A continuation of the expanded playoff format and 10 seven-inning doubleheaders highlight the 2011 Cape Cod Baseball League schedule, announced this week by league commissioner Paul Galop.
The season begins on June 10 with a full slate of five games, and the league will feature five seven-inning doubleheaders on June 12 and June 19, with all 10 teams hosting one twin-bill before the start of the busy summer season in late June.
The annual Frank Finn/CCBL Invitational pre-season tryout will be held on May 30 at Spillane Field in Wareham.
“We are pleased with our 2011 schedule,” Galop said. “The Schedule Committee worked hard to satisfy concerns of our 10 franchises, including field availability. This schedule highlights two doubleheaders on the first two Sundays of the season. We tried doubleheaders in 2010 and it was successful in achieving more “off” days to combat potential weather issues. Our coaches and GMs have overwhelmingly endorsed this concept. The schedule is nicely balanced between the first and second halves of the season. Every team will have a home game every weekend on Saturday or Sunday.”
The league also announced that the playoff format expansion from six to eight teams that was adopted last season will return in 2011, and playoff games at non-lighted fields will be moved from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. The new starting time will allow more working fans to attend playoff games in early August.
More than 300,000 fans attended Cape League games last summer, including 10,470 at the All-Star Game at Fenway Park and a record 44,121 during the playoffs.
“Our playoffs will again feature the top four teams in each division,” Galop said. “We enjoyed tremendous success with this format in 2010. Fans, players and franchise members all enjoyed the additional baseball, as evidenced by huge attendance numbers.”
All rounds will be two-out-of-three, which enables each team to be guaranteed at least one home playoff game. The championship round will match the East and West division playoff winners.
“There is so much parity in the CCBL now that any one of the teams could easily be crowned CCBL playoff champion,” said Galop. “We don’t believe the expanded playoff system tarnishes the regular season.”
The CCBL All-Star game is tentatively scheduled for Fenway Park in late July at a date and time to be announced.