SF Giants ‘unlikely’ to play at Oracle Park in 2020

SF Giants' Oracle Park as seen at night. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SF Giants' Oracle Park as seen at night. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The governor’s words on Tuesday didn’t paint an optimistic picture for the SF Giants’ chances of playing in California this year.

The return of the baseball season remains murky. MLB has floated a few different ideas: some good, some bad. Tuesday we learned the San Francisco Giants probably won’t be playing at home in 2020 no matter what.

California governor Gavin Newsom said that sports and other large events are “unlikely” to return in 2020, per Bill Shaikin of the LA Times on Twitter: “The prospect of mass gatherings is neglible (sic) at best until we get to herd immunity and get to a vaccine.”

Newsom was outlining his “roadmap to recovery,” which included six pieces of criteria before California could be “reopened.”

Per the SF Chronicle, among them are identifying treatments for coronavirus and creating guidelines for businesses and schools to have proper physical distancing. Those two alone could preclude live sports happening in California, as well as any other event where people are seated near each other. In fact, the SF Opera canceled its summer season.

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The development of a treatment or vaccine could take until 2021. A study in the journal Science noted that social distancing may need to occur into 2022.

All of that would lead one to conclude the Giants’ chances of playing at Oracle Park again this year appear almost nonexistent, and what happens beyond that will remain to be seen.

MLB has worked on several plans for how to resume the season. One idea, reported in USA Today, would be keeping the teams in Florida and Arizona and playing a special one-year edition of the Grapefruit and Cactus leagues that they use for spring training.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred spoke on Tuesday to FOX Business emphasizing public health considerations will be a guiding principle in officials’ decisions when and how to resume baseball (per MLBTR). Manfred admitted there will be a lot of ideas but there’s no “plan” currently.

"What ideas come to fruition will depend on what the restrictions are, what the public health situation is. But we are intent on the idea of trying to make baseball part of the recovery – the economic recovery – and sort of a milestone on the return of normalcy."

None of that makes one feel particularly optimistic.