Chicago Cubs: Safeguarding potential issues with doubleheaders
One way to ameliorate issues with doubleheaders and players is to extend the roster to 26 or 27 active players all the time. Sure, this would give every manager an extra LOOGY and/or bench guy to slow things down some nights, but the MLBPA would surely like the idea of adding an extra 30 to 60 active MLB members. The teams and staff would certainly like the idea of having flexibility while retaining or even expanding their current revenue stream.
Another option is one my brother had which plays off the weekend doubleheader but goes a bit further to appease the league and their ventures: have a planned doubleheader on a weekday, making that day game the MLB Game of the Day on MLB.TV.
You could market the game as a “Kid’s Day,” “Women’s Day,” “Charity Day,” “Jayson Werth Day,” (gross) etc. and rotate the game through every team on different weekdays throughout the season. It would be fair, would give different team’s exposure for free out of market games on TV, and would again look to showcase the game for kids or other groups, something the MLB has sorely needed and wanted for a decade now. That team would then play a regularly scheduled night game that would be split from the day game so as to keep the ownership of each team happy. Teams could even make these weekday/weekend doubleheader days a big giveaway day or market for specific causes to attract more/different fans.
Or on the day portion of these split doubleheader days, each team could give away or reduce the price on 10,000 tickets to children under 12 and the league could subsidize each team from the added TV revenue they’d make showcasing these games every day. Or even add this featured day game to an ESPN/TBS/Fox contract) The kids would be buying food, merchandise and become lifelong fans – a long-term investment over a today’s bottom line, if you will.