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BCB After Dark: Is 7 now 9?

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The nightclub for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks what you think of these short doubleheaders.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs - Game Two Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the afterparty for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re glad you could join us. Give your jacket to the coat check girl. Be sure to tip her and your waitstaff.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

Those were two pretty thrilling games today, although I doubt I’d say that if the Cubs had lost both of them. But it looks like there’s nothing wrong with the Cubs that playing a crappy team like the Dodgers or facing lousy pitchers like Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer can’t fix. But isn’t that just like baseball? Feel free to continue the discussion of today’s doubleheader sweep here if you want.

Last night I asked you to grade the Cubs bullpen. The number one grade you gave them was a “C” with 43% of the vote. Another 34% of you were more generous, giving the pen a “B.” I don’t know if tonight’s game would change any of your votes. Kimbrel gave up his first earned run of the year and blew his first save. Dillon Maples looked very shaky in the eighth. But Rex Brothers, Andrew Chafin and Ryan Tepera after Keegan Thompson left his first major league start after 3 23 innings and 61 pitches. And how about Justin Steele getting his first win!

Tuesday’s are my normal “light” night for After Dark, but we’re just going to have to see how much I can continue to write while still covering the minor leagues. I’ll try to have some essays on jazz and old movies, but I can’t promise that they’ll be on a regular schedule. I can pick out a song on YouTube easily enough so you have something to listen to while you try to get some sleep or get up in the morning.

No movies tonight, but I do have a jazz tune. I’ve been saving Charles Mingus for a time when I had time enough to say something about Mingus, but I don’t know when that will be and I don’t want to wait any longer. So I’ll cut the yakking and present Charles Mingus playing “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.” [VIDEO]


Today the Cubs played a doubleheader, and it was one of those shortened seven-inning ones. I’ve been dealing with seven-inning doubleheaders in the minor leagues for what seems like forever. I don’t know when they started playing short doubleheaders in the minors—I’ve tried to find out when the minors made that change and I have been unable to find out. They’ve been that way for as long as I’ve been watching minor league games and that’s almost 40 years now. My best guess is that they started sometime early in the 20th Century in California, because the Pacific Coast League season stretched all the way into late November and so before there were lights, there was a big incentive to get the games over before dark. But that’s just a hypothesis. I really don’t know when they started.

Honestly, not many people care who wins or loses a minor league game these days. A lot of fans leave in the seventh inning whether or not the game is close because little kids have bedtimes. Or young people on dates want to go out for a milkshake or something. The final score is just not a big thing to most people at the game.

When MLB announced that they were starting seven-inning games as a pandemic-related change, I was against it, but I understood that we don’t live in normal times. But these are games that people actually care about winning, so I thought that it was a bad idea.

Now that the rule has been around for a year and a month, I don’t hate it. Seven-inning games give more importance to every inning. And this afternoon’s game took a breezy 2 hours and 17 minutes, which is about what most games lasted when I was younger. (The nightcap went extras and was much longer, of course.)

I’m not saying I’m in favor of keeping the rule permanently. I do think it messes up the record books. But I am saying I’m not not in favor of keeping seven-inning games.

So what do you think? Do you like these shorter doubleheaders, or do you think they are an abomination to nine players and nine innings? Do you think we should at least consider making these shorter doubleheaders permanent?

By the way, I still hate the runner on second rule with a passion. So don’t worry. I’m haven’t gone all soft.

Poll

Seven-inning games for doubleheaders?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Yay!
    (47 votes)
  • 46%
    Nay!
    (62 votes)
  • 18%
    Meh.
    (25 votes)
134 votes total Vote Now

We’ll be back again tomorrow night. And be sure to read tonight’s Minor League Wrap, the first since September of 2019.