are official games with five innings in the books. I think the Yankees have been good about offering free tickets to non-premium games to fans inconvenienced by lengthy rain delays, but it’s unfair when fans pay high ticket prices – especially the prices at the new Yankee Stadium – and don’t get to see the full games.

I would not be in favor of a league-wide rule automatically shortening doubleheader games. I would imagine such a change would be a non-starter with Bud Selig, who is rightly wary of accusations that Major League Baseball is cheating its fans.

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