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How a little-known rule involving Red Sox, Cubs helped pave way for split doubleheader

05.01.14 at 2:35 pm ET
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Prior to Game 1 of the Red Sox‘ split doubleheader with the Rays Thursday, there was still an element of confusion as to why the teams didn’t just play when Tampa Bay returned to Fenway Park at the end of May.

There was talk that the Dustin Pedroia bobblehead (and subsequent storage of the doll) had something to do with it. That the Red Sox wanted to strike while the iron was hot, with the Rays’ pitching staff in somewhat disarray. Or, as Red Sox manager John Farrell stated, the amount of consecutive games the Sox would have to play during that stretch at the end of the month would not work.

But, as Farrell also pointed out, whatever the reason, thanks to a little-known section of the CBA, the Red Sox had the hammer when making the decision. Let MLB.com explain:

“Section C of the Collective Bargaining Agreement states that teams may schedule split doubleheaders to make up postponements, so long as the clubs involved do not have more than four such doubleheaders already on the schedule, if ‘ticket sales for the game at the time of postponement exceed ‘€¦ the number of comparable tickets available to be exchanged by the Club for the balance of the championship season, and both the postponed and rescheduled game occur in the last regularly scheduled series.’

“That section of the CBA also notes that ‘he Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs shall have the right to reschedule a postponed game as a split doubleheader to be played in, respectively, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field, even if the criteria set out ‘€¦ above are not met. Scheduling a postponed game as part of a conventional doubleheader will not be considered a practical alternative.'”

Here were the managers remarks on the subject Thursday morning …

Farrell: “One thing we can’€™t predict is what the future holds. You set this date for an off-day or a mutual off-day late in September — we have a number of teams that comes in here one time and it’€™s somewhat an of-day around the game. So it provides some flexibility if weather hits us for a National League team that comes here only once. You take that away, now all of a sudden we’€™re looking at the potential of adding games at the end of the year, if we get into a rainout situation. Again, you’€™re trying to factor in as many things as possible and flexibility in the schedule is one of them.”

Joe Maddon: “Yeah, we wanted to just play one game today based on a lot of different factors. Of course we’€™d like to move it back based on a lot of things that are going on with us right now. But that didn’€™t happen. If it didn’€™t happen, you just go out and play. You don’€™t cry about it, you don’€™t make excuses about it.”

Read More: Joe Maddon, John Farrell, Rays, Red Sox
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