The Rays Are Playing a Traditional Doubleheader. By Choice.

which was just the second time since 2004 which a team began the season with one particular-admission doubleheader on its schedule, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

”We’ve wanted to do This kind of for a long time,” Brian Auld, the president of the Rays, said in a telephone interview. Auld, who grew up mainly in California in addition to Texas, remembered attending doubleheaders as a child, an experience he called “about as cool a thing as a young fan could want.”

which romantic notion, however, is usually not shared by many Rays players, who have scant experience with doubleheaders of any sort, especially in Tampa, where their stadium incorporates a dome in addition to games are never rained out.

inside the Rays’ clubhouse before a recent game with the Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, first baseman Logan Morrison entertained his teammates with animated complaints about This kind of Saturday’s doubleheader. Among additional things, Morrison said which was “unhealthy” for major leaguers to play twice in one day on artificial turf. (Tampa in addition to Toronto are the last two major league clubs which don’t have grass fields.)

“which’s the dumbest thing I ever heard of in my life,” he said.

Pitcher Chris Archer, the Rays’ player representative, put which another way: “which’s a very high school thing to put on a team’s schedule.”

High school thing or not, additional conventional doubleheaders have already popped up This kind of season — however as a way to resolve rainouts.

The Yankees turned Derek Jeter night on May 14 into one particular-admission doubleheader because of a rainout the day before. Logistics played a factor.

The night game, using a pregame ceremony to retire Jeter’s No. 2, was sold out in addition to on national television, in addition to Yankee officials feared a logistics nightmare if they opted for a day-night, split-admission doubleheader in addition to the first game went into extra innings or had a rain delay.

The Chicago White Sox have already rescheduled three weather-related postponements as single-admission doubleheaders This kind of season.

in addition to the Minnesota Twins in addition to the Kansas City Royals chose the single-admission route on May 21 to make up a rainout because both teams were traveling which night — the Twins to Baltimore in addition to the Royals to the Bronx.

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier noted which his team had reached its Baltimore hotel at 1:30 a.m. If there had been a day-night, split-admission doubleheader — which is usually more time consuming — the Twins could have arrived at 3:30 a.m. or later, creating a modest, however significant, disadvantage in getting sleep. in addition to the Twins did go on to sweep their three-game series at Camden Yards.

“The reason we decided to do a traditional, we prefer which more often because of the fact you’re not at the yard all day, especially on a getaway day,” Dozier said. “Once you’re loose coming from the first game, let’s play another one, rather than sit around, restretch, re-energize in addition to which kind of stuff. We all like which.”

Of course, back when conventional doubleheaders were a staple, owners liked the money they made coming from them because of the crowds they attracted.

The largest crowds at the original Yankee Stadium (81,841 on May 30, 1938) in addition to Fenway Park (47,627 on Sept. 22, 1935) were for doubleheaders. The author Chris Jaffe, writing for The Hardball Times in 2010, noted the number of doubleheaders rose slightly during the Depression, spiked through World War II, then returned to prewar levels inside the early 1950s.

however by the late 1950s, Jaffe wrote, the Milwaukee Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers in addition to the San Francisco Giants cut back on doubleheaders. Attendance for single games had risen so much which the clubs no longer needed doubleheaders to enhance revenue.

additional teams followed suit. Doubleheaders fell steadily through the 1970s, in addition to by 1983 the Seattle Mariners became the first team inside the 20th century to go an entire season without one.

The Mets, meanwhile, remained true to their brand new York heritage, scheduling more doubleheaders than most additional teams in their first decade of existence, the 1960s. however the Mets eventually reduced them as well, according to Jaffe’s research, going coming from 14 scheduled doubleheaders in 1969 to one in 1986 in addition to then to zero in 1991.

“Money killed the doubleheader,” Jaffe wrote. “Then again, money created which, so I have trouble launching a jeremiad against the greedy powers which be.”

Photo

A young fan at Yankee Stadium trying to snag a ball during a doubleheader between the Yankees in addition to the Detroit Tigers on April 28, 1968. Doubleheaders steadily fell out of favor through the 1970s, in addition to by 1983 the Seattle Mariners became the first team inside the 20th century to go an entire season without one.

Credit
Ernie Sisto/The brand new York Times

which is usually believed which since the turn of the 21st century, the majors have had only three conventional doubleheaders scheduled at the start of the season: Oakland at Minnesota on May 26, 2001; San Diego at Philadelphia on Aug. 2, 2003; in addition to the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland on July 16, 2011.

As baseball seeks ways to maximize off days for players, could more clubs schedule doubleheaders at the start of a season? Perhaps, although the length of games is usually already an issue.

Then there is usually the question of money. Teams in most cities will sell more tickets For just two single games than a one-cost doubleheader. The Rays are an exception. Tampa Bay’s average attendance of 14,540 through Wednesday ranked last in baseball. Tropicana Field seats 42,735, however the Rays offer only about 31,000 tickets per game.

The Rays have promoted Saturday’s doubleheader as a 1970s turn-back-the-clock event, with retro-style uniforms, food in addition to drink specials in addition to a banner parade between games inspired by the Mets’ old Banner Day. (Tampa Bay’s owner, Stuart Sternberg, grew up in Brooklyn in addition to was a boyhood Mets fan.) Auld said This kind of week which the club had sold 15,000 advance tickets for Saturday in addition to hoped for a brisk walk-up sale.

Auld said the club might also relax its ballpark re-entry policy, allowing fans to come in addition to go during the day. which may be helpful since the length of modern games make traditional doubleheaders a seven- to eight-hour commitment.

which’s a grind for players as well. Because clubs right now routinely carry fewer bench players in favor of 12 or 13 pitchers, more players must start both games, though baseball does have an option for a 26th player to be used in doubleheaders.

Rays players might have been more amenable to Saturday’s doubleheader if an off day followed on Sunday, Archer said. which won’t happen. The Rays will cram four games into approximately 46 hours, coming from 7 p.m. Friday to about 5 p.m. Sunday. They are off Monday.

“The best part about our scheduled doubleheader, we have a day game the next day,” Morrison said sarcastically. “which’s stupid. We’re the Rays, so we’re going to do whatever we can to try to get people inside the seats. however I don’t agree with which.”

Auld said he had since spoken to the players about their concerns. “I’m not surprised there’s a little bit of discontent,” he said.

If Rays fans take to which, Auld said the club might consider another scheduled doubleheader inside the future. If nothing else, which’s a chance for fans in addition to players to experience something different. Third baseman Evan Longoria, for instance, seemed unfamiliar with the term “traditional doubleheader” in addition to asked a reporter to explain which to him.

“Nobody ever wants to play a doubleheader,” Longoria said. “which’s just a long day on your feet. Maybe which made sense inside the past, however I don’t know if which’s something the fans genuinely want nowadays. I could be wrong.”

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