SAN FRANCISCO -- In a few days, Brandon Crawford will be out on the dirt at Scottsdale Stadium, practicing glove-flips and no-look throws to second base. He might even kick a grounder over to Joe Panik to start a mock double play. He has in the past.
Crawford is as creative as can be when practicing to play shortstop, often mixing in the spectacular to break drills up, but there’s no real way to prepare for what the Giants are discussing with the Raiders. An NFL game would tear up the Oracle Park infield in unpredictable ways, and the organization’s Gold Glove shortstop doesn’t want to see it happen.
“I wouldn’t be the biggest fan of that. I’ll leave it at that,” he said. “We saw what a weekend of rugby did last year to our field. With as good as our grounds crew is, it was still probably the worst I had ever seen after that weekend of rugby last year. I can only imagine what an NFL game would do to it. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. That’s what I’m hoping.”
The Giants hosted the Rugby World Cup Sevens last July and, despite tireless work from one of the best grounds crews in baseball, there was damage to the field. There’s only so much that can be done shortly after an event like that, and the field also has been torn up by concerts in recent years.
The good news for Crawford and the rest of the Giants -- many of whom came out strongly against the Raiders' plan in informal conversations -- is that the Giants have a schedule in place that would keep the NFL team on the road until the end of baseball season. But the general consensus among players Friday was that they hope it doesn’t even get that far.
A source said, however, that nothing has changed in recent days, and there’s still a chance the Giants and Raiders could strike a deal.