(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indianapolis Indians’ season will run two weeks longer than expected.
Instead of traditional playoffs, Triple-A teams will play five extra road games and five at home. The Indians will start their extra homestand September 29 against the Nashville Sounds. They’ll finish October 3, the same day as the major-league regular season.
The extra 10 games don’t completely cover the 22 games lost when the pandemic pushed Opening Day back a month, but Indians spokesman Cheyne Reiter says the team might come out ahead. He notes foul weather in April often means those early-season games are sparsely attended.
Reiter says Triple-A and Major League Baseball advised teams to hold their stadiums open for those two weeks while they tried to work out the details of the extended season. The Indians’ traditional Fan Appreciation Weekend for the final homestand of the year was purposely left off the calendar, and now will take place during the Nashville series, along with Friday night fireworks and the usual “kids eat free” Sunday at the concession stands.
Reiter says the major-league teams may benefit from the extended season as well. He says there seem to be a lot more injuries this season after last year’s shortened 60-game season. Having Triple-A teams still operating will mean emergency callups are still in game shape and readily available.
The extra games take the place of the playoffs. Whoever has the best record in those 10 games will be declared league champion. In case of a tie, the championship will go to the team with the better record before the final 10-game sprint.
The Indians will travel to Omaha for the first extra games before returning to Victory Field for the Sounds series.