Major League Baseball, seeking to retain the entirety of its fragile 2020 season, has made an extended series of game reschedulings stemming from the Covid-19 outbreaks within the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals.
Those issues forced the postponement of 22 games involving a wide array of scheduled opponents of both clubs. But the league has now placed each one of those games back on the schedule, with teams set to play a packed stretch of games later this month and in September to make up the lost dates.
The Marlins in particular finish the 2020 regular season playing 27 games in 23 days without a day off, and four doubleheaders in a 10-day span.
The team’s reslotted schedule also includes a seven-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies, highly unusual in length for baseball’s regular season, that will be played over five days next month.
The total batch of reschedulings, based heavily on doubleheaders that before this year were increasingly out of favor within the league, will also take advantage of a new rule agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association for this season in which doubleheader games will be seven innings in length instead of the usual nine. MLB’s reschedulings includes 14 such doubleheaders.
Getting all the lost games back on the schedule will help MLB and individual teams retain media rights revenue that is even more critical than ever given the loss of gate revenue this year due to the pandemic.
The rescheduling process was eased significantly due to an entirely regionalized format MLB used this year for its amended 60-game regular season.
The league earlier this week implemented a heightened series of health and safety protocols in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.