SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants waited less than 48 hours to start digging up their bullpens. It's a process they go through after every season, preparing Oracle Park for non-baseball sporting events, concerts and holiday parties.
There was a twist this time, though. Those mounds won't be coming back in the spring.
In his season-ending press conference, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said the bullpens likely will be moved to the outfield. The Giants haven't finalized plans, but they're committed to removing the hazard for corner outfielders.
"We've made a lot of progress on designs that would have (the bullpens) move out to the outfield and potentially alter some of the dimensions out there," Zaidi said. "I think we'll have more detail on those in the coming days and there are still some administrative and logistical hurdles to go through as far as that's concerned.
"The primary objective there, as we talked about over this year, is safety and moving those bullpens out of play. But that will certainly, at least to some degree, kind of change the offensive environment that we have in this park."
The conversations about the bullpens picked up steam this year as the Giants became seriously concerned with players falling while chasing fly balls (ironically, the last out of the 2019 season was a fly ball hit to the home bullpen). The organization spent the season examining the issue, while also getting a reminder from the current roster that the dimensions are a major problem for some hitters.
The Giants were a distant last in the NL with 271 runs at home. They scored 407 on the road, ranking sixth in the league.
"Inevitably, if you're going to put bullpens out there, you're going to have to move the fences to accommodate them," Zaidi said. "But I would say, as we've gone through this, at least from a baseball standpoint and as an organization, our thought is that we know this is going to alter the baseball that's played here but let's do this and improve obviously the safety from a player standpoint while kind of minimizing the chance that we get a really distortionary effect on how baseball is played here.
"I would still view the dimensions and the plans that we've looked at as maintaining the spirit of this park. It's still going to be largely a pitchers park."