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MLB Might Be Headed Towards Ending Seven-Inning Doubleheaders and the Extra-Innings Rule

A lot of fans are going to enjoy this one, but some won’t.



The 2020 pandemic season brought a lot of changes to baseball. In order to make a season happen, MLB and the Player’s Union had to make sure that their players and staff were kept safe while also making a 60-game season happen. 

Part of that included drastic rule changes to MLB. They brought the universal designated hitter to the National League, and they instituted an extra-innings rule that placed a runner on second base. That one arguably was the least well-received. 

But MLB also threw in 7-inning doubleheaders to ensure that the full season could be played. It was also designed to ensure that players were able to stay healthy in the process. As it turns out, that rule might not be sticking around for too much longer. 

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Speaking with media prior to the All-Star Game this week, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred tried to talk about the future of the game. That includes the upcoming labor negotiations that will require the league to get a deal done with the players. 

In that conversation, Manfred revealed that the 7-inning doubleheaders will likely be a thing of the past. He also said that the odd extra-innings rule could be done away with as well. Manfred noted that they were part of the pandemic plan and would not be part of the plan beyond this season. 

So baseball purists can relax. The game you love appears to be getting back to normal. Now they just have to make sure they can get a deal done and actually start the 2022 season on time. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. Not sure those rules made that big of a difference, except they did increase the “urgency” which is lacking otherwise. Let’s see what they do about the universal DH and the infield shifts.

  2. While they’re at it, how about nixing the minimum 3 batter rule for pitchers. Managers should be able to pull a pitcher any time they want. It’s up to the manager to use his available bullpen wisely. If MLB thinks the games are too long, shorten the amount of time between innings. Over the history of baseball, the elapsed time for games has gotten longer as television has been more involved.

  3. Just make it simple. Reverse every rule change that Manfred has ever made,and replace him with someone who has respect for the integrity of a game that has been around for a very, very long time.

    • that would do it!!! and then completely eliminate the DH and we’re back to real baseball played the same way in both Leagues!

      • Joe, the AL WILL NEVER go along with eliminating the DH. If the DH was in fact removed from the AL then fine. But let’s have EQUAL and fair playing rules for each league. Many fans of MLB don’t particularly care to see pitchers hit. Dodgers were very successful at using the DH in 2020. It allowed them to get guys like JT, Smith, Seager, Muncy and others off their feet on occasion while keeping their bat in the lineup as opposed to having the pitcher bat.

        • I am not going to repeat the pros of eliminating the DH completely. I love seeing great hitting pitchers. Dodgers actually have the best hitting pitchers in baseball at the moment so that’s a huge advantage over other teams. I also like that when pitchers have to hit, they know they can’t inadvertently throw at the other team without reprisal.

          A strong Commissioner can convince AL to give up the DH, and restore baseball to its former glory

          • My issue is to have equal playing rules for BOTH leagues, one way or the other. No other major sport operates with these separate rules. Besides if MLB is at all concerned about any decline in offense, then that having a DH in both leagues makes sense. However. I would be fine as I said if neither league had the DH.

  4. I would also do away with these excessive defensive shifts as well. Those are a big reason offense down over all in MLB. Especially these shifts are making it very difficult for LHB when teams are allowed to have infielders play in shallow right field taking hits away from lefties. No infielder should be allowed to position themselves beyond the dirt cutouts.

  5. No DH, No 7 inning doubleheaders, No runner on 2nd in extra’s, and No 3 batter rule for pitchers.
    Ahhhhhhhhhhh……Baseball as it should be. And if they wanna fix the shift, how about a little bat control to hit – or even bunt, for cryin’ out loud – the other way?

    • For what it’s worth, most pitchers would rather not have to hit. Not saying all, but my guess is managers and GM’s both would prefer the DH in both leagues. Someone said it best when they said pitchers are paid to pitch, not paid to hit.

      • Hey, I don’t wanna pay taxes, but sometimes you just havta do, what ya havta do.
        I realize players want the DH in both leagues, as it prolongs some careers with those hefty paydays. I get it, chicks dig the long ball. But the dumbing down of the game, only appeases the lowest common denominator amongst us.

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