Citing a lack of alternative locations, the San Francisco Giants are not planning to relocate the bullpens from foul territory at AT&T Park.
AT&T Park is one of just three ballparks in the majors–along with the Oakland A’s Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, and the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Field–where the bullpens are located on the field in foul territory. This unusual arrangement came into question following a recent injury, as Giants outfielder Mac Williamson tripped over the left field bullpen mound while attempting to retrieve a foul ball on April 24, resulting in him being placed on the concussion list.
The injury has prompted some calls for the Giants to relocate AT&T Park’s bullpens, but the team is indicating that that is not a feasible option. According to Giants president and CEO Larry Baer, the team does not have a viable alternative within AT&T Park. More from The San Francisco Chronicle:
It won’t happen, Giants President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Baer said Wednesday, because the club feels there is no place else to put them.
“One injury is one too many,” Baer said. “Of course we would look at alternatives that would make it safer for the players, fans and anybody else. Obviously netting is happening everywhere. But the reality is there aren’t alternatives.”
The most popular fan suggestion is ripping out the kale garden in center field to build a two-tier bullpen, like many ballparks have. Baer said it’s not that simple because of everything else going on behind that fence, including storage for equipment and concessions.
The Giants would have space in right-center if they clipped Triples Alley with a new fence, but Baer said that becomes a baseball question, and neither the front office nor manager Bruce Bochy has suggested the change.
As noted, there are only three active Major League Baseball facilities where the bullpens are located on the field in foul territory. It had stood at four until 2017, when the Chicago Cubs moved the bullpens at Wrigley Field from foul territory to underneath the bleachers as part of a renovation to the ballpark.
Photo by Mark Cryan.