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Two of baseball's least popular rule changes are unlikely to become permanent. While speaking with reporters Tuesday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said seven-inning doubleheader games and the automatic runner at second base in extra innings are "much less likely to be part of our permanent landscape," according to The Athletic's C. Trent Rosecrans.

"(These were a) COVID-related change. I don't think seven-inning doubleheaders are going to be a part of our future going forward," Manfred told Rosecrans. The rule changes were put in place to reduce time spent at the ballpark during the pandemic, and with vaccine rollout well underway and every MLB ballpark returning to 100 percent capacity, they are no longer required.

I am a weirdo who enjoys the extra-innings tiebreaker rule, though I know I am in the minority, and I'm not surprised it's going away. The fan outcry is too great to ignore. Seven-inning doubleheader games were fine during the pandemic. There's no reason to have them otherwise, especially with teams again playing split doubleheaders and charging two admissions.

Also, Manfred called the universal DH a "non-radical change" and it is widely expected to become permanent next season, when the next collective bargaining agreement takes effect. For all intents and purposes, baseball in 2022 could look an awful lot like baseball prior to 2020, albeit with the DH in the National League.

Manfred also discussed the Athletics ballpark situation Tuesday and acknowledged the "process is at the end," according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The A's years-long efforts to get a new stadium in the Bay Area have stalled, and ownership has recently begun looking for alternative cities, most notably Las Vegas and Portland

"Las Vegas is a viable alternative for a major-league club and there are other viable alternatives I have not turned the A's loose to explore," Manfred told Shaikin and Baseball America's Kyle Glaser. "... This is not a bluff. This is the decision point for Oakland whether they want to have Major League Baseball moving forward."

Teams often threaten relocation in an effort to coax local governments into forking over money for new stadiums in their home cities. The A's are locked into what is now called RingCentral Coliseum through 2024, so if the team is going to relocate and build a new stadium, time is running short. Planning and construction can take north of two years.

On the labor front, the current collective bargaining agreement expires Dec. 1. MLB and the MLBPA appear to be closer to a work stoppage now than at any point since the 1994-95 strike, though Manfred has previously said he is optimistic a work stoppage can be avoided.