[Ed.'s Note: Also available at the WCCO.com Twins Blog here.]
“It's a beautiful day for baseball... let's play two!”
Legendary Cubs third baseman Ernie Banks once uttered those famous words, and they became his trademark.
Sadly, his love of that unique institution: the baseball double-header, hasn't been embraced by the folks who run the game these days.
Owners aren't big fans of the natural double-header. Why would they give up an extra set of gate receipts if they don't have to? So if you do see a double-header, you can bet it was forced upon them by inclement weather. And you can also count on it being a “day-night” or “split” double-header, with just enough time in between games for the ballpark staff to clear out the fans from Game 1 and get things set for a completely new set of fans for Game 2.
Players don't care for them much either. Considering how early they generally arrive for a standard game, playing two makes for quite a long day. (I know, your heart breaks for them, doesn't it?)
But ask any fan, and they'll tell you that they love double-headers. For baseball purists, there isn't much they'd rather do than spend a few hours out at the ballpark. So if they can double that pleasure, and spend all day at “the yard”, why not, right?