Let’s play two? Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black would be down for doubleheaders.
Maybe even a couple a week.
That might be a necessity to make up games once a baseball season delayed by the new coronavirus gets under way.
“In theory, yeah, I think all of us would be up for some sort of doubleheader situation,” Black said during a conference call Thursday. “The thing that’s going to be in front of all of us is it’s going to be the same for everybody. It’s got to make sense for the clubs and the players.”
Opening Day has been pushed back from March 26 to mid-May at the earliest, and both sides are committed to playing as many games as possible.
Translation: Doubleheaders could be on the docket.
“I know that when we’re able to safely play, we’re going to have to think of creative ways to get in as many games as possible given all the time that’s going to be lost,” said Farhan Zaidi, the president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants. “I don’t really have any specific thoughts on that, but I know everybody’s going to be thinking through ways to do that.”
More than anything, Black wants his players to treat this time away like it’s December and the season is still in the distance.
Don’t ramp up.
Black said when a timetable is known, the teams will be given approximately three weeks to get back in shape as part of a second spring training. That’s plenty of time for a starting pitcher to work his way into form.
“There’s no need to throw bullpens. We’re a ways away from that,” Black said.
Hit in a cage — if one’s available. Work out at their gym at home. Or play catch — with social distancing in mind.
“They get together and go to a local park, they go to a high school, they go somewhere where there’s a stretch of grass and they play catch,” Black said. “They’re not going to play closer than six feet together, right? You can play catch.
“Guys are on the down low. They’re probably not doing much baseball activity right now. There’s a sense this is going to be much longer than first anticipated by baseball.”
Opening Day would have been next week. That’s hard for Black to fathom in light of what’s happening around the world.
“I miss the build-up to opening day. I miss what that’s all about. I love our sport. I love the people in it,” Black said. “I’m probably as practical as they come and a realist, and aware of what’s going on and that takes a precedence over our sport and our jobs.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.